WINNIPEG, Manitoba—The Pew Charitable Trusts applauds the Manitoba government’s pledge to support Indigenous land-use planning as a primary tool for the sustainable development and conservation of the boreal forest.
In its Speech from the Throne last week, and in new details announced Nov. 24, the government vowed to provide additional resources for Indigenous communities in the Canadian province to develop comprehensive land management plans in the boreal region.
Mathew Jacobson, Pew’s boreal conservation officer, issued this statement:
“We are delighted that the province of Manitoba has chosen to make Indigenous-led land-use planning the centerpiece of its boreal conservation policy.
“The Indigenous peoples of Manitoba have successfully safeguarded this landscape for millennia, and land-use planning is a proven method for balancing conservation and sustainable development.
“It is only appropriate that these keepers of the boreal, who have so wisely managed these forests in the past, will chart the path toward long-term prosperity for the region and its people.”
The boreal forest stretches across 1.2 billion intact acres in Canada, from Yukon to Newfoundland and Labrador. The region covers 140 million acres in Manitoba alone, most of which (approximately 115 million acres) remains free from industrial development.
The boreal represents 25 percent of the world’s remaining intact forest and is one of the last continental-scale ecosystems still largely undeveloped. It harbors the planet’s largest expanse of wetlands, lakes, and rivers, and stores twice as much carbon per acre than tropical rain forests.
In its eight-year strategic plan for environmental stewardship and economic prosperity called TomorrowNow, which was initially released in 2012, the government of Manitoba pledged to develop a boreal plan that ensured the protection and sustainable development of the region.
In its Nov. 16 Speech from the Throne outlining policy priorities, the government stated: "Our boreal forest is one of the most important ecosystems on the planet. Indigenous communities have been stewards of the boreal forest for thousands of years. We will work with Indigenous communities on sustainable development, including new support for Indigenous land-use planning."
The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Learn more at www.pewtrusts.org.