Province's woodland caribou initiative will be a vital component of larger forest plan
The Pew Charitable Trusts applauded the Manitoba government's new woodland caribou conservation strategy today. The plan exceeds Canada's federal standards and immediately positions the province as a leader in the protection of the iconic and threatened species. Mathew Jacobson, Pew's boreal conservation officer, issued this statement:
“The boreal forest in Manitoba is a vital part of the largest intact expanse of forest remaining in the world, and the province is fortunate it has this opportunity to plan ahead for its management.
“We applaud the Manitoba government today for announcing its caribou plan, which is supported by both the forest industry and the conservation community, and sets the highest standards in Canada. We are hopeful that this policy marks the beginning of an inclusive approach to planning for the overall economic and environmental prosperity of the province's boreal region. We expect that Manitoba will follow models it has already used successfully to set policy—by looking to aboriginal communities for leadership and consulting with businesses and members of the public with an interest in the future of the province's abundant forests.
“The provinces of Ontario and Quebec have both embarked on this road, which has resulted in commitments to protect at least half of their boreal landscapes, with standards for sustainable development on the remainder.
“We hope that a similar approach in Manitoba will also ensure that the wealth of the province's boreal forest is sustainably developed and protected in equal measure. Manitobans excel at bringing diverse interests to the table to find common solutions. They support good planning and wise management for the long run.
“We look forward to Manitoba joining with other provinces in advancing a vision of Canada's boreal as a new model for sustainable development—one that not only ensures the best-protected ecosystem in the world, but also provides a sustainable economic base far into the future.
“The boreal forest of Manitoba is rich in both wildlife and resources, and it has been home to First Nations for thousands of years. We encourage the government to work in partnership with those First Nations, recognizing existing treaties, rights outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the need for free, prior, informed consent.”