MANITOBA HONOURED BY PRESENTATION OF 2009 BOREAL AWARD: ROBINSON

Posted on December 2nd, 2009

Source: Manitoba Government

Award Recognizes Dedication of Province To Protecting, Sustaining Boreal Forest

Manitoba is extremely honoured to receive a 2009 Boreal Award in
recognition of the province’s efforts, in co-operation with First
Nations, to protect and sustain Canada’s boreal forest, Deputy
Premier Eric Robinson, minister of Aboriginal and northern
affairs, said today.

“Since 1999, Manitoba has permanently protected 871,000 hectares
of land in parks, wildlife management areas and ecological
reserves,” Robinson said.  “We are committed to expanding on this
by adding more protected areas.  On behalf of the province,
former premier Gary Doer and Premier Greg Selinger, it is a
distinct honour to accept the Boreal Award in recognition of this
important conservation work.”

The award was presented by the Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI)
yesterday at a ceremony in Ottawa.  CBI works with First Nations,
conservation organizations, industry and other interested parties
to link science, policy and conservation initiatives across
Canada’s Boreal Forest.

CBI’s Boreal Leadership Council selects Boreal Award winners to
recognize “far-reaching vision, outstanding leadership and
collaborative initiatives to protect and sustain Canada’s boreal
forest.”

In honouring Manitoba with the award, CBI recognized “The
Government of Manitoba who have championed the proposed
Pimachiowin Aki World Heritage Site, announced a $10-million
trust fund to support the leading First Nations and put in place
legislation for First Nations land planning and management of
their traditional territories.”

Doer was nominated for a 2009 award by Poplar River First Nation
and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society when he was still
serving as premier.  CBI presented the award to the Province of
Manitoba in recognition of Doer’s work and Selinger’s ongoing
commitment to conservation and sustainability of the boreal
forest.   – 30 –   BACKGROUND INFORMATION ATTACHED

MANITOBA‘S WORK ON BOREAL FOREST PROTECTION

Pimachiowin Aki UNESCO World Heritage Project

  • The world heritage project is a First Nations-led initiative, with support from the provinces of Manitoba and Ontario.
  • In 2004, the federal government added Pimachiowin Aki to its short-list of 10 potential UNESCO sites after a review of 125 sites submitted by provincial and territorial governments across Canada.
  • The 40,000-square-kilometre area includes the traditional territories of four First Nations, as well as Atikaki Provincial Park in Manitoba and Woodland Caribou Provincial Park in Ontario.

Community-based Land-use Planning

  • Earlier this year, Manitoba passed the East Side Traditional Lands Planning and Special Protected Areas Act.  The act recognizes First Nations traditional land-use areas on the east side of Lake Winnipeg, giving First Nations new tools to protect their lands on their terms.
  • Since 2001, Manitoba has engaged east side communities in land-use planning.  The East Side Planning Initiative resulted in the historic Wabanong Nakaygum Okimawin Accord, one of the most comprehensive traditional land-use planning frameworks in Canada.  The planning area now covers 42 per cent of Manitoba’s boreal forest.

Protection

  • Since 1999, Manitoba has permanently protected 871,000 hectares of land in parks, wildlife management areas and ecological reserves.  Two significant new protected areas were announced in the 2009 speech from the throne.
  • Earlier this year, Manitoba passed legislation banning logging in 79 of 80 provincial parks.

Woodland Caribou Strategy

  • In 2006, Manitoba launched a strategy to protect the woodland caribou.  The strategy was developed in co-operation with people from the Opaskwayak, Mosakahikan and Chemawawin Cree Nations, and the Brokenhead Objibway, Grand Rapids, Hollow Water, Black River and Sagkeeng First Nations as well as the Cormorant Resource Management Board that participated on local caribou committees in the northern and eastern regions.