Abandoned claims are step in the right direction for George River caribou herd and resolving Labrador land use plan conflict
GOOSE BAY, NL, Aug. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) applauds the decision by Altius Minerals and Cliffs Natural Resources to abandon controversial mineral claims in northern Labrador. The controversial claims are located in the heart of the calving grounds of the George River caribou herd, in an area that the Nunatsiavut Government expressly indicated should be protected from any development.
"The move by Altius and Cliffs is a clear response to Nunatsiavut's land use planning recommendations, and the impact of risk on both companies' bottom lines," said Valérie Courtois, Senior Advisor for Aboriginal Relations for CBI. "Resource development must respect Aboriginal interests, and land use plans are the best way to clarify what areas should be protected for wildlife and what areas are suitable for industry. Cliffs and Altius should be applauded for doing the right thing."
The Nunatsiavut Government has taken the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to court over the province's delay in finalizing the long-awaited land use plan. The plan proposes a majority of the land open to development, but also includes important ecological protections for the coast, the Iron Strand, and importantly the calving grounds of the George River Caribou herd.
Nunatsiavut, along with the Innu Nation, Nunatukavut, and a number of Quebec Aboriginal nations recently formed the Ungava Peninsula Caribou Aboriginal Round Table. The round table has called for the full protection of the George River caribou herd calving grounds, and endorsed the land use plan for the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. While the exploration claims held by Altius and Cliffs have been abandoned, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador continues to allow claim staking in the area.
About the Canadian Boreal Initiative
The Canadian Boreal Initiative brings together diverse partners to create new solutions for Boreal Forest conservation and acts as a catalyst for on-the-ground efforts across the Boreal Forest by governments, industry, Aboriginal communities, conservation groups, major retailers, financial institutions, and scientists.
SOURCE Canadian Boreal InitiativeFor further information:
Valérie Courtois, Canadian Boreal Initiative