Boreal World Heritage Site Nomination Celebrated

A Natural "Noah's Ark" Legacy for Future Generations

WINNIPEG, Jan. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) welcomes the official submission of the magnificent Pimachiowin Aki boreal region of Manitoba and Ontario as a candidate UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Extending from the East Side of Lake Winnipeg across the border into Ontario, the Pimachiowin Aki nominated area embraces the homelands of Bloodvein River, Little Grand Rapids, Pauingassi, Pikangikum and Poplar River First Nations and has sustained their diverse cultures for countless generations. The Atikaki Provincial Park in Manitoba and the Woodland Caribou Provincial Park in Ontario are also included in the nominated area.

"Pimachiowin Aki is so rich in life that it has been described by leading international scientists as one of the world's great remaining "Noah's Arks," noted CBI Executive Director Larry Innes.

"The CBI congratulates the First Nations whose people have lived in this region for millennia, their vision in bringing forward this proposal, and applauds their collaborations with the governments of Manitoba, Ontario and Canada," said Mr. Innes

"This is an excellent example of Canada's potential to lead the world in finding collaborative solutions for the protection and sustainable use of Canada's vast and globally important boreal forest. International recognition of Pimachiowin Aki as a World Heritage Site would be an important validation of this goal."

Pimachiowin Aki, which means "land that gives life," is an ecologically and culturally diverse 33,400 km2 boreal heartland. It is part of one of the largest unfragmented forest blocks on earth and supports a rich ecological community, including forest birds, mammals, freshwater fish and medicinal plants.

CBI was proud to support this nomination at today's commemorative event in Winnipeg, co-hosted by the Government of Manitoba and the Pimachiowin Aki Corporation.

There are more than 930 World Heritage Sites designated by UNESCO in 153 countries. These sites are recognized as globally significant for their outstanding cultural and natural values - places like Machu Picchu, Egypt's Pyramids and the Canadian Rockies. Canada has 15 World Heritage Sites. If added to the World Heritage List, Pimachiowin Aki will be the first World Heritage Site located in Manitoba, and the second listed in Ontario.

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 Initiative

For further information:

Suzanne Fraser, director of communications 
613 552 7277 or sfraser@borealcanada.ca

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