The Manicouagan-Uapishka Biosphere Reserve and Kruger to make a joint presentation at the World Congress of Biosphere Reserves



    BAIE-COMEAU, QC, Jan. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - The Manicouagan-Uapishka
Biosphere Reserve (MUBR) and Kruger have been invited to take part in the 3rd
World Congress of Biosphere Reserves, February 4-9, 2008 in Madrid, Spain.
Making a joint presentation, the two organizations will share the details of
their collaboration which led to the designation of this territory by the
United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO).
    The Manicouagan-Uapishka territory received the prestigious Biosphere
Reserve designation in September 2007. What sets the MUBR apart from the 528
other biosphere reserves found in 105 countries around the world is the close
collaboration among all the local stakeholders, including large private
companies in the forest, mining, energy and aluminium sectors. Elected
officials, environmental groups, economic development organizations, the
tourism industry, educational institutions, interest groups, citizens and
First Nations representatives all worked together to have their region
designated as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Involved since the very beginning
of the project, Kruger stood out by being proactive and demonstrating a strong
sense of partnership.

    An example to follow according to UNESCO

    UNESCO regards the close collaboration between the MUBR and Kruger as an
example to follow, both in Canada and around the world, so much so that the
organization decided to make it the topic of a round-table conference in
Madrid. This invitation is a great privilege since only about 15 Biosphere
Reserves out of a network of 529 have been given the opportunity to hold a
round table during this much-awaited Congress whose last edition took place in
1995.
    "Gaining private sector commitment remains a difficult challenge for
Biosphere Reserves around the world," pointed out David Walden,
Secretary-General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. "This experience in
Québec's North Shore region will allow the global Network of biosphere
reserves to examine mechanisms that will hopefully encourage the private
sector to adopt the principles of sustainable development and motivate them to
take concrete steps."
    "Private companies are sometimes considered a source of problems when it
comes to the environmental management of Biosphere Reserves. Kruger, on the
other hand, was involved with the project on a voluntary basis from the very
beginning and thus became part of the solution by contributing to research on
biodiversity, sharing knowledge, protecting landscapes and endangered species,
as well as valuing the local workforce," explained Jean-Philippe L. Messier,
Director of the MUBR. "Our collaborative approach has generated positive
results and continues to evolve with Kruger."
    "The principles of sustainable development are consistent with Kruger's
values. In fact we were the first Québec forestry company to take concrete
action for protected areas, more than five years ago," recalled Michel
Lessard, Vice President, Forestry and Sustainable Development at Kruger. Mr.
Lessard will take part in the Madrid event along with Marc St-Onge, a member
of the MUBR Board of Directors who was directly involved in developing the
partnership between the two organizations.
    Their presentation at the World Congress will address the interest,
involvement and actions of the private industry towards sustainable
development in the context of a Biosphere Reserve, more specifically the
experience between the MUBR and Kruger.
    To represent the MUBR, Messrs. Christian Bouchard, President, and
Jean-Philippe L. Messier, Director of the organization, will attend the Madrid
Congress whose objective is to take stock of the current Biosphere Reserves
Programme and to define perspectives for the five years ahead.

    About the Manicouagan-Uapishka Biosphere Reserve (MUBR)

    The MUBR aims to provide the region with a vision for its future based on
dialogue and focused on preserving the exceptional components of its
territory, promoting region-wide sustainable development and reinforcing local
skills and knowledge, as well as nurturing a sense of belonging to the
territory.
    Covering an area of 54,800 km2, the MUBR is the largest territory
designated by UNESCO in Canada where there are 15 Biosphere Reserves in total
- four of which are in Québec. Located between Betsiamites and Trinity Bay,
Manicouagan-Uapishka spans from the St. Lawrence River in the south to the
Manicouagan Crater in the north. It comprises the Monts Groulx (Uapishka)
mountains, the René-Levasseur Island, nine hydro-electric installations,
including the Daniel-Johnson Dam, and the City of Baie-Comeau. It has several
particular geographic, human and natural features, some of which are unique.
(www.rmbmu.com)

    About Kruger

    Founded in 1904, Kruger Inc. is a major producer of publication papers,
tissue, lumber and other wood products, corrugated cartons from recycled
fibers, green and renewable energy and wines and spirits. The Company is also
a leader in paper and paperboard recycling in North America. Kruger operates
facilities in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and
Labrador, in the United States and the United Kingdom and has 9,000 employees.
(www.kruger.com)

    About the Canadian Commission for UNESCO

    The Canadian Commission for UNESCO acts as a forum for governments and
civil society, and to mobilize the participation of Canadian organizations and
committed individuals in UNESCO's mandated areas: education, natural and
social sciences, culture and communication and information. The United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is the only member
of the United Nations System to have National Commissions performing this role
in its Member States. (www.unesco.ca)


    MAP OF THE TERRITORY AND PHOTOS ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST




For further information:

For further information: Jean-Philippe L. Messier, Director  Manicouagan
- Uapishka Biosphere Reserve, (418) 293-2548, jpmessier@globetrotter.net,
www.rmbmu.com; N.B. : Mr. Messier will be available for phone interviews
Januray 29 and 30. He may be reached by email afterwards.; Jean Majeau, Vice
President, Corporate Affairs, Kruger Inc., (514) 343-3213, 
jmajeau@kruger.com, www.kruger.com; Alysouk Lynhiavu, Public Affairs Officer,
Canadian Commission for UNESCO, (613) 566-4326 or 1-800-263-5588, ext. 4532,
alysouk.lynhiavu@unesco.ca, www.unesco.ca


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