Manitoba commits to ensure the health and prosperity of its boreal forests

OTTAWA, June 15, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) congratulates the Government of Manitoba on commitments to work with First Nations, northern communities and stakeholders to conserve and sustainably develop the province's boreal region.

The Province's boreal commitments are a central platform of Manitoba's new Green Plan, unveiled in Winnipeg today by Premier Greg Selinger and Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Macintosh.

"We applaud Manitoba's recognition that its Boreal commitments here can only proceed through Aboriginal partnerships and engagement," said Shaunna Morgan, Regional Director of CBI. "We look forward to supporting this important work."

The proposed Green Plan also includes commitments to continue to advance the proposed UNESCO Pimachiowin Aki World Heritage Site, to innovative forest management, to create 15 more protected areas, a woodland caribou conservation strategy and to advancing a provincial peatlands strategy.

"Manitoba is showing real leadership to wisely steward its boreal forests which are part of the most intact forested area in the world," said CBI's Executive Director Alan Young. "As Manitoba heads to the global meeting on sustainable development in Rio, it's important to note that Canada's boreal has carbon reserves twice that of tropical rainforests, so its role to buffer climate change is very real."

Manitoba's boreal region covers nearly 600,000 square kilometres. Canada's boreal region contains one-quarter of the world's remaining original forests and huge expanses of wetlands. It is home to a vast array of wildlife, including migratory songbirds, waterfowl, bears, and caribou. The region's natural wealth sustains hundreds of First Nations and supports thousands of jobs.

The Canadian Boreal Initiative is an initiative of the Pew Environment Group and Ducks Unlimited Canada. It brings together diverse partners to create new solutions for Boreal conservation and sustainable development. It acts as a catalyst for on-the-ground efforts across the Boreal Forest region 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, sfraser@borealcanada.ca

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