WINNIPEG, Jan. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) congratulates the Pauingassi First Nation, Little Grand Rapids First Nation, and the Government of Manitoba for their leadership and vision in protecting a combined area almost the size of Prince Edward Island through the approval of two precedent-setting First Nations Land Management Plans. This significantly strengthens the bid to UNESCO to create the Pimachiowin Aki World Heritage Site and takes it one step closer to reality.
The Land of Fair Wind and Ni-Kes plans, through a First Nations planning partnership with the Government of Manitoba, cover an area of 7,862 square kilometres of land and its cultural and traditional values, while creating space for sustainable economic development. These plans help deliver on Boreal-related commitments in Manitoba's Green Plan announced in 2012, TomorrowNow.
"We commend the governments of Pauingassi, Little Grand Rapids and Manitoba for working in partnership in developing land management plans that will help to achieve the vision of the Aboriginal elders," said Alan Young, CBI's Executive Director. "Through a balance of protection, stewardship, and economic development across their traditional lands, these plans are a roadmap for sustainability into the future."
"Manitoba is stepping up to show global leadership by following through on their commitments to join Aboriginal communities in land-use planning on their traditional territories," said Shaunna Morgan Siegers, CBI's Regional Advisor in Manitoba. "The work between Manitoba and the First Nations in the Pimachiowin Aki partnership is proof positive that governments can work respectfully with Indigenous peoples to create land management plans that will secure habitat for wildlife and the certainty that industry needs for development."
The combined boreal protected areas included in the Land of Fair Wind and Ni-Kes Lands Management Plans are 5,490 square kilometres - an area nearly equivalent to Prince Edward Island - and boast a combined 76% protection of their traditional land areas.
Boreal forests store more carbon than any other terrestrial ecosystem on earth. Manitoba is in the heartland of Canada's boreal reserves, and there are about 50 aboriginal communities living within Manitoba's boreal region.
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