Roundtable discussions will to support key priorities of Canada's National Conservation Plan
OTTAWA, June 2, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, met with representatives from various sectors at the 2014 Minister's Round Table on Parks Canada. This year's meeting focussed on "Building Urban to Arctic Connections" and the themes of tourism and traditional economy.
Representatives were invited to contribute to these discussions, chaired by Minister Aglukkaq, with a goal to propose tangible collaborations and programs with Parks Canada in support of Canada's National Conservation Plan (NCP), recently announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
The NCP will provide a more coordinated approach to conservation efforts across the country with an emphasis on enabling Canadians to conserve and restore lands and waters in and around their communities, and making it easier for citizens living in cities to connect with nature. The NCP includes significant new investments over five years to secure ecologically sensitive lands, support voluntary conservation and restoration actions, and strengthen marine and coastal conservation. In addition, it will contain new initiatives designed to restore wetlands and to encourage Canadians to connect with nature close to home through protected areas and green spaces located in or near urban areas.
Canada's North is home to some of the world's most spectacular scenery, unique wildlife and pristine wilderness. Northern national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas are key natural, cultural, recreational and tourism assets and provide the setting for culture- or nature-based tourism activities as well as traditional activities, science/research and conservation. Parks Canada supports the objectives of Canada's National Conservation Plan by overseeing the protection and presentation of Canada's national parks and related heritage areas for current and future generations.
New initiatives discussed at the Minister's round table will see further collaboration with communities and partners to safeguard lands and share Canadians' cultural connections to the landscape. Growth and diversification of tourism in Parks Canada places, heritage promotion with urban partners, and building awareness and connections between the North and South will contribute to Canada's long-term prosperity.
- The Parks Canada Agency Act stipulates that, every two years, the Minister responsible for Parks Canada must convene a round table to provide feedback on its performance and to give direction for the coming two years. The Minister will respond within 180 days to any written recommendations submitted during a round table.
- The 2014 Minister's Round Table on Parks Canada is the seventh such round table convened by the Minister responsible for Parks Canada since 2001.
- Previous round tables have addressed topics such as heritage conservation, visitor experience, and inspiring Canadians and engaging youth to connect with our shared natural and cultural heritage.
"Our Government has made investing in and expanding opportunities at our National Parks a priority. Through the National Conservation Plan we are taking tangible cooperative actions to help connect Canadians with their environment. Today's roundtable supports the priorities of the National Conservation Plan as we have brought together a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss how we can take advantage of the tremendous tourism potential of our Northern Parks and to better establish the connection between urban Canada and the North. This also builds on our Government's recent tabling of legislation to formally protect Nááts'ihch'oh National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories."
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
"Earth Rangers is proud to be working with Parks Canada to connect our youth to Canada's natural world. Through our School Assembly Program, we take students on a journey through Canada's national parks, introducing them to a variety of native animals and historic sites. As a conservation organization dedicated to engaging children and families in environmental issues, we believe the work of Parks Canada and the objectives of the National Conservation Plan reflect our goal of protecting animals and their habitats and connecting families with their environment."
Peter Kendall, Executive Director, Earth Rangers
"Our spellbinding northern national parks provide us with unparalleled platforms for experiential education and serve as living windows to the past, present and future of the North. They are beacons of conservation and cultural heritage of Canada's North that help unite our nation from sea to sea to sea. I am thrilled to be collaborating with the Minister of the Environment and Parks Canada to help inspire and educate young Canadians by connecting them to nature, science, culture and history in our northern national parks."
Geoff Green, C.M., Founder, Students on Ice Foundation
"I am honoured to participate in Minister Aglukkaq's Round Table on Parks Canada. The Arctic is not only an essential part of our geographic inheritance, but our culture and identity. Parks Canada, through its magnificent system of northern national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas is responsible not only for preserving this spectacular patrimony for future generations of Canadians, but for all humanity. We must also never lose sight of the fact that Arctic Canada is the homeland of an ancient people, and that they derive from it not only culture and identify, but their livelihood."
John Geiger, CEO of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society
Parks Canada: www.parkscanada.gc.ca
Canada's National Conservation Plan: http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2014/05/15/national-conservation-plan
Earth Rangers: www.earthrangers.com
Students on Ice Foundation: www.studentsonice.com
The Royal Canadian Geographical Society: www.rcgs.org
SOURCE: Parks Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister of the Environment