House of Assembly passes unanimous resolution for more protected areas

  • Published on May 23 2017 |
  • This article is tagged as: PA, NASP

House of Assembly passes unanimous resolution for more protected areas

St. John’s – On May 10th, the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly passed a private member’s resolution in support of the provincial government establishing more protected areas.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS-NL) is encouraged that there was unanimous support for this resolution and we look forward to the public release of the Natural Areas System Plan (NASP).

“We are pleased that the House of Assembly took the time to debate this important resolution,” says Suzanne Dooley, Co-Executive Director of CPAWS-NL. “The province has a long way to go to catch up, so this is an encouraging sign that progress could soon happen.”

The NASP is a long-promised system of protected areas for Newfoundland and Labrador, but something which has never been finalized or made public. The current Minister responsible for the implementation of the NASP has clear guidance from the Premier’s Office to publicly-release this long overdue system of protected areas, and now also has all-party support from the House of Assembly as well.

“There is no shortage of spectacular ecosystems and wildlife in need of protection,” says Chris Miller, National Conservation Biologist for CPAWS. “We look forward to the protection of ecologically significant sites, containing important biodiversity, large intact forests, representative landscapes, and species-at-risk habitat.”

CPAWS-NL congratulates the House of Assembly for approving this important resolution. We note that much of the two hour debate on this resolution talked about the important linkages between protecting the environment and supporting local economic development.

Here is the specific wording of the resolution that was approved unanimously:

WHEREAS Newfoundland and Labrador has a spectacular range of biodiversity in need of protection;

AND WHEREAS just 4.6 per cent of our provincial land mass is currently protected, which is just half of the overall Canadian average;

AND WHEREAS a well-governed, scientifically-based system for designating protected areas has the potential to benefit our environment, our economy and our research endeavors;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable House supports the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador designating more protected areas in our Province”.