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Protected Areas Forum

Above Photo: Islands on the Eagle © Valerie Courtois, Friends of the Eagle River

On May 13, 2015, a one-day forum on protected areas was held in St. John’s. This is arguably the first time in ten years such a forum was held. The event was organized by the Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS-NL) and Nature Newfoundland and Labrador (Nature NL). The day was well attended with 47 people.

Eight major issues were identified:

  1. More focus is needed on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and issues.
  2. There is no natural areas system plan.
  3. Protected areas are not connected.
  4. We lack a park/reserve interpretation/education program.
  5. There is no comprehensive land use plan.
  6. There is not enough PA management and enforcement.
  7. More local stewardship is needed.
  8. We need more forums like this in the future.

The protected areas forum provided an ambitious list of action items which included:

  • Provincial government becoming more involved in MPAs – and engaging the provincial government
  • Work with local communities, letter as initial outreach, building
    relationships within towns (esp. where there is a potential MPA)
  • Have a press conference/release with Protected Areas coalition
  • Engage outfitters and adventure tourism, fracking awareness groups
  • Social media presence
  • Urge management of land use between and outside protected areas so as to be compatible with wildlife
  • Establishing nature and marine classrooms – linking to curriculum outcomes
  • NL outdoor educators – consult to identify new interpretative models
  • More local examples in curriculum
  • Lobby premier to produce land use planning act
  • Use municipal route for land use planning at local level
  • Adequate funding
  • Community enforcement
  • CPAWS Protected Areas Steward program

Click here to view the Report of the First Newfoundland and Labrador Protected Areas Forum.