Protected Areas Forum
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:
- More focus is needed on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and issues.
- There is no natural areas system plan.
- Protected areas are not connected.
- We lack a park/reserve interpretation/education program.
- There is no comprehensive land use plan.
- There is not enough PA management and enforcement.
- More local stewardship is needed.
- 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