Top conservation groups challenge party leaders to take N.B. from laggard to leader on nature, water protection

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FREDERICTON — New Brunswick’s leading conservation groups are asking party leaders what they will do to catch up to the rest of Canada on nature and water protection if they are elected Premier in the general election on Sept. 14.

Today, New Brunswick sits second-to-last in Canada on total protected land, at only 4.6 per cent. 

Past governments have committed to bring protected areas to 10 per cent by 2020, but no new protected areas have been announced publicly, and that will still leave 90 per cent of the province’s land open to commercial and industrial use, including forestry and mining. 

Nature NB, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society—NB Chapter, Conservation Council of New Brunswick and Nature Trust of New Brunswick are asking party leaders to define how they will meet the international and national land conservation targets of 25 per cent by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030, respectively.

The groups’ questionnaire also asks leaders if they will enact long overdue laws to protect water as called for in the provincial water protection strategy, and how they will protect wetlands, coastal habitats and healthy forests in order to give our communities greater resilience from flooding and extreme weather caused by climate change. 

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Who we are:

Nature NB is a provincial conservation organization comprised of a dozen naturalist clubs from across the province and hundreds of members. Our mission is to celebrate, conserve and protect New Brunswick’s natural heritage through education, networking and collaboration. Visit website.

 The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is New Brunswick’s provincial land trust, dedicated to conserving land, stewarding the ensuing nature preserves, and engaging the people of our province in conservation and stewardship work. We are a dynamic charitable organization that has established broad support in the province from a wide range of stakeholders, volunteers and donors, while protecting some outstanding natural sites. To date, the Nature Trust has conserved over 9,000 acres on 66 nature preserves, from pristine forests and shorelines, to coastal islands and wetlands, brimming with biodiversity including species at risk. Visit website

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – NB Chapter is part of the nation-wide charity CPAWS, with a mission to work with governments, Indigenous peoples and communities to protect more of Canada’s publicly managed lands and water – for the benefit of both wildlife and people. We work cooperatively with all parts of society to find solutions to nature conservation challenges and to connect people to the nature that supports us all. CPAWS-NB has led public campaigns that have resulted in over 150,000 hectares of new protected areas in New Brunswick. Visit website.

Conservation Council of New Brunswick established in 1969 and remains the province’s leading public advocate for environmental protection. A member of the UN’s Global 500 Roll of Honour, we work to find practical solutions to help families and citizens, educators, governments and businesses protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the precious marine ecosystem and the land, including the forest, that support us. Visit website.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Roberta Clowater, Executive Director, Canadian Parks and WIlderness Society – NB Chapter: rclowater@cpaws.org; 506-452-9902

Lois Corbett, Executive Director, Conservation Council of New Brunswick: lois.corbett@conservationcouncil.ca; 506-238-5292

Vanessa Roy-McDougall, Executive Director, Nature NB: executive.director@naturenb.ca; 506-459-4209

Renata Woodward, CEO, Nature Trust of New Brunswick: renata.woodward@ntnb.org; 506-261-1260