Earlier this week, the provincial government of New Brunswick (Canada) announced its plans to protect an additional 277,900 hectares of Crown land to reach its goal of protecting 10% of the province’s land and freshwater.
According to a release, this is the largest single expansion of protected areas in the province.
Natural Resources and Energy Development Minister Mike Holland highlighted that in 2020, the government committed to more than doubling New Brunswick’s protected natural areas.
Holland said they had achieved the goal of protecting lands in every region of the province, including important river systems, habitats, and forests.
Earlier this year, the government announced the first 100,000 hectares of Crown land to be protected under the Nature Legacy initiative.
“New Brunswick is home to more than 13,000 species, so creating a network of connected, protected areas is one of the most important things we can do to sustain our native biodiversity,” said Holland.
Holland added that the protection of land is a way to ensure that the landscape is resilient to climate change and will provide future generations with beautiful natural areas.
The press release highlighted that protected areas are lands and waters set aside to allow them to exist with minimal human interference. These areas provide important habitats to conserve the province’s biodiversity.
The government emphasized that while people can continue to enjoy outdoor recreation activities like hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting within an established protected area, industrial activities such as timber harvesting, mining, quarrying, and land development are restricted.
Funding for the initiative is possible through a four-year agreement between the provincial government and Environment and Climate Change Canada under the Canada Nature Fund. A partnership of leading conservation organizations, including the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Nature Trust of New Brunswick, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, the World Wildlife Fund, Nature NB, Ducks Unlimited, and the Fundy Biosphere Reserve contributed to the initiative’s success.
Featured image from the Government of New Brunswick.