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Do you ever stumble across a blue “protected natural area” sign when you are hiking in the woods? I do. And I always wonder what protected area I’m in. And whether I’m entering it, or leaving it.

So, what on earth is a protected area? Protected areas are preserves for nature and wildlife habitat. People can use them for recreation, like hiking, and, in most protected areas in NB, for fishing and hunting too. Industrial activities like forestry and mining are not allowed.

In New Brunswick, 4.7% of the land is currently protected areas. 4.7% sounds pretty good - until you take into account the fact that Canada has signed the international Convention on Biological Diversity and is committed to protecting 17% by 2020. Hmmm, that’s only 3 years away. And how do we stack up against the other provinces? Well, we are second to last, with only PEI trailing behind us.

To learn some tips from other provinces, three were invited to a workshop last February. Of the three, Alberta is in the lead with an impressive 14.4% of its land protected, Nova Scotia next with 12.16% and Quebec has 9.16%. New Brunswick is similar to Nova Scotia, about the same size and about half of the province is Crown land. Surely with all this Crown land in NB we can do our fair share to preserve nature and wildlife habitat for future generations. If they can do it Nova Scotia, we can too!

At the protected areas workshop, participants from conservation groups, universities, First Nations, government, municipalities and business generated new ideas to get New Brunswick to the international benchmark. Read the report of the workshop to find out more! Tell us what you think!

   

 
 © 2018 NBEN / RENB