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Manitoba Premier announces Boreal peatlands strategy and new protected areas

The Manitoba government has announced its precedent setting Boreal Peatlands Steward Strategy. According to Premier Selinger, "Manitoba will be a leader in the preservation of boreal peatlands with a new stewardship strategy that will be developed in co-operation with stakeholders and leading climate-change non-governmental agencies."

“CPAWS has been encouraging the province to include large-scale boreal protection in its climate change strategy for years. We look forward to working with the province to develop the strategy so it leads to tangible outcomes on the landscape. CPAWS is asking the province to announce a commitment to work with First Nations and all Manitobans to protect more than half of our Boreal Region from industrial developments along with best practices on the remaining landscape..” says CPAWS Manitoba executive director Ron Thiessen.

“As Manitoba’s announcement of a Boreal Peatlands Stewardship Strategy is the first of its kind, we are delighted that the province will be encouraging other jurisdictions to follow suit,” adds CPAWS national executive director Eric Hebert Daly. Premier Selinger said, "We believe strongly in the role forests play in our fight against climate change and will continue to advocate nationally and internationally to ensure boreal forests are an important part of any climate change strategy."

As part of the announcement, the province also announced almost 4000 square kilometers of new protected areas in Manitoba’s boreal region. "Kaskatamagan Wildlife Management Area is 259,530 hectares and is home to the western Hudson Bay sub-population of polar bears from July to November and caribou in the summer.  The Kaskatamagan Sipi WMA protects 133,820 hectares of wilderness in the boreal Arctic tundra transition zone and is recognized as a globally significant bird area."