To leaders in the 2018 provincial election:
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.
Below we have compiled a number of questions around issues that our members are particularly concerned about.
What will you do to increase New Brunswick’s current 4.6% protected land for conservation to the international and national target of 17%?
Nature is important to New Brunswickers, and yet the province has only 4.6 percent of its land protected for nature conservation purposes. More than 95% of the province’s land is used for commercial and industrial purposes. New Brunswick has a low-cost opportunity to be a global leader in achieving the Government of Canada and internationally adopted targets for nature conservation.
We need to develop and implement a New Brunswick strategy to achieve 17% protected lands for the province.
What will you do to protect wetlands, buffers along streams, rivers and floodplains as well as healthy forests to protect us from flooding due to the changing climate?
Wetlands, buffer zones along streams and rivers, floodplains, and healthy forests all play a role in reducing the risk of flood damage to infrastructure and homes. Coastal developments have harmed many coastal systems, and made them less resilient to sea level rise and other changes. Maintaining these ecosystems will increase our resilience to the impacts from a changing climate. The government has developed a flood risk reduction strategy, a climate change plan, a water strategy, but none of these have ever been implemented in regulations. In addition, while the municipalities Act and the Community Planning Acts have been updated, we are still waiting for Provincial Statements of Interest that will allow for strong, overarching policy statements aimed at increasing our resiliency.
We need to develop strong regulations around wetlands, buffer zones, and water to reduce risks from climate change, and put in place strong Provincial Statements of Interest to guide future land use management.
What will you do to protect and manage Mt. Carleton in a way that conserves this important area?
Mount Carleton Provincial Park is our only provincial wilderness park. There is no management plan in place, and we believe, as a wilderness park, Mt. Carleton needs to be managed primarily with nature conservation goals in mind, allowing only low impact activities. Developing a management plan for the park will ensure the conservation of nature in the long-term. This is a unique opportunity for New Brunswick to invest in what will become a widely-recognized wilderness park within the Appalachian forest.
We need to develop a management plan for Mt. Carleton Provincial Park that focuses on nature conservation and sustainable tourism as primary goals.
What will you do to implement the water strategy?
The province released a water strategy that includes the protection of all wetlands as important for water conservation and quality. No regulations have been developed so far to take the strategy beyond a policy document. The water strategy, if implemented in regulation, will provide clear direction as to protection for waters and wetlands in the province.
We need to develop strong regulations to support the water strategy’s goals, and to protect our water resources and wetlands.
On behalf of the Nature NB Board of Directors