Victoria

Victoria

Case Study by: Austin Perez Victoria, the capital city of the province of British Columbia, is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off of the western coast of Canada. The Victoria region, known as the Capital Regional District (CRD), has a population of 375,000 people, making it the 15th most populous metropolitan area in Canada. The region is well known for its beautiful architecture with a distinct British influence reminiscent of the Victorian era, and is renowned for its lush gardens and green spaces scattered all over the region. With its dense forests, picturesque coastline, and abundant greenery, the CRD is highly regarded for its natural beauty. Like a growing number of other regions around the world, the CRD places a major emphasis on promoting sustainability, ecological integrity, and the conservation of its natural environment. However, the CRD has gone above and beyond the norm in developing its regional conservation strategy by creating a unique policy that features an extraordinary commitment to examining the application of the Nature Needs Half vision by promoting ecological connectivity and striving to manage at least half of the region’s land and water base for the conservation of nature. Victoria City View © Ron Niebrugge The CRD has developed a policy entitled the Regional Parks Strategic Plan for 2012-2021 (RPSP), which is a management strategy for the region’s parks and trails for the next ten years. The RPSP and its budget have now been formally approved by the CRD Board of Directors and placed into effect, giving the CRD a unique and progressive policy that emphasizes connectivity and ecosystem health in a...
Saving space for a threatened species in Boulder, CO

Saving space for a threatened species in Boulder, CO

This is the 2nd out of 5 proposed case studies on Boulder, Colorado produced by multimedia journalist Morgan Heim. Boulder is a leading example of the Nature Needs Half vision with 68% of the county’s land protected. The northern leopard frog is a rare find any more in the American West, but in Boulder, a conservation ethic, on par with the concept of Nature Needs Half, has protected crucial habitat that allows these frogs to still survive. Join Morgan as she ventures out with biologist and frog wrangler Christine Prah in search of these elusive and threatened little frogs. > Read the Boulder case study & watch the Conservation Legacy video Saving Space for the Little Things | Nature Needs Half from The WILD Foundation on...
Plan Nord

Plan Nord

In August of 2011, the Quebec government said it plans “to dedicate 50% of the territory of the Plan Nord to protecting the environment, safeguarding biodiversity and developing the natural heritage, as well as to various types of development that do not rely on industrial activities.” And, they committed to a public comment period to get feedback. In case you’re unfamiliar with northern Quebec….that’s A LOT OF LAND!  Here’s a map of what that looks like: A few quick facts about Quebec’s North * Located above the 49th parallel, the total area of the Plan Nord is 1,200,000 sq km, which represents 72% of the province; * 26% of the land is already in dedicated to industry, forestry, mining exploration and energy, mainly hydro-electric; * 9.15 % of the north is already protected through various designations; * 4 aboriginal nations live there: the Crees, the Inuit, the Naskapi and the Innu; * The north is entirely covered in Boreal Zone, which includes the forest blanket, the Taiga and the Tundra areas; * Quebec Boreal forest blanket represents a quarter of Canada’s remaining boreal ecosystem and covers half a million km2; * The Boreal Zone are globally important because of their unique ecosystem traits and their role in storing carbon; and, * Areas North of the 49th parallel have world-class tourism potential for development. The Plan Nord is also, a sustainable development plan, as the Quebec government is not only committed to protect 50% of the land; it is also working on finding a balance with economic development base on natural resource exploitation. At the moment: * Nearly 160,000 mineral...
Boulder, Colorado

Boulder, Colorado

Nature Needs Half™ in Boulder. With 68 percent of its land protected, Boulder County is the epitome of a Nature Needs Half™ town. But what does that mean for the people and wildlife that live there? It means coexisting with 500 species of animals and a cornucopia of environments. Picture open prairies, deep forests, snow-capped mountains and roughly 230 miles of trails. It means being able to walk out your door and up to a stand of trees that has survived since the last ice age, or catching a glimpse of a rare butterfly whose life depends on a single type of flower. More than that, Nature Needs Half™ is in the air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat. It’s what makes Boulder the kind of place where you want to live, whether you’re a marathoner, a mother of four, or a burrowing owl nesting down in that perfect prairie dog hole. After you watch Boulder’s story, think about what Nature Needs Half™ could mean for your town. A Conservation Legacy With more protected open space than developed land, Boulder boasts more than 230 miles of recreational trails, challenging climbs to 14,000-foot summits, and the opportunity to witness rare orchids and other charismatic wildlife. But when you hike to your favorite lookout and soak in that stunning view, do you ever stop to wonder how we came to have so much? Ruth Wright, a pioneer and lifelong advocate for Boulder nature, shares her story of the progressive thinking and innovations that led to a county that’s 68 percent wild, and discusses what’s still at stake....
Canada: Over a Decade of Work

Canada: Over a Decade of Work

“Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the recent surge in wilderness protection in Canada has been a fairly broad public consensus that landscape conservation at a major scale needs to be implemented,” Harvey Locke, International Journal of Wilderness, April 2009 Since early 2000, Canada has recognized the importance of protected at least half and is actively working to reach this goal. Collaborative efforts between government, First Nations, environmental groups and responsible corporations have rallied for the protection of nature and have had many successes, outlined below. Conservation groups, scientists, various governments and civil society aligning their visions In 2003, the Boreal Conservation Framework was signed by a variety First Nations, resource companies, and conservation groups. Its goal is to protect at least 50% of the boreal forest and ensure that world-class standards are applied to extractive activities on the rest. This was based on the best scientific information available about what truly effective conservation would require. The boreal forest represents over 60% of the land mass in Canada. In 2005, The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Canada’s leading wilderness conservation group confirmed its national conservation vision for Canada’s Wilderness calling for the protection of at least 50% of Canada’s wilderness lands, seas and fresh water bodies. In May 2007, more than 1,500 scientists from around the world endorsed the Boreal Conservation Framework’s vision of protecting at least half of the boreal ecosystem in Canada in an interconnected way. Scientists helped to define the map to success by highlighting the focus on: Representing all native ecosystem types in a system of protected areas Maintaining viable populations of all native...
Dehcho First Nations

Dehcho First Nations

A plan to protect at least half The Dehcho is an area of 220,000 sq km located in the Northwest Territories of Canada on the Mackenzie (Deh Cho) River, an area of boreal forest and mountains that are larger than many countries. The Dehcho First Nations are Dene people who have occupied their homeland for time immemorial. Some elders were born on the land and our Slavey language is still spoken. Traditional harvesting activity remains an important economic and cultural pursuit. There is great pressure for industrial development including a major gas pipeline and mining activity. The land is of paramount importance to our people. We have rights protected under section 35 of Canada’s Constitution Act and are engaged in a process with the Government of Canada that addresses the future of our land that will result in a Treaty. Our wilderness conservation efforts began with a traditional areas mapping exercise in which we consulted our people on the areas that were important to their traditional use. We then had that material digitized using western science. The resulting map showed core areas and connecting corridors which we wish to conserve for our people’s traditional use and the protection of the land. We then negotiated with Canada for that area to be withdrawn from further industrial dispositions during our process. We are looking at a variety of legal instruments for permanent protection including working with Parks Canada to have the entire South Nahanni watershed and Ram Plateau (an area of 36,000 sq km.) protected as an expanded national park under Canada’s National Parks Act which we would jointly manage. This...
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