News Release Archive

Natural Resources Minister Eleanor Norrie took issue today with
the rating given Nova Scotia by a World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
report on protected areas and endangered spaces. Following are
her comments:

The World Wildlife Fund has taken a harsh and unrealistic
position in downgrading Nova Scotia's protected areas initiative.
It throws the whole WWF rating system into question.

Last year, the WWF gave Nova Scotia an A. This year, after we
made real progress that resulted in a protected areas strategy,
management guidelines, an action plan, a commitment for
legislation this fall, and a net increase of 4,000 hectares in
the total area protected, the WWF gives Nova Scotia a C-minus.

Therefore, I take serious issue with the credibility of the WWF
rating system.

The C-minus assessed by the WWF is not an accurate reflection of
the real and substantial progress Nova Scotia has made in the
protected areas program, especially when compared with other

It fails to take into account that, since last year, we have
produced and introduced:

a) a comprehensive protected areas strategy to protect 291,000
   hectares of public land;

b) an action plan to implement the strategy over the next three
   years, and

c) interim management guidelines to ensure protection of 30 sites
   until protected areas legislation and individual management
   plans are in place.

While penalizing the province for removing one candidate site,
the World Wildlife Fund gave us virtually no credit for adding
5,500 hectares to the Tobeatic protected site, which resulted in
a net gain in the whole protected areas system of some 4,000

By the WWF's own yardstick, Nova Scotia still ranks third in all
of Canada with respect to the percentage of land under

The 30 sites that comprise the 291,000 hectares of land protected
under the new strategy represent nearly 20 per cent of the
provincial Crown land in Nova Scotia. This, plus federal parks
and protected sites, means that nearly 28 per cent of all federal
and provincial public land in Nova Scotia is under protection.

In a province where more than 70 per cent of the land is
privately owned, it is remarkable that such a high percentage of
public land is protected.

It is regrettable that in a year when some very real progress has
been made in our protected areas program, the World Wildlife Fund
has failed to give Nova Scotia due credit and recognition.

I find this completely unacceptable and I reject the WWF


Contact: Blain Henshaw
         Natural Resources

trp                    Apr. 29, 1997 - 2:20 p.m.