Panel Makes Recommendations on Natural Resources

Department of Natural Resources

May 7, 2010 9:56 AM

Nova Scotia is another step closer to having a new strategy that will protect its natural resources, while supporting jobs and the economy.

Natural Resources Minister John MacDonell received a report today, May 7, that recommends how the province should manage its parks, minerals, forests and biodiversity.

The report, A Natural Balance: Working Toward Nova Scotia's Natural Resources Strategy, was prepared by the minister's steering panel, and gives direction to write a new strategy to manage natural resources. Forest policies will be developed by late summer, the rest of the strategy will be completed before the end of year.

In receiving the report, the minister said a new natural resources strategy supports government's commitment to make life better for Nova Scotians in every region.

"This report provides us with the evidence we need to develop a new strategy, one that will protect our natural resources for generations," said Mr. MacDonell. "The new strategy will ensure families can continue to enjoy our parks and trails, and our forests and minerals can continue to support and create good jobs and grow the economy."

The submission of the report completes the second phase of a three-phase process to develop a new natural resources strategy. The first phase incorporated information collected through public consultations held in 2008, and culminated in a report written by the Natural Resources Citizen Engagement Committee supported by Voluntary Planning. The final phase is writing the strategy.

"We have proposed a vision of a Nova Scotia in which healthy diverse natural resources are nurtured and sustained for the economic, environmental, and social benefit of all Nova Scotians today and in the future," said Constance Glube, steering panel chair. "We have asked Minister MacDonell to direct his department to use our report as the framework for the natural resources strategy document."

"It's time to define a new legislative relationship with nature," said Joe Marshall, steering panel member and executive director, Union of Nova Scotia Indians. "Hundreds of years ago, the Mi'kmaq were a nomadic people. Biodiversity was our lifestyle. But, now, Nova Scotia's biodiversity is at risk. Biodiversity needs an act, a home, and accountability within government."

Mr. MacDonell has asked the steering panel to review the forthcoming strategy to ensure it accurately reflects what was heard in the first two phases.

"As we write the strategy, the values of Nova Scotians will be become the touchstones for the department," said Mr. MacDonell. "When we implement our strategy, the five citizen values identified during phase one – sustainability, diversity, collaboration, transparency, and informed decision making – will guide department policy and program decisions in the future."

The report contains the advice of technical experts who spoke with dozens of stakeholders to closely examine the diverse issues concerning Nova Scotia's natural resources.

The report and information about the natural resources strategy is available on the Department of Natural Resources website, www.gov.ns.ca/natr .


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Nova Scotia is another step closer to having a new strategy

that will protect its natural resources, while supporting jobs

and the economy.

     Natural Resources Minister John MacDonell received a report

today (May 7th) that recommends how the province should manage

its parks, minerals, forests and biodiversity.

     The report was prepared by the minister's steering panel,

and gives direction to write a new strategy to manage natural

resources by late summer.

     Mr. MacDonell says the report provides us with the evidence

to develop a new strategy, one that will protect our natural

resources for generations.

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Media Contact: Dan Davis
              Natural Resources
              902-424-2354
              E-mail: davisdsj@gov.ns.ca