November 5, 2007

First-ever conservation blueprint highlights Atlantic region areas most in need of protection

New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are the focal areas of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC)'s new Conservation Blueprint for the Northern Appalachian/Acadian Ecoregion.

Six years in the making, the Blueprint is first comprehensive analysis of its kind. It will provide a solid scientific basis for determining natural areas of special concern that have not yet been protected through existing conservation measures. This will help NCC focus on the species and ecological communities of highest priority in the three Atlantic provinces.

The Blueprint also evaluates past and existing conservation efforts and the effectiveness of these efforts. The resulting gap analysis reveals biodiversity "hotspots," areas which have not yet been effectively protected and should be considered as part of land use, resource management and conservation planning processes.

The results of this project will be shared as widely as possible among conservation practitioners and decision-makers, with the goal of promoting co-operative approaches to biodiversity conservation in the Northern Appalachian/Acadian Ecoregion.

The document was developed by NCC in partnership with the three provincial governments, as well as Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline. "Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline is pleased to have supported this science driven approach to conservation," said Steve Rankin, the company's government and public relations manager.

New Brunswick Natural Resources Minister Donald Arseneault said the Blueprint "is a valuable tool that governments, organizations and individuals can use in planning and developing strategies to further protect New Brunswick's rich variety of plants, animals and ecosystems while supporting the region's sustainable development."

Mark Parent, Nova Scotia Minister of Environment and Labour, said, "Conserving Nova Scotia's biodiversity will help protect what sustains us so we will continue to enjoy clean water and air, an abundance of wildlife and places for recreation in Nova Scotia for generations to come."

PEI Minister of Environment, Energy and Forestry George Webster noted that "the Blueprint will help set priorities for the protection Prince Edward Island's rich variety of plants, animals and habitats, while supporting the region's sustainable development."

The non-profit NCC takes a business-like approach to land conservation and the preservation of biological diversity, working to build partnerships and entering into creative conservation projects with any individual, corporation, community group, conservation organization or government body that supports its goals. Since 1962, NCC and its supporters have protected nearly two million acres of ecologically significant land nationwide. More information ins available on the NCC Web site, www.natureconservancy.ca.

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