This article was originally uploaded on The Winnipeg Free Press
The federal byelections in Manitoba this week were a great trial run for the provincial election on Oct. 3.
I was heartened to see so many candidates from Winnipeg South Centre commit to working with the Manitoba government to achieve an action plan to protect 30 per cent of Manitoba’s lands and waters by 2030. This is in line with the views of 91 per cent of Manitobans, according to a recent poll.
Canada joined 195 countries in a 2022 commitment to protect 30 per cent of our lands and waters by 2030. To achieve this 30 per cent conservation target, we need ambitious and co-operative leadership at all levels of government. No single level of government can do it alone, so federal MPs must work with provincial, municipal and Indigenous leaders.
The science is clear: without protecting nature worldwide, humans won’t be able to adapt to the climate change impacting us now. Scientists have issued repeated warnings that our planet is embroiled in extinction and climate crises. We must act now to conserve at least 30 per cent of the world’s land and water to curb biodiversity loss, tackle climate change, prevent future pandemics and sustain low-carbon economic prosperity.
Manitoba is blessed with an abundance of natural resources and we need to develop a plan that will balance conservation and sustainable developments. Otherwise the fresh water that we rely on for our survival will continue to be threatened and imperilled species such as caribou and our treasured polar bears will continue to decline.
That’s why Manitobans need to call on political parties and candidates in the upcoming provincial election to commit to developing an action plan that will protect 30 per cent of Manitoba’s lands and waters by 2030. All parties will be judged on this metric as anything less will be considered a failure to secure the health and well-being of Manitoba’s people and wildlife.
Executive Director, Manitoba Chapter, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society