CPAWS Pushes for Large-scale Protection
Restoring Lake Winnipeg, curbing climate change, and protecting wildlife were part of the conversation as experts converged in Winnipeg on Feb. 28th to view Manitoba’s preliminary vision for a Boreal Peatlands Stewardship Strategy. As water filters, carbon stores, and vital habitat, peatlands have an important role to play in all of these pressing issues.
You may know peatlands as bogs, swamps, or muskeg. Their soils are thousands of years old, made up of decomposing water-logged and carbon-rich vegetation that’s at least 16 inches deep.
When we disturb our peatlands, they stop purifying and regulating the flow of water, release greenhouse gases, and affect wildlife habitat. As peatlands are increasingly drained for agriculture, forestry, and mining, the question of how to manage them is becoming more urgent.
“CPAWS’ key recommendation is that the strategy’s top objective be conserving a high percentage of Manitoba’s peatlands in large protected areas,” said Ron Thiessen, executive director of CPAWS’ Manitoba chapter.
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is pleased that Premier Selinger recently stated, “Manitoba will be a leader in the preservation of boreal peatlands with a new stewardship strategy that will be developed in co-operation with stakeholders and leading climate-change non-governmental agencies.”
CPAWS encourages Manitobans to watch for the draft Boreal Peatlands Stewardship Strategy that will soon be released for public comment. We hope you’ll join us in commending Premier Selinger for his commitment and encouraging him to ensure it leads to extensive peatlands conservation.
The upcoming Strategy is unprecedented. If it’s effective and successfully implemented, it will make our province a global leader in the protection of water, wildlife, and in addressing climate change.