Environment Canada

Environment Canada

November 20, 2009 13:54 ET

Government of Canada's Investment in Canadian Biosphere Reserves Celebrated in Milton

MILTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 20, 2009) - On behalf of Canada's Environment Minister Jim Prentice, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, Member of Parliament for Halton, joined representatives from the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve today to celebrate the recent announcement of funding to support Canada's Biosphere Reserves. The Government of Canada is providing $5 million in funding over five years to 14 of the 15 biosphere reserves in Canada and the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association. This funding will provide the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve with $285,000 over five years.

"This government is committed to conserving our biodiversity and to protecting the environment that in so many ways defines our nation and its people," said Minister Raitt. "With its rich forests, wetland complexes, cliff faces, slopes and aquatic ecosystems, this area contains more than 300 bird species, 53 mammals, 36 reptiles and amphibians, 90 fish and 100 varieties of special interest flora including 37 types of wild orchids."

"This funding commitment reflects the importance the Government of Canada places on protecting our rich biodiversity across the country," said Minister Prentice. "Canada's biosphere reserves are excellent examples of community-based initiatives that protect our natural environment while ensuring the continued growth of the local economy in an ecologically sustainable way."

"Investment in the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve is received with great appreciation," stated Moreen Miller, Chair of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve. "The federal government and Environment Canada are to be commended for their recognition of Canada's biosphere reserves as exceptional places and organizations to deliver on a wide range of sustainability initiatives."

The Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve was designated as a biosphere reserve in February 1990 by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization). The biosphere reserve area follows the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area, stretching 725 km from Lake Ontario, near Niagara Falls, to the tip of the Bruce Peninsula, between Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. It consists of the provincially adopted Niagara Escarpment Plan Area of 190,270 hectares including two national parks. The area covered by the Niagara Escarpment Plan is located within portions of eight counties or regions, which include 22 local municipalities.

Biosphere reserves are areas designated and recognized internationally by UNESCO for demonstrating practical approaches to balancing conservation and development. Biosphere reserves are comprised of one or more core protected areas, a buffer area in which activities compatible with conservation occur, and a large area of co-operation where sustainable resource management practices are promoted and developed. The world network consists of 553 biosphere reserves in 107 countries.

For more information and to view a backgrounder on this announcement, please visit: www.ec.gc.ca.

Egalement offert en francais

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Frederic Baril
    Press Secretary
    Environment Canada
    Media Relations