Parks Canada

Parks Canada

November 25, 2010 16:00 ET

WWF-Canada Nominates Parks Canada for Prestigious International Award

BANFF, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Nov. 25, 2010) - The recent dramatic growth of Canada's national park system has earned Parks Canada a prestigious Gift to the Earth Award nomination by World Wildlife Fund-Canada. Darcy Dobell, Pacific Region vice-president for WWF-Canada, presented the nomination to Parks Canada today at the celebration of the 125th birthday of Banff, Canada's first national park. 

"Canada's national park system has seen unprecedented growth in the past few years. It is a true honour to be recognized by WWF-Canada for this amazing conservation achievement," said Canada's Environment Minister John Baird, from Ottawa. "Canada's world-class national park system is without a doubt Canada's gift to the world and to future generations, and I'm pleased to receive this nomination on behalf of the people of Canada."

Gifts to the Earth are recognized by WWF's world headquarters in Geneva, spotlighting outstanding demonstrations of environmental leadership and globally significant contributions to the protection of the living world. Each "Gift" represents an important success for one or more of WWF global priorities.

"We are pleased to nominate Parks Canada for WWF's Gift to the Earth," said Gerald Butts, President and CEO of WWF-Canada. "As WWF's highest accolade, this recognizes Parks Canada's many significant conservation achievements, including its globally significant track record in creating protected areas and reintroducing endangered species. We are proud to work with Parks Canada and look forward to the next 100 years of Parks Canada conservation efforts."

The Parks Canada system has tremendous growth momentum. In the first hundred years of the system, Canada set aside about 277,000 km2 of lands and waters. In the past four years alone, the government has taken steps that will add nearly 90,000 km2 to the existing lands and waters administered by Parks Canada - a 30 percent increase. Among this growth is the six-times expansion of Nahanni national park last year and the creation of the Lake Superior and Gwaii Haanas national marine conservation areas.

"The Gift to the Earth nomination is an incredible way to conclude an incredible year - the 125th anniversary of Canada's first national park, in Banff," said Parks Canada CEO Alan Latourelle. "It also sets the stage for another great Canadian celebration - Parks Canada's centennial in 2011, making it the first, and finest, national park service in the world."

For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at www.parkscanada.gc.ca under Media Room.

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