The Government of Manitoba hosted a boreal summit in the province’s north on February 17. The summit brought together Indigenous people, northern communities, industry, conservation organizations, and other interested groups to explore a shared vision of prosperity and sustainability for the boreal forests that cover a large portion of the province.

“To create a broad and well-balanced approach to the boreal region, we need to combine the strengths of traditional ecological knowledge, scientific research, integrated planning, data gathering, and monitoring,” said Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh prior to the summit. “We look forward to the boreal summit where so many views and ideas will be brought together to contribute to the future of our province.”

As the summit brought together stakeholders, the aim was to address issues of wildlife, forests, rivers, lakes, and wetlands that have an importance on the local, national, and international stage.

According to a Manitoba release, summit participants discussed items such as:

– ways to acquire current information, science, and other local knowledge and data;
– the coordination of existing and future planning, policy, and initiatives;
– collaboration for economic prosperity, northern jobs, and environmental health;
– organization of approaches to challenges, such as addressing issues with endangered species, ecological goods and services, as well as changing water management; and
– adaptation to climate change impacts and risks.

“The development of a meaningful and effective strategy for the north must include First Nation perspectives,” said Chief Ron Evans of Norway House Cree Nation. “I am pleased to see the inclusion of Aboriginal and First Nation participants in this summit. It is important that we share our teachings, values, knowledge, and experiences, all of which are critical to the protection and sustainability of our lands, waters, and resources.”

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