The Manitoba government has opened the Conservation Trust program to receive proposals for projects that would conserve and enhance natural infrastructure in the province.

“When we launched the Conservation Trust, we envisioned a partnership that would support projects aimed at preserving nature and addressing climate change,” said Manitoba’s Sustainable Development Minister, Rochelle Squires.  “One of the key pillars of our climate and green plan is a commitment to nature, and the Conservation Trust signals our continued efforts to protect the environment.”

The Conservation Trust was announced in Budget 2018 and will be permanently endowed so it can support conservation projects well into the future. It was designed with the intent that when the project is fully capitalized, the fund is expected to generate about $5 million a year and will be managed by The Winnipeg Foundation, with projects administered, tracked, and evaluated by the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC). The agreement was signed yesterday, with an initial $28-million contribution made towards the $102-million trust.

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“This $28-million contribution is a welcome first step toward the goal of building a major trust, supporting important conservation projects in our province,” said Rick Frost, CEO of The Winnipeg Foundation.

Minister Squires stated that the goal of the trust is to work with community groups and non-government organizations to increase the effectiveness of Manitoba’s efforts and have a large impact at the grassroots level.

“The Conservation Trust will offer new funding for Manitoba conservation organizations and that will translate into new projects and additional environmental benefits for Manitobans,” said Tim Sopuck, CEO of the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation. “The Conservation Trust is a unique and enduring approach to funding conservation and we are excited by the opportunity to ensure the best possible environmental outcomes.”

More information on the Conservation Trust and the proposal process is available on the MHHC website at www.mhhc.mb.ca. Letters of intent must be submitted by January 15th, 2019, to be considered in the first round of proposals.

Banner image credit: Tony Webster

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