SUPPORTING A COALITION WORKING GROUP IN NORTHERN ALBERTACategory: 2015, Completed, Grant, Land Use, Major Project
Parks and protected areas are critical in ensuring that natural ecosystems and the biodiversity they sustain are preserved for future generations. Unfortunately, in Alberta, there are many gaps in landscape features and wildlife habitat in the existing parks network.
This project’s objective is to support the Northern Alberta Conservation Working Group (the “Working Group”) in developing and providing a scientifically-sound conservation plan directly to the Government of Alberta that will support the creation of new provincially protected conservation areas during the government’s Land Use Framework (“LUF”) regional planning processes in northwestern Alberta. The Working Group is a coalition of parties that brings together a broad range of conservation expertise in Alberta. Participants in the Working Group include seven environmental non-governmental organizations (“ENGOs”), eight academics from the University of Alberta, the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (“ABMI”) and Alberta Environment and Parks, among others. This grant will provide the Working Group with the capacity to conduct the geographic information systems (“GIS”) analyses necessary for the development of the conservation plan.
The LUF planning process is a significant opportunity for the province to create new provincially protected conservation areas, as demonstrated by the 12,000 km2 of new Wildland Provincial Parks designated as part the LUF Lower Athabasca Regional Plan. Thus, the intended audience for this project is the planning team at the government of Alberta’s Land Use Secretariat that is involved in pre-planning for the LUF regional planning processes. The development of a conservation plan for northwestern Alberta that has support from multiple groups across Alberta will help to ensure that science-based conservation planning principles are considered by the planning team during the government’s regional planning processes. It will also strengthen relationships between and among the government, ENGOs, and academics involved.