Received From Nature NS* today (July 3, 2021):
*Nature Nova Scotia is a federation of natural history societies and other environmental groups in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotians have a unique opportunity to affect the future of our forests through provincial policy. Until July 26th, government is taking comments on the Sustainable Development Goals Act and Climate Plan for Clean Growth. You can participate in live consultations and discussion sessions or write to partners at Clean Foundation to contribute your thoughts.
In its current form, the Sustainable Development Goals Act contains very few goals related to biodiversity conservation or sustainable forestry. The Climate Plan for Clean Growth is also lacking in clear objectives that would benefit Nova Scotia’s forests and the industries that depend on them. We invite you to speak up for our forests by recommending government add the following goals to the Sustainable Development Goals Act and clarify what they mean by “managing forests” in the Climate Plan for Clean Growth.
1) The Nova Scotia government commit to fully implementing ecological forestry on public (Crown) lands in legislation by 2023. The Nova Scotia government has completed several reviews of forestry practices occurring in our province, many of which (like the latest in the Lahey Report) called for an end to clear-cutting and other practices that hurt our natural environment and cut short the full economic benefits of our forests. To date, however, little has been done to implement these recommendations.
2) The SDGA include the expansion of the protected areas network to at least 17% of Nova Scotia’s landmass by 2025 and 20% by 2030. Delays to implement sustainable forestry to date have resulted in the conversion of previously diverse crown forests to low diversity, low age class, and plantation style working woods. Crown lands should be protected while incentives are put in place to encourage private landowners to implement their own sustainable forestry practices.
3) Government clarify exactly how they plan to “manage forests to be a carbon sink” and what role forest protection will play in achieving this action, in the CPCG.
4) Government improve transparency in decision-making that affects biodiversity and forestry in Nova Scotia, by expanding existing roundtables and other advisory groups to include more non-profit partners, members of underrepresented communities, and Nova Scotian youth. The Minister’s Round Table on Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity, for example, does not include any representatives from the naturalist, youth, or Mi’kmaw communities, and this should change.
Use the mailer at www.naturens.ca or use our suggestions as a stepping stone to sending your own letter, to firstname.lastname@example.org