VANCOUVER — The Gwaii Haanas Gina ‘Waadluxan KilGuhlGa Land-Sea-People plan tabled in Parliament today and approved by the Council of the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada shows the way forward for managing co-governed protected areas in Canada, according to the David Suzuki Foundation.
The plan sets strategic direction for shared management and operation of Gwaii Haanas from mountaintop to sea floor and was approved by the Council of the Haida Nation, Parks Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “This plan is grounded in cooperation, a lot of hard work and a shared vision,” said David Suzuki Foundation senior research scientist Scott Wallace.
“We’re looking forward to helping move this plan forward so that future generations can benefit from the cultural and ecological values so unique to Gwaii Haanas. Strong leadership from both governments made this unique vision possible,” Wallace said.
Gwaii Haanas archipelago is in southern Haida Gwaii off B.C.’s north Pacific coast. The 5,000-square-kilometre protected area is known for Haida culture, diverse ecosystems, distinct wildlife and its cooperative management model that has operated for decades.
The plan outlines a vision for the future of Gwaii Haanas that recognizes land, sea and people are interconnected in one ecosystem. “In this region, Haida culture and nature come first,” Wallace said.
This is one of the first plans in Canada to demonstrate that integrated and adaptive management can lead to protection, restoration and ecologically sustainable uses of protected areas. What makes the efforts unique is the extraordinary level of coordination among resource managers and the governments they represent.
Gwaii Haanas is home to some of the world’s most productive ecosystems, on land and in the sea. A key priority of the plan is conserving the diversity of species, populations and communities, including their ability to adapt to climate change. This is achieved through responsible stewardship of the land and sea.
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