A coalition of Canadian environmental groups is not happy with the progress shown by British Columbia and the Canadian federal government on implementing U.N. World Heritage Committee recommendations for the protection of the Elk and Flathead valleys . . .
B.C. Government Ignores World Heritage Committee Recommendations for Flathead and Elk Valleys
The B.C. and federal governments have failed to act on World Heritage Committee recommendations aimed at protecting a globally-significant wildlife corridor that includes the Flathead River Valley, conservation groups said today.
“The World Heritage Committee was very clear about the need to secure this important connection for wildlife,” said Wildsight Executive Director John Bergenske. “Yet new mines are planned for the Elk Valley without a full cumulative effects analysis–at the same time as the Auditor General warns that B.C. is failing to protect biodiversity.”
In a report card released today, the third anniversary of the Flathead energy and mining ban announced in February 2010, conservation groups assess progress on five detailed recommendations made by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
The recommendations speak to the need for: a single conservation and wildlife management plan; prioritizing natural ecological values and wildlife conservation; a long-term moratorium on mining in southeastern B.C to ensure wildlife connectivity; improved coordination between the governments of B.C. and Montana, and; expanding Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park into part of the Flathead.
The report card concludes that the B.C. government has failed to comply with most of these key recommendations. It also points to a federally-owned coal block in the Flathead that is exempt from the B.C. ban on mining.
Continue reading . . .
The “Montana’s News Station” web site, which includes KPAX-TV in Missoula and KAJ in Kalispell, posted a short report on the planned World Heritage Committee investigation into threats to Waterton-Glacier Park . . .
International scientists will visit the Flathead Valley in the fall to investigate potential threats to Waterton Glacier International Peace Park from mining proposals in southern British Columbia.
Eleven environmental groups in the United States and Canada asked the World Heritage Committee to declare the world’s first peace park in danger.
Conservationists say the overall goal is not to have Waterton Glacier listed as in danger, but to work with Canada and British Columbia to develop a long term solution to protect the peace park.
Read the entire story . . .
In case you missed it on the read-through of the article linked in the previous post, Will Hammerquist of the NPCA and Ryland Nelson of Wildsight “…have established a new Web site, savewatertonglacier.com, and will be blogging from Spain throughout the weeklong meeting, in addition to posting pictures and video from the conference.” There’s already a fair bit of material up there, including an initial video made just prior to the World Heritage Committee opening ceremonies.
Here’s an excellent article — with video — that appeared in today’s Missoulian . . .
Glacier National Park and its neighbor to the north are endangered by mining proposals, and the international community must intervene to protect the region’s natural and cultural heritage.
That’s the message being delivered this week by tribal leaders, community organizers, business interests and conservationists, whose concerns will be aired at the 33rd annual meeting of the United Nations World Heritage Committee.
“Our petition,” said Will Hammerquist, “asks the World Heritage Committee to hear the concerns of local communities and indigenous peoples by recognizing the threat these projects pose to a globally significant ecosystem.”
Hammerquist works for the National Parks Conservation Association, which joined a dozen other groups in petitioning for the endangered status.
Read the entire article . . .