New report gives Nova Scotia “B” grade in protecting environment

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A new report has handed Nova Scotia a “B” grade for its work to protect the environment.

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society is out with its report card on the country’s progress to preserve 17% of its land and 10% of its ocean by the end of 2020.

The report says Nova Scotia has made “considerable progress” over the past decade to create new protected areas with about 200 sites receiving legal protection, while 24 sites are going through the public designation process. Over the past decade Nova Scotia has increased its total amount of protected land by about 50 per cent.

But the report adds the province has dragged its feet as most of the sites under its parks and protected areas plan were supposed to be officially designated by 2015.

Approximately 125 sites are protected only through interim policies, which the wilderness society says is preventing Nova Scotia from hitting more ambitious conservation targets.

The report also calls on the province to strengthen its legislation to prevent the delisting of protected areas without public debate, citing Owls Head Provincial Park Reserve as an example.

The society recommends the province prioritize Indigenous-led conservation and invest in Indigenous Guardians programs.

Nova Scotia received one of the top three grades for the country. Quebec was awarded an A- and the Northwest Territories a B+.

Three provinces received a failing grade including Alberta, Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador.