Boreal Stars Celebrated at National Gala
Victoria's Secret, high-school rappers and First Nations communities honoured for contributions to conserving Canada's Boreal Forest
December 7, 2007 - Ottawa
What do Aboriginal communities, teen rap musicians and a US company, best known for its lingerie, have in common? According to the Boreal Leadership Council (BLC) – plenty; they have all been instrumental in helping to conserve Canada’s Boreal Forest and in raising awareness of its global importance.
“This year, progress towards protecting Canada’s Boreal Forest has really picked up momentum. The hard work of many, many people, including the communities that we honoured last night, has created the opportunity to celebrate some of the most significant land conservation initiatives in North American history, protecting millions of hectares of the Canadian Boreal Forest,” said Larry Innes, Executive Director of the Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI).
The Boreal Awards recognize leadership, innovation, cooperation and excellence among stakeholders who live and work in Canada’s Boreal Forest region, along with those who have made an outstanding contribution to protection of the Boreal Forest and the advancement of the principles outlined in the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework.
Last night at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa the following award winners were honored:
Individual Achievement Award: Student GEORGE WOODHOUSE, with Blake Godward and David Lawless, for creatively spreading insightful messages among youth about the importance of Canada’s Boreal Forest through video and song.
Corporate Award: LIMITED BRANDS, INC. (parent company of Victoria’s Secret) for significantly advancing sustainable conservation in the Boreal Forest by changing their purchasing policy and actively advocating for Boreal Forest conservation.
Community Award: POPLAR RIVER FIRST NATION for their unwavering support to protect their traditional homelands on the eastern side of Lake Winnipeg, and their leadership in advancing, with the Province of Manitoba, a proposal to have a significant area of Canada’s Boreal Forest in Manitoba and Ontario declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Community Award: LUTSEL K'E DENE FIRST NATION for their vision and leadership in advancing the designation of the East Arm National Park on the Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories. Together with the Governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories and the other Akaitcho communities, Lutsel’Ke has been at the forefront of accomplishing the largest single land withdrawal for conservation in Canadian history.
Award recipients were selected by a committee of the 18-member Boreal Leadership Council, which itself has had the most significant expansion since the group’s inception. Earlier this week, Nexen Inc., the Pembina Institute, Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta and Domini Social Investments LLC joined the BLC. These groups were officially welcomed at Thursday’s event.
“It was a pleasure to welcome fellow leaders in Boreal conservation on an evening when creativity and passion for Canada’s Boreal Forest were so evident in the nominees and recipients of the Boreal Awards. These organizations have committed to implementing the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework as they move forward,” said Mike Martel, Senior Vice President of Forest Resource Management with Tembec Industries Inc. and past chair of the BLC.
The Canadian Boreal Forest is the largest intact forest remaining on the planet, rivaling the Amazon in size and ecological importance. It stores twice as much carbon per acre as tropical rainforests, mitigating the effects of global warming. It also teems with wildlife, including nesting grounds for billions of migratory songbirds and 40% of North America’s waterfowl. Canada’s Boreal is also home to some of the world’s largest remaining populations of grizzly and polar bears, wolves, woodland and barren-ground caribou.
The Boreal Forest Conservation Framework, a visionary plan for Canadian wilderness developed by the Boreal Leadership Council, is endorsed by over 1500 scientists, 25 Aboriginal organizations, 100 corporations and leading conservation groups in Canada.
The Boreal Forest Conservation Framework calls for permanently protecting at least 50% of the Canadian Boreal and applying strict environmental safeguards for development in any other areas.
Based in Ottawa, the Canadian Boreal Initiative brings together diverse partners to create new solutions for Boreal conservation and acts as a catalyst for on-the-ground efforts across the Boreal by governments, industry, First Nations, conservation groups, major retailers, financial institutions and scientists.
The Boreal Leadership Council (BLC) is comprised of leading conservation groups, Aboriginal organizations, resource companies and financial institutions, all of which have an interest and a stake in the future of Canada’s Boreal Forest. Members of the Council are signatories to the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework, and are committed to Framework implementation in their activities.
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