The provincial government's five-year caribou strategy announced in 2008 recently garnered attention at the 59th General Assembly of the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation. The forum, held in Cape Town, South Africa from May 8-11, focused on the economic value of ecosystems and biodiversity.
Terry French, Minister of Environment and Conservation, represented the province at the forum.
"The Newfoundland caribou strategy was of interest to a number of member countries, particularly the delegation from Finland who expressed a strong interest in the strategy because of the significant decline in wild forest reindeer populations in their country," said Minister French in a press release. "The representatives from Finland would like to open an information exchange on the work we are doing here and are interested in visiting our province to learn first-hand about the strategy. This certainly speaks to the best practices approach which is a cornerstone of forums like this."
The theme of the assembly, The Economics of Wildlife Conservation, explored the role that economics play in conservation of species and ecosystems and how sustainable practices can be beneficial to the planet as a whole. Within this context, the application of research findings from the five-year, $15.3 million provincial caribou strategy generated considerable interest at the event.
"International forums of this magnitude provide an opportunity to learn about the sustainable practices of other countries and how we can apply best practices in the management of our wildlife species where similarities exist.
"From a look at Finland's moose management plan to the history and economics of sustainable wildlife management in southern Africa, the message is clear – conserving biodiversity and exploring the sustainable use of our wildlife resources is important to every corner of the globe," said the minister.
The International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation was founded in 1923 in Budapest and has become a key scientific and policy think tank on conservation and sustainable use issues, with representation from more than 90 countries.