QUEBEC CITY, September 21, 1999 -- At their annual meeting today in Quebec City, the federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for parks reviewed the progress achieved to date to complete the networks of parks and protected areas across Canada. The review was based on their formal commitment in 1992 to make every effort to complete the networks of protected areas of land-based natural regions by the year 2000 and accelerate the protection of areas representative of marine natural regions. The ministers agreed to make public in 2000 a joint report on each of the governments' achievements to date in relation to their 1992 commitment. The report will also outline the actions planned for the beginning of the next millennium.
The chair of the meeting, Quebec Minister of Wildlife and Parks Guy Chevrette, congratulated his counterparts on the efforts made to date. The ministers discussed the common challenges they face, the impact that the significant development in world ecotourism is having on parks creation, enhancement and management, and the opportunities that they represent. They underscored the importance of tourism, particularly ecotourism, in the development of the provinces and territories. However, they believe it is imperative to maintain a balance between park attendance and the high level of protection required to conserve these quality natural spaces.
The ministers also laid the groundwork for the agenda of their next meeting, which will be chaired by Alberta. It will be held in Iqaluit, Nunavut in 2000 to promote dialogue on tourism and protected areas, particularly with a view to increasing the involvement of Canada's Aboriginal peoples and surrounding communities.
Office of the Quebec Minister Responsible for Wildlife and Parks