Ecojustice Blog – Nature Posted on October 5, 2010 (updated: February 17, 2015)

Make Boreal forest protection a reality – let’s improve the Act

Kimberly Shearon headshotKimberly ShearonStaff

We want meaningful protection of Ontario’s pristine Boreal forest, and this needs buy-in from the First Nations communities that live there.

In creating new protection for Ontario’s Boreal Forest, not only did the Premier commit to seeking First Nations agreement, but the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples enshrines First Nations’ right to approve decisions that may affect them. Despite this, the current Far North Act Bill does not currently give First Nations adequate power in the planning process.

So please take a minute to comment on Ontario’s Far North Planning Act, before the August 4th deadline, and speak up for First Nations’ rights before the government undoes years of work and get sent back to the drawing board.

Here are a few suggested comments from our submissions:

First Nations need to be fully involved in legislative hearings that will consider the Act and the Provincial government needs to fully fund land use planning processes;

an independent Far North Planning Board needs to be created that will oversee land use planning; and

protected areas identified in First Nation community land use plans
need to be permanently protected from industrial development and to permanently capture atmospheric carbon.

Thanks for your help, and for taking action on this vitally important issue.

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