The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources:
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to provide details of a Bi-Lateral Boreal Caribou Conservation Agreement recently reached between the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Government of Canada.
As a result of the diligent work by our team of wildlife experts to highlight the plight of Labrador’s boreal caribou and the steadfast negotiating position taken by the province, we have been able to successfully leverage $5.4 million from the Federal Government devoted solely to the conservation and protection of Labrador’s Boreal Caribou – the Mealy Mountains, Lac Joseph, and Red Wine herds.
This agreement builds on the efforts of Government to protect and allow for the recovery of the species and its critical habitat, and help change the trajectory of boreal caribou in Labrador from declining populations to stable populations. The agreement recognizes the wide range of threats to Labrador caribou and outlines a strategic approach that focuses on research, monitoring, and conservation. We now have the tools to secure enhanced guardianship and stewardship that will seek to address the challenge of unsanctioned hunting which is inhibiting the caribou’s recovery.
Mr. Speaker, the boreal caribou of Labrador have long held intrinsic value in Indigenous culture and traditions. I am proud today to highlight this agreement, which formally recognizes the importance of Indigenous engagement and traditional Indigenous knowledge in the future recovery and protection of the herds. It will help forge a much needed broader, deeper partnership with Indigenous communities that focuses on specific, realized threats and which is integral to the successful recovery of boreal caribou in Labrador.
As the implementation of this plan begins we look forward to continuing ongoing engagement with our Indigenous partners in Labrador, and indeed all those with a vested interest in the protection and recovery of Labrador’s precious caribou resource.