Charter for Bras d'Or Lakes signed

The following is a press release issued by the Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources (UINR).



ESKASONI, Cape Breton (24 November 2005) -- In an historic move towards developing a comprehensive management plan for the Bras d'or Lakes watershed, Cape Breton chiefs, mayors, wardens, and provincial and federal government partners signed The Bras d'Or Charter, committing to work together to pursue the vision, purpose and objectives of the Bras d'Or Lakes Collaborative Environmental Planning Initiative. (CEPI)

CEPI's vision is to lead a unique collaboration of partners that incorporate both traditional Mi’kmaq and western perspectives in order to foster a healthy and productive Bras d’Or Lakes Watershed ecosystem.

The purpose of the Charter is to develop an overall management plan for the Bras d’Or Lakes Watershed ecosystem and to facilitate its implementation by governments and other relevant stake-holders. The objective of the Charter is to pursue a balance of environmental, social, cultural and institutional objectives to ensure the health and sustainable use of the Bras d'Or Lakes.

Joining the Chiefs, Mayors and Wardens were representatives from Nova Scotia Departments of Aboriginal Affairs, Environment and Labour, and Agriculture and Fisheries. Federal Regional Director Generals from Departments of Fisheries and Oceans, Indian and Northern Affairs and Environment Canada were also on hand for this historic signing.

CEPI is overseen by the Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources (UINR), a natural resource management organization representing the five Cape Breton (Unama'ki) First Nation communities. One of its main activities is to promote and contribute to the understanding and protection of the environment in the traditional territory of the Mi'kmaq people. Its board is composed of the five Chiefs of Unama'ki/Cape Breton.

UINR's Executive Director Charlie Dennis chaired the meeting where the Charter was presented. "It is an historic day for the Bras d'Or Lakes to have this diverse group share in a joint commitment to the health of the environment for today and the future. We all recognize and acknowledge by this signing, the unique and valuable role the Bras d'Or Lakes plays in our lives and the futures of our children."

For more information, please contact Weldon Bona, UINR Director of Communications 902 379 2977 or email weldon@uinr.ca


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