Canadians Strongly Favour Boreal Protection Initiatives
New poll shows widespread support across party lines for increased protection of Canada’s national treasure.
OTTAWA, June 2 /CNW Telbec/ – Nine in ten Canadians with voting intentions across all party lines support greater protection of the Canadian Boreal Forest, according to a new national poll conducted by McAllister Opinion Research for the Canadian Boreal Initiative.
“Like the Boreal itself, Canadians think big. They overwhelmingly view this part of the country as a national treasure, and believe that more than half should be protected from industrial development,” said Larry Innes, the Executive Director of the Canadian Boreal Initiative. “The poll results demonstrate that the public strongly supports Boreal protection, and they are using it as a yardstick by which to measure government environmental performance,” added Innes.
The results revealed that 87% of respondents are concerned about the threats posed by industrial development, and 69% do not accept the argument that protecting the Boreal is ineffectual in the face of forest fires and pests such as the pine beetle. In fact, respondents overwhelmingly championed increased protection for Canada’s Boreal Forest.
When asked to recommend how much of Canada’s Boreal Forest should be
protected from industrial development, the average response across voting preferences was 67%, with Conservative voters giving an average response of 61% and Liberals voters 69%. Currently, only 10% of Canada’s Boreal Forest is permanently protected. Last year, over 1,500 leading scientists recommended that at least half of Canada’s Boreal Forest be protected.
Over the past year, the Governments of Canada and the NWT have set aside nearly 140,000 square kilometres of Boreal Forest in the Northwest Territories for new protection. This is one of the largest areas of wilderness ever protected in Canadian history and one of the greatest conservation achievements in North America. When provided with this information, close to 70% of respondents said that this action would have a positive impact on their perception of the federal government, with nearly 90% of respondents wanting to see more protection initiatives. Additional areas have been nominated for protection across the Boreal Forest.
“Clearly, Canadians support the leadership delivered by the federal and territorial governments on protecting nature in the NWT. We hope that these new findings will encourage Canada to proceed with other similar initiatives, and provide incentives for provincial and territorial governments to move on Boreal conservation in their jurisdictions,” concluded Innes.
The Boreal is one of the largest and most intact ecosystems on the planet, and is home to billions of migratory birds, some of the largest caribou herds on the planet, and many other wildlife species. It is a vital storehouse of carbon and a major reservoir of the world’s clean, fresh water.
The amount of development in the Boreal is accelerating, and the activities of oil and gas exploration, mining, large scale forest harvesting and large hydro-electric projects affect most Boreal regions today.
About the McAllister Opinion Research/Canadian Boreal Initiative poll
This research is based on a national random digit dial telephone survey of 1007 Canadians aged 18 years and older. The survey was conducted in English
and French from April 29 to May 9, 2008 inclusive. The sample is weighed using age, gender and regional population data from the 2006 Census. A random sample of this size yields a +/- 3.1%, margin of error, 19 times out of 20.
Detailed results of the survey can be viewed at www.borealcanada.ca
About the Canadian Boreal Initiative
The Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) works with First Nations, governments, conservation organizations, industry leaders and others to link science, policy and conservation solutions across Canada’s Boreal Forest. For more information, please visit www.borealcanada.ca.
About McAllister Opinion Research
McAllister Opinion Research, an accredited member of ESOMAR, has conducted research in Canada, United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America. Our extensive experience covers all forms of field operation from telephone polls and focus groups to online polls and web analytics. We use a range of statistical methodologies to conduct both conventional analyses, as well as advanced statistical procedures like network analysis, segmentation, factor analysis and regression. McAllister takes a particular interest in sustainability and environmental issues, directing the Canadian component of
the Globescan Environmental Monitor research program which has surveyed public
attitudes on environmental issues in over 25 countries and has tracked the trends in Canada for nearly 20 years.
/For further information: Marie-Hélène Bachand, Canadian Boreal Initiative/Edelman, (514) 844 6665, # 240, email@example.com; Source: Larry Innes, Executive Director, Canadian Boreal Initiative; Angus McAllister, President and Chief Executive Officer, McAllister Opinion Research/