Sackville could be first in North America to get UN recognition for preserving wetlands

Sackville is seeking international recognition as the kind of small town that protects, creates and restores wetlands within its boundaries including its 75-acre Waterfowl Park.

“The Waterfowl Park is, for sure, the anchor in this and is a real jewel in a community anywhere in North America,” says Garry Donaldson, the manager of wildlife assessment and protected areas for the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS).

Donaldson quickly adds, however, that Sackville’s application for formal accreditation as a United Nations Ramsar City Wetland Site will include other assets such as Silver Lake and the habitat created by the new 40,000 cubic metre pond that is part of the Lorne Street flood control project.

He explains that Ramsar is a convention under the United Nations that formally recognizes the conservation of wetlands of national and international significance.

The convention or treaty was first signed in the city of Ramsar, Iran in 1971. It took effect in Canada 10 years later, on May 15, 1981.

New Lorne St. flood control pond will be part of the application to get Sackville recognized as a Ramsar City Wetland Site

“It’s really a tool that Sackville can use to indicate to the world that it values wetlands and is going to be managing the area for the ongoing protection of those wetlands,” Donaldson said during a telephone interview from the CWS regional office on Waterfowl Lane.

“Considering that Sackville could become the first accredited city in North America, it gives a real power to the accreditation,” he added. “It puts Sackville sort of above the bar in terms of municipalities that are managing natural habitat.”

At its meeting last week, Sackville Town Council authorized Mayor Higham to sign the application form seeking Ramsar accreditation before the submission deadline of January 31.

Donaldson says accreditation would not create additional legal obligations for the town.

“From the town’s perspective, I see that as a bit of a win-win,” he adds.

“They gain the recognition for what work they’re already doing, but don’t have to sign onto anything that commits them to any liabilities down the road.”

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1 Response to Sackville could be first in North America to get UN recognition for preserving wetlands

  1. Roger Gouchie says:

    I wonder if the UN would like like to know the town suddenly stopped dumping the old CNR soil in town and sent it out to our rural area, on land bordering protected wetlands. We get conflicting answers to questions and our observations are not good. The Environment Department does not want to do any soil testing on this and relies on what they are told by town and companies. Why did they stop dumping in town and truck this 11 km and why does the Environment Department not want to test this soil?

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