Nature Conservancy of Canada unveils Labrador Nature Atlas
December , 2014
Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL
Atlas Launch took place in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Corner Brook and St. John’s
The Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Environmental Policy Institute of Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland have unveiled the Newfoundland and Labrador Nature Atlas - an interactive mapping website – in locations across the province this week.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Nature Atlas is an interactive website that showcases the province’s unique natural landscapes. Using the Atlas, you can explore information about the region's plants and animals, make maps, download spatial information, and collaborate with others. This is the first geographical tool of its kind in Newfoundland and Labrador, and will help improve free access to, and sharing of, high-quality information about the province’s biodiversity.
The project is also the first collaboration between the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Environmental Policy Institute at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
The Nature Atlas can be downloaded here:
One Stop Hub
The Nature Atlas is a “one stop hub” for information about the region’s unique biodiversity, and a "living document" that can be updated over time as new information becomes available. The majority of the current content on the Newfoundland and Labrador Nature Atlas site is focussed on Labrador.
Over 30 interactive maps are currently available on themes such as Wetlands, Atlantic Salmon rivers, Shorebirds, Caribou, Species At Risk, Rare Plants, Land Cover or Vegetation, Mineral Development Potential, Water, Landform, Geology, and our Human footprint and other areas of conservation interest. One of the goals of the NL Nature Atlas website is to encourage continued collaboration between those interested in conservation, land use planning, and resource and wildlife management in Labrador.
“The primary objective of the project was to create, gather, and share critical information about Labrador's natural environment, and develop new ways to assess the information, so it can be considered in anticipation of land-use and conservation decisions” said Lindsay Notzl, Manager of Northern Conservation Planning with the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
“The Environmental Policy Institute’s mandate is to provide expertise on environmental issues and to help the public make informed, educated decisions,” said Dr. Michael Van Zyll de Jong, director, Environmental Policy Institute, “so it was a natural fit for us to partner with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Partnerships such as these benefit both our faculty and students, and user groups outside of the university through an increased access of information and research. This map will provide information about the province, its landscape and environment which was not available until now.”
Both the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Environmental Policy Institute hope communities and individuals will find the NL Nature Atlas to be an interesting and useful tool for learning about Labrador's natural environment, and for supporting superior decision-making around future land-use and conservation.
The hope is that the website will appeal to many audiences, including Aboriginal organizations, students, professors, land- and wildlife managers, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) professionals, and the general public.
The Nature Atlas is a product of a larger project from the Nature Conservancy of Canada; the Labrador Conservation Blueprint. The Labrador Conservation Blueprint was a collaborative partnership led by the Nature Conservancy of Canada since 2009.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada and its partners, representing organizations with a common interest in biodiversity conservation and land-use planning, invested more than half a million dollars developing critical information required for conservation and land-use planning in the "The Big Land". Initial funding for the project was provided by the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Environment and Conservation, and was matched by donations from private foundations and businesses.
Project partners for the Labrador Conservation Blueprint included representatives from Aboriginal organizations and governments, federal and provincial government agencies, research groups and universities, non-governmental organizations, and consultants. The Labrador Conservation Blueprint was about building a group of people to come together to discuss land-use planning in Labrador.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation's leading land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2.7 million acres (over 1 million hectares), coast to coast. In Newfoundland and Labrador, we have conserved over 12,800 acres.