Nature Trust Conservation Awards 2009
Recipient, Nova Scotia Nature Trust, Nature Conservation Award 2009
At our 12th Annual Dinner and Auction, the Nature Trust announced that Mark Parent, former Minister of Environment and Labour, won the 2009 Nova Scotia Nature Trust Nature Conservation Award. Mark Parent was recognized by the Nature Trust for the significant contribution he made in his role and capacity as a Minister of the Crown in encouraging and leading his Government to make decisions that dramatically improved the climate and opportunities for private land conservation in Nova Scotia.
Former Minister Parent demonstrated incredible conviction, leadership, and vision in advocating for and moving forward three major initiatives that have had, and will continue to have, a major impact on private land conservation in this province.
First, he demonstrated foresight, courage and leadership in spearheading the creation of a landmark environmental law in Nova Scotia, the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act. The Act set unprecedented targets for environmental achievement, including a commitment to protect 12% of our province by 2015. This is the first time in Nova Scotia's history that government has not just committed, but also has legally bound itself, to a major advancement in land conservation.
Second, in response to ongoing recognition of the need for funding to support private land conservation in a province with 70% of all land in private ownership, he was a strong supporter of the initiative to create the Nova Scotia Crown Share Land Legacy Trust, a $23 million matching fund for private land conservation. Again, an unprecedented conservation achievement!
Finally, he supported and advocated the passage of legislation to provide a property tax incentive for both land trusts and private landowners who protect their land, as yet another major advancement to facilitate private land conservation.
At the awards ceremony in Halifax, the Nature Trust noted that Mr. Parent also spoke passionately numerous occasions on the importance of land conservation and in support of the role of private land trusts.
It was exciting for us to work alongside Mr. Parent in addressing these important land conservation challenges. His passion and willingness to lead and encourage his government to make bold and significant decisions to advance conservation was encouraging and inspiring. And most important, he got the results!