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The government of Nova Scotia announced an ambitious plan earlier this month to protect 245,000 hectares of forest and park land, establishing the Canadian province as a conservation leader in one of the world’s most heavily forested nations. Roughly 14 percent of all land in Nova Scotia will now be legally protected from development, making it the province with the second-highest percentage of land devoted to protected areas in Canada, after British Columbia.

This news is significant for conservationists and for the vast number of Canadians who depend on these forests for clean air, water, and a bounty of other resources. It also illustrates a powerful truth: precise, science-based maps are an essential component of good forest management and planning.

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Bringing together independent research institutes and civil society groups from key countries around the world to monitor national progress on climate change policy.

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Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, took a significant step toward promoting transparency and reducing global poverty. He announced yesterday that Canada will implement mandatory reporting requirements for Canadian extractive companies operating both in-country and abroad.

This mandate will require Canadian extractive companies to publicly disclose the payments they make to foreign governments in exchange for permission to operate on their soil. This development will help promote transparency in the mining sector and, if implemented effectively, could help combat the “resource curse.”

Fighting the Resource Curse through Access to Information

Tackling the “resource curse” is a challenge of global proportions. The term applies to situations where, despite a country’s mineral or oil wealth, poverty is exacerbated in part by weak or corrupt institutions, government mismanagement of revenues, and a failure to re-invest into projects that benefit the public—such as infrastructure, education, and healthcare. Often, citizens of resource curse countries aren’t able to hold their governments accountable for this abuse of power because they lack information about their country’s revenues and expenditures (see Box).

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Clare Demerse is Director, Climate Change, at the Pembina Institute. This post originally appeared in its full form on the Pembina Institute's website.

Anyone who works on climate change policy in Canada, like I do, ends up talking about the oil sands on a daily basis.

The massive development reshaping parts of Alberta's landscape attracts criticism like no other project in Canada, and those concerns don't stop at our borders.

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Canada's forests provide critically important benefits to the nation - ranging from their economic contributions via the forest products industry to recreational opportunities to life-sustaining ecosystem services, such as soil erosion control and watershed protection.

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Canada's forests provide critically important benefits to the nation - ranging from their economic contributions via the forest products industry to recreational opportunities to life-sustaining ecosystem services, such as soil erosion control and watershed protection.

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Focusing on UNEP's North American region, comprised of Canada and the United States, this report provides an integrated analysis of the state of resource assets and 30–year trends in nine major themes:

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In recent years, international attention has increasingly focused on the rapid conversion and degradation of the world's tropical forests.

Yet half of the remaining large tracts of natural forest are found in northern (or boreal) regions.

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