HALIFAX, May 21, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF-Canada) and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) are pleased to recognize the outstanding conservation collaboration and accomplishments of Nova Scotia’s Raymond Plourde with the Glen Davis Conservation Leadership Prize. Thanks to decades of dedication, Plourde and a team of hard-working conservationists have increased the amount of protected land and water in the province by 50 per cent.


About the prize

  • The Glen Davis Conservation Leadership Prize awards $10,000 to individuals who have played a key role in bringing meaningful protections to identifiable land or aquatic ecosystems in Canada, or led a foundational initiative regarding species or spaces that leaves Canada measurably better off.
  • This is the third year the prize has been awarded. Previous recipients include Anne Sherrod of B.C. in 2017, and Grand Chief Herb Norwegian of N.W.T. in 2018.
  • The prize honours the late Glen Davis, a Toronto-based conservation philanthropist, who died tragically in 2007. Glen loved wild country and generously supported those trying to protect it. The award was established by WWF-Canada and CPAWS in 2017 on the 10th anniversary year of his death and is awarded annually.  

About winner Raymond Plourde

  • Plourde is Wilderness Coordinator for the Halifax-based Ecology Action Centre. Along, with groups such as CPAWS Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Nature, he has delivered nationally significant land and water protections in a province where such achievements are particularly challenging. Only 30 per cent of the Nova Scotia landscape is publicly owned and conservation progress requires working collaboratively with governments, private landowners and resource industries.
  • A former advertising executive, Plourde’s conservation roots go back to the 1990s, when he volunteered to lead a successful campaign for the Nova Scotia Salmon Association to stop the construction of an open-pit gold mine in the headwaters of the Margaree River.
  • Mentored by the late Colin Stewart, who worked for CPAWS Nova Scotia and also served as the province’s Endangered Spaces Coordinator, Plourde played a key role in bringing together forest industry executives and conservationists to develop a plan to protect 12 per cent of Nova Scotia and to encourage the province to adopt this target. 
  • Plourde and other dedicated conservationists and groups have since worked to deliver on this goal, increasing the amount of protected land and waters in Nova Scotia by 50 per cent, moving the total from eight per cent to more than 12 per cent of the entire province. As a result, important ecological areas throughout the province are now protected, including the upper Margaree River, Fourchu Coast, Medway Lakes and many others.

Ray Plourde, Glen Davis Conservation Leadership Prize winner, says: 
“I’m truly humbled by this special recognition. Glen Davis was a real Canadian conservation hero, so to receive an award in his name is a real honour We all know that nature is in serious trouble worldwide and I’m just pleased to have been able to work on saving at least some of it in our little corner of the world, knowing that it contributes to the greater global effort. I’ve also had the privilege of working with hundreds of amazing individuals and groups across Nova Scotia in advancing wilderness conservation here and it is to them I dedicate this award, in particular, my conservation mentor, the late Colin Stewart.”

Alison Ronson, interim national executive director of CPAWS, says:
"
CPAWS is pleased to recognize an individual who has played such an important role in conservation and the creation of protected areas in Nova Scotia. Ray's work, which is directly inspired by Glen Davis, has left a lasting legacy for both current and future Nova Scotians and is an example for others who are working for nature in challenging landscapes."

Monte Hummel, president emeritus of WWF-Canada, says:
“Protected areas don’t appear overnight. They often require years, even decades, of commitment, advocacy and collaboration. Ray has dedicated decades to this painstaking and often frustrating work and the result is the protection of essential habitat for wildlife and people in Nova Scotia. Glen Davis understood the challenge and sacrifice involved in creating protected areas. It is fitting that this award go to an individual who, working with partners and under the mentorship of the late Colin Stewart, has played such an important role in moving the yardstick on conservation in Nova Scotia.”

About World Wildlife Fund Canada 
WWF-Canada creates solutions to the environmental challenges that matter most for Canadians. We work in places that are unique and ecologically important, so that nature, wildlife and people thrive together. Because we are all wildlife. For more information, visit wwf.ca

About the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society 
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is Canada’s only nationwide charity dedicated solely to the protection of our public land, ocean and freshwater, and ensuring our parks and protected areas are managed to protect nature. In the past 56 years, we have played a leading role in protecting over half a million square kilometres — an area bigger than the entire Yukon Territory. Our vision is to protect at least half of Canada’s public land and water in a framework of reconciliation for the benefit of both wildlife and humans. For more information about CPAWS and the work we do to safeguard Canada’s natural heritage, visit cpaws.org.

Attachment

Rashida Jeeva, director of communications and media
WWF-Canada
+1 647 338 3184
rjeeva@wwfcanada.org

Jennifer Scott, national communications manager
CPAWS
+1 613 569 7226 ext 234
jscott@cpaws.org