Pourquoi protéger les zones sauvages?

C'est par un plaidoyer basé sur les valeurs spirituelles, esthétiques, scientifiques et économiques de la vie sauvage que Jim Goltz développe un argument solide pour le besoin de protéger les régions sauvages au Nouveau- Brunswick.

L'auteur rappelle aux gens que le gouvernement du Nouveau- Brunswick s'était engagé à préserver un exemple typique de chaque région naturelle dans la province d'ici l'an 2 000; il encourage le gouvernement de donner suite à cet engagement durant son présent mandat.

De toutes les provinces canadiennes, territoires inclus,
le Nouveau -Brunswick est
celle qui, jusqu'à présent, en a le moins fait pour protéger ses
zones sauvages contre le développement.

Why Protect Wilderness?

James P Goltz
New Brunswick Protected Natural Areas Coalition
February 1998

ew Brunswickers have a deep love for wilderness and wildlife. Our wilderness has helped to shape our culture, economy, lifestyle and identity. However, the wilderness that we are so closely tied to is in grave peril.

Of all of the Canadian provinces and territories, New Brunswick has done the least to protect our wilderness from commercial exploitation and development. As time goes on, our opportunities to protect and preserve wilderness in our province are quickly slipping away due to increasing economic and political pressure.

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There is much we don't know about natural processes.
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 Sun rise off a cliff
  Levée du soleil sur une falaise
(Photo: Multi-Images)

Why is it so imperative that we act now to protect wilderness areas, especially relatively undisturbed areas of large size?

  • According to Thoreau, "In wildness is the preservation of the world."

  • Protecting wilderness will help us keep our economic options open for the future. Unless we protect wilderness, it is unlikely that our forest management practices will be certified and this will likely result in the loss of markets for our wood and other forest products. Wilderness protection is an integral component of the sustainable management of the forest and all of its components.

  • Wilderness protection is crucial to the economic diversification of New Brunswick. For example, without wilderness, it will not be possible to develop a strong ecotourism industry. Our wilderness provides inspiration and livelihood for many creative New Brunswickers who capture the essence of wilderness in prose, on film or in some other artistic medium.

  • The quality of life for New Brunswickers is intimately associated with wilderness and wildlife. Wilderness areas help to maintain essential life and health benefits such as good air and clean water. They also moderate the effects of pollution. Our recreation, spiritual renewal, and mental and physical health are all inextricably linked to nature. Through the history of humankind, nature has provided us with medicines, food, shelter and many of the other material and non-material things we need for our survival.

  • The preservation of wilderness is essential to the preservation of biodiversity, a goal shared by Canada and most of the other countries in the world.

  • Protected natural areas, where nature is allowed to take its own course with little human intervention, serve as a benchmark against which we can measure the impact of our activities and safeguard us against our ignorance and arrogance. There is much that we don't know about natural processes, how they affect us and how we affect them.

  • Wilderness has an intrinsic value and must have the right and opportunity to continue to exist and thrive, not just for humans but for all of the living things that depend upon it for their existence.

  • The government of New Brunswick has made a commitment to the people of our province that it will preserve typical examples of all of our major natural regions by the year 2000. This commitment must be honored, not just because it is so important to the people of New Brunswick, but for the national and international reputation of our province.

The time to protect the wilderness that means so much to us is now, before it's gone forever. We encourage the government of New Brunswick to carry out its public mandate by acting quickly to complete and implement a strategy that will protect our wilderness. This strategy must be designed to seek out and incorporate public input. We strongly support all of our government's initiatives to protect wilderness areas of all sizes, not just for the sake of humans but for the sake of the many other lifeforms that share our province.