The Province of Manitoba has made a significant and unique contribution of nature conservation for all Manitobans, current and future. With a contribution of $102 million, a conservation trust has been created to address, as the minister of Finance, Cameron Friesen stated in the 2018 Budget speech, “… [our] responsibility to protect our environment for future generations”.
This historic investment will be the single largest contribution ever made to the Winnipeg Foundation and investment revenues are estimated to be about $5 million annually. These funds will, in turn, be granted to conservation groups working in Manitoba, through a granting program run by the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation. Tim Sopuck, MHHC CEO, noted that the Corporation still needs to finalize an agreement between the Winnipeg Foundation and the Province, but it is hopeful that will happen soon and then a granting program can be developed.
“Wetlands, woodlands, grasslands – they all have a series of benefits to the well-being of society, including cleaner water, reducing floods and storing carbon. There’s a climate change benefit to having all those natural areas remaining and actually expanding on the landscape,” said Sopuck.
In a little over three decades, MHHC conservation activities have influenced over 350,000 acres of land in Manitoba. While MHHC’s current mix of conservation programs will continue, the Conservation Trust will create a new opportunity for MHHC to support community-based and not-for-profit organizations to deliver conservation projects.
With annual revenues from the Trust continuing forever, this investment is a conservation legacy for all Manitobans. Program details will be released as they become available.