Creative Partnership Aims to Protect Rocky Mountain Grizzlies, Wolves and Cougars
Scientists have identified hotspots in the region where high numbers of carnivores such as grizzlies, wolves and cougars are killed each year. This partnership between Lafarge and WWF-Canada is aimed at improving the ability of wildlife to survive in this major tourist centre and heavily trafficked region. The focus will be to jointly look for new and innovative approaches to sustaining carnivore and other wildlife populations in the Bow River Valley.
"Working to control our impact on the environment and the wildlife that live there is one of our core principles at Lafarge North America and it is central to the way we do business,” said Alan Kreisberg, President of Lafarge’s Western Region Cement Division. “We are especially proud to continue our conservation initiatives here with WWF-Canada in the southern Canadian Rocky Mountains where we have major operations and make this long-term commitment to the environment by protecting large carnivores, whose survival is not secured anywhere in the world."
This local partnership between Lafarge and WWF-Canada will focus on realizing a long-term conservation vision for the region. They will assess and improve, where appropriate, Lafarge’s industrial practices, sponsor various conservation projects and encourage other agencies to share this vision. In addition, they will sponsor specific conservation projects within the initial two-year period that support the agreement, including initiating a research project to better define the wildlife corridors in the Bow River Valley and undertaking micro-tunneling projects to assess their use by wildlife species. It is hoped that the success of this partnership will eventually spark unprecedented co-operation from First Nations, government agencies, academic institutions, conservation organizations, labour and industry.
“For 20 years, WWF-Canada has researched and taken action to conserve large carnivores in Western Canada. Lafarge is a pioneer in their industry regarding its commitment to modifying its operations to help protect the full suite of carnivores that live in the regions where they have operations. We are extremely proud to be working with them on this initiative”, said WWF-Canada President, Monte Hummel.
The initiative between Lafarge North America and WWF-Canada is part of a broader, multi-national agreement between Lafarge and WWF. WWF is the world’s largest private conservation network, with a long track record in large carnivore research and conservation. Lafarge is the world’s largest producer of construction materials, including cement, gypsum, roofing, aggregates and concrete. Currently, Lafarge and WWF are global partners in conservation, working together on a range of environmental projects, including forest landscape restoration, carbon dioxide emission reduction, management of toxic substances, quarry reclamation, and biodiversity conservation.
“We all know and we’ve all seen unfortunate wildlife deaths along the valleys, roads and rail lines, both from industrial and recreational vehicles. I and everyone at Lafarge are striving hard to minimize this, but we welcome more advice on how we can do better, said Mike Smith, President of Lafarge Construction Materials of Western Canada. Smith concluded, “Lafarge views this partnership agreement as a unique opportunity, involving aspects of wildlife conservation, environmental management and sustainable development, where we can encourage our people to contribute and develop their talents in achieving the conservation objectives under the partnership agreement.”
Lafarge North America and WWF-Canada look forward to working together during this creative and unique partnership on conservation initiatives to help protect wildlife in the southern Rocky Mountain region.