Annual Dinner & Silent Auction 2003
On November 20th, 2003 friends and supporters of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust made their way through Halifax's frigid temperatures to the Lord Nelson Hotel. The Trust was holding the sixth of its successful annual Silent Auction and Dinners and was pleased to be welcoming Monte Hummel, president of the World Wildlife Fund Canada. Mr. Hummel has been a leader in the conservation movement at the national level for over 30 years. As President of World Wildlife Fund Canada since 1985, he has led the organization to help down list or remove 28 wildlife species from Canada's official Species at Risk list. Through WWF's Endangered Spaces campaign, over 1000 new parks and wilderness areas have been designated, more than doubling the amount of protected area in Canada.
The evening kicked off with some spirited bidding around the auction table. Volunteers and staff had once again assembled a unique and exciting host of auction items and the assembled wasted no time in filling the bid sheets of their favourite items. By the time bidding had officially closed, close to $30,000 dollars had been raised for the conservation work of the Nature Trust. A sincere thank-you to all the donors of auction items: your continuing support for the vision of wilderness conservation is genuinely appreciated.
The end of bidding marked the commencement of the dinner portion of the evening. Charged from the excitement of the auction, all fell to with a hearty appetite. By the time the diners settled into their after dinner coffee, it was time for this year's special guest to deliver his anticipated keynote address.
Mr. Hummel's theme for evening was to be "Conservation Can't Wait" (118 Kb) and he started off with a warning that he was about to break one of his own rules. "I firmly believe that no one should talk for more than 15-20 minutes after dinner," he said. But with such a substantial message to deliver, and with an eager audience assembled, it was happily appropriate for him to expand this timeframe a bit.
He began by describing the Canada-wide importance of this Atlantic eco-region in which we live and detailed the successes that our local environmental movement has enjoyed, in particular that Nova Scotia leads the country in representative natural regions receiving new protection. However, Mr. Hummel emphasized that it was no time to rest on our laurels, and that it was, in his words, "time to carve out a new conservation future for this province." And he believes that our provincial government shares this belief but urged them to hasten the designation of their promised new wilderness areas. According to the recent WWF Nature Audit, Nova Scotia has very little intact wilderness left to choose from, so time is of the essence. And this remaining ecologically significant land is largely privately held, which makes the work of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust of critical importance. Indeed, conservation can't wait.
Mr. Hummel went on to mention the upcoming release of the PLACES (Private Land Conservation Enhancements) Committee report, chaired by the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, which aims to identify barriers and make recommendations regarding effective private land conservation. He strongly urged Nova Scotians to act on this report. He indicated that we have an invigorated, capable NGO community, written conservation commitments from our government, and a forestry industry willing to come to the table. He pressed that we must take advantage of the moment and move while we have this unique "congruence of interests," underscoring once more the theme that the room would take home with them from the dinner, "Conservation Can't Wait".
The Nature Trust offers its gratitude to our generous dinner sponsors: Assante Capital Management, ExxonMobil Canada, Clearwater Fine Foods Limited, Kimberly-Clark, Meritas Mutual Funds, and Wade Company Limited.
|Kimberly-Clark||Clearwater||Wade Company Limited|