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Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18 2016

 

For Immediate Release

 

Hutchings Applauds Years of Effort to Bring Mistaken Point to UNESCO Status

 

Keith Hutchings, PC MHA for Ferryland, is applauding the many volunteers and the community of Portugal Cove South whose years of effort led to Mistaken Point being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site‎.

 

The United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture recognized the southeast Avalon site as having some of the earliest fossilized evidence of multicellular life on Earth.

 

Hutchings said he had the privilege of working with community leaders to ensure provincial government funding was made available over past years while working with Portugal Cove South Heritage, Mistaken Point Ambassadors Inc. boards, the Town Council of Portugal Cove South, the Department of Environment and Conservation, Parks Canada and volunteers during the years to ensure preparatory work, such as the written dossier, was completed for the UNESCO‎ bid while staffing and infrastructure enhancements were made.

 

"Area residents worked alongside scientists and public officials, doing everything that was required to ensure Mistaken Point could qualify for this rare distinction, and I cannot say enough about their efforts," said Hutchings.

 

"The requirements to achieve UNESCO Status are onerous, and only the most significant sites in the world‎ can qualify - and even then, only if there is a great deal of public support to ensure the site is preserved," he said. "Without the cooperation of residents, the scientific community, the provincial division of Parks and Conservation, and Parks Canada, this would not have happened. The collective efforts have been instrumental in raising our community to global significance."

 

Hutchings said the UNESCO designation will shine a spotlight on Mistaken Point and all of the Southern Avalon and further highlight the many tourism attributes we have. "We need to continue to channel infrastructure resources into the area to ensure the site's significance is properly showcased and protected and all opportunities for entrepreneurial growth are supported, driving further economic activity."

 

He said this is only the fourth UNESCO site in Newfoundland and Labrador, and the first that falls under provincial jurisdiction and maintenance. He is calling on the provincial government to reaffirm that resources will be provided, and continue road improvements, site enhancements to the interpretation centre and staffing to meet visitation demands. "It is also important for the federal government to state its commitment to support this region, as this is Canadas's 18th World Heritage Site, recognizing all Canada has to offer. We look for the support of the local MP, Mr. MacDonald, on leading the federal government's contribution in months ahead."

 

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Media Contact: Heather MacLean, Director of Communications, Office of the Official Opposition

 

(709) 729 6105, heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca

 

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