Thirteen wildlife conservation projects are approved for fundingunder the Habitat Conservation Fund, Natural Resources MinisterRichard Hurlburt announced today, June 22. The money for the fundis generated through the required purchase of a $2 wildlifehabitat stamp on all hunting licenses in Nova Scotia. “Non-government organizations and individuals can receivefinancial support for work they are carrying out to sustain ourwildlife and wildlife habitat,” said Mr. Hurlburt. “All of thefunds collected are used directly for habitat conservation.” The total amount of funding approved for projects in 2004 is$114,645. The program was initiated in 2001 and almost half amillion dollars has been directed to wildlife conservation. Theproject applications are reviewed and recommendations made by anindependent board of directors consisting of members fromhunting, naturalist and academic associations. “The hunting community supports the fund and the conservationwork that is carried out,” said Tony Rodgers, executive directorof the Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters. “Theseprojects benefit our wildlife species through on-the-ground work,research and education related to their habitat.” The primary goal of the fund is to assist with projects thatprotect and enhance wildlife habitats. They may be funded up to75 per cent or $25,000 on a cost-shared basis. The projects mustfall into one of four categories: purchase of land for thebenefit of wildlife, habitat improvement, wildlife habitatresearch and related education programs. Successful recipients of funding for 2004 and their projects are: Making Nova Scotia’s lakes loon friendly (Year 4), Bird Studies Canada Benefits and Risks of Agro-ecosystem Management to Grassland Birds in Nova Scotia (Year 3), Joseph Nocera Coastlines Natural History Column (Year 3), Ecology Action Centre Distribution and Behaviour of Bats in Nova Scotia (Year 2), Hugh Broders Small Marsh Restoration in the Agricultural/Urban Landscape, Ducks Unlimited Canada Adopt-a-wetland Education Program, Ducks Unlimited Canada King’s County Riparian Fencing Project, Friends of the Cornwallis River Microhabitat Selection of Northern and Southern Flying Squirrels in Nova Scotia, Amanda Lavers Conservation of Critical Lakeshore Habitat in the Tusket River Watershed, Sara Good-Avila Mercury in River Otter, Sarah Spencer An Examination of the Ecological Effects of Porcupine Feeding on Acadian forests, Joseph Mudge Securement and Stewardship of the Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora in Southwest Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Nature Trust Conserving Critical Wood Turtle Habitats Through Community Stewardship, St. Mary’s River Association. Applications for 2005 can be submitted to the Department ofNatural Resources Wildlife Division between Dec. 1, 2004 and Jan.31, 2005. Submission guidelines and application forms can beobtained from any Department of Natural Resources office or onthe website at www.gov.ns.ca/natr/wildlife/habfund . Informationon the 2004 and past projects is also available on the departmentwebsite.
UNICEF spokesperson Sarah Crowe told reporters at the regular press briefing in Geneva that the agency’s presence in all countries should help in allotting the funds appropriately to create child-friendly locations, health care, food, shelter and other humanitarian services. The agency reported that there has been an 80 per cent increase in the number of children moving through Europe with approximately 19,000 children arriving each month. According to Eurostat data, there were 133,000 children who sought asylum between January and July 2015.Ms. Crowe also introduced Valentina Otmacic, UNICEF representative in Croatia, who described the harsh conditions for migrant children in that country. Ms. Otmacic recounted a traumatic incident at a child-friendly zone in a camp in Opatovac, Croatia, where a 9-year-old Afghan boy had tried to commit suicide by cutting his neck with a metal lid before being stopped. The agency announced that it would be providing support to European governments to ensure that the policies and procedures undertaken by them serves the best interests of the children and are in compliance with internationally accepted standards.“With so many children on the move, and with winter in Europe approaching, our priority has to be caring for these children now. Working alongside governments and other partners across Europe, wherever our support is needed, UNICEF will do all it can so that refugee and migrant children are safe, healthy and that their rights and dignity are fully respected.” said Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF’s Special Coordinator for the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe. Ms. Sarah Crowe stressed that the priority for the agency still remains the Syrian crisis, where there are seven million children in need and the relief effort underfunded by some $500 million.