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Manitoba revises UNESCO world heritage bid for boreal forest

A bid to have a swath of boreal forest in Manitoba and Ontario made a UNESCO world heritage site continues. Tobin Grimshaw / The Canadian Press Images

WINNIPEG – Manitoba is trying once again to get special UNESCO recognition for the boreal forest the province shares with Ontario.

The international world heritage committee deferred Canada’s bid in 2013 and asked for a revised proposal for the area called Pimachiowin Aki.

A coalition of the Manitoba and Ontario governments, as well as five First Nations, says it has done just that and is sending the new nomination off this week.

The revised bid isn’t likely to be considered until next year.

UNESCO advisory groups have raised questions about whether the area is unique enough to warrant a designation as a world heritage site.

The Manitoba and Ontario governments have poured millions of dollars into the bid.

Pimachiowin Aki is 33,400 square kilometres — almost half the size of New Brunswick. It is a large stretch of relatively untouched boreal forest and home to five First Nations that continue to practise traditional land use.

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