The Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Act (WER Act) guides the creation of a system of protected areas in the province to conserve wilderness, representative or unique ecosystems, species, or natural phenomena. The Act (s. 6) also calls for the creation of an 11-member council called the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council (WERAC).
WERAC’s purpose is to provide advice to government on the establishment, management and termination of wilderness and ecological reserves in the province via the following activities:
For additional information about the role of WERAC, please visit: http://www.env.gov.nl.ca/env/parks/wer/adc/index.html
The advisory council is made up of 11 members, with at least 6 of 11 members representing the public. Every effort is made to make sure that membership is representative of all regions of the province, is gender balanced, with a youth representative. A chair and vice-chair are appointed by the council.
To become a member of WERAC, each successful nominee must possess the following criteria:
Those who make up WERAC should collectively possess the following core competencies:
Members of the WERAC should be available to meet four to six times per year, including meetings and consultations. Any subcommittees created through the council may meet as required to address the sub-committee work and action items. Council members may also be expected to spend additional time reviewing materials, drafting letters, writing or reviewing recommendation reports, assessing nominations for protection and preparing for council meetings.
Members of the council are appointed for a term of 3 years. Chair and Vice-Chair are elected for a term of 1 year, after which they can be re-elected.
A member of the advisory council is not entitled to payment for services performed as a member of the council. However, they are entitled to be compensated for travelling and other expenses reasonably incurred in attending council meetings or in the discharge of duties assigned to the member by the advisory council.
A Labrador Subcommittee has been established to assist in moving forward with protected area establishment and management in Labrador. Membership on the subcommittee is decided by the Council members, and made up of Council members. It is desirable to have at least one member of the sub-committee who is a resident of Labrador.
Of the 11 positions on the council, all will be vacant as of April 30, 2017. To fill the upcoming vacancies, expressions of interest are being sought from individuals who possess the background, experience and skill-set identified in the WERAC profile and who can bring some of the core competencies to the table. Consideration will also be given to the demographic factors noted above to ensure that the board is representative of the population of NL.