New Brunswick is lagging far behind other provinces in designating protected spaces, a report by Global Forest Watch Canada, a non-profit organization that monitors forestry development activities, says.
That's of concern to the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, said national conservation director Alison Woodley on Tuesday.
Canada has almost doubled the amount of protected land to 8.5 per cent, while New Brunswick only protects 3.1 per cent — the second lowest in Canada, she said.
"Which we know is so far from being what's needed to really protect all of our wildlife species into the future. So we're seriously concerned and we also note that there really isn't a plan in place to move forward," Woodley said.
"So, we really are urging the New Brunswick government to come up with a plan to advance conservation in a significant way."
Woodley compares New Brunswick to Nova Scotia, which now protects four times as much land.
"They recently announced which lands they were going to set aside as they move from eight per cent protected to 12 per cent protected.
"They're in a similar situation, where there's lots of private lands and it's a heavily used province, so it can be done and it really just takes political will to get there," said Woodley.
Canada lags behind the United States and many developing countries, including Cambodia, Guatemala, and Botswana, all of which protect between 20 and 30 per cent of their wilderness, according to the Global Forest Watch report.