In the 21st century, the economy and the environment are inextricably linked. While Newfoundland and Labrador grows its economy, it must do so in a manner which mitigates the damage to - or even improves - our precious natural environment.

The green economy is already at work in our province. Newfoundland and Labrador companies are selling goods and services which help preserve our environment; reducing waste and our carbon footprint to trim operating costs and improve our bottom lines; building with more sustainable and efficient materials; and providing crucial knowledge and expertise for operations ranging from mega-projects to home offices. The environmental sector enables the sustainable development of other industries in our province: the natural environment is critically important for tourism and the attraction and retention of workers.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Economy and the Environment Conference, NewLeef, is where the economy and the environment intersect. NEIAís conference brings together experts in the field of the green economy, and those who are working within the environmental sector, to assess the projected growth opportunities against capacity and barriers in our province.

NewLeef 2012 examines how we collectively can grow the sector and take advantage of the opportunities for growth that exist. In 2011, the Department of Innovation, Trade, and Rural Development (INTRD) and the Office of Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, and Emissions Trading (OCCEEET) with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) engaged GLOBE Advisors, in partnership with AMEC Earth & Environmental in St. Johnís, to carry out a study to identify the economic development opportunities associated with the green economy for our province.

The report, titled ďAn Analysis of the Economic Development Opportunities Associated with the Green Economy in Newfoundland and LabradorĒ, identified the environmental sector in our province as employing over 10,300 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in over 1,100 private and public sector organizations. And it is growing.

Newfoundland and Labradorís environmental sector will converge at NewLeef 2012 to review the findings of the green report, and to further define sector opportunities to strengthen and grow the provinceís green economy.

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