Canada invests $27.5M in the future of Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site
June 28, 2018 Ottawa, Ontario Parks Canada Agency
The Government of Canada recognizes the Outstanding Universal Value of Canada's 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Wood Buffalo National Park, and is committed to their ongoing protection.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, announced $27.5 million in funding over five years to support the development of an action plan to secure the future of Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site.
The investment comes after recommendations in 2017 from the World Heritage Committee, which oversees UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and takes concrete steps to address the recommendations of a recent reactive monitoring mission to Wood Buffalo National Park.This funding will further support Canada’s response to the World Heritage Committee in the requested timelines as part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to protecting Canada’s heritage places now, and for future generations. Work is already well underway.Recently, the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site was completed in fulfillment of the World Heritage Committee request to undertake such an assessment. The SEA identifies potential cumulative impacts to the Outstanding Universal Value of Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site and is a key component that will inform the action plan.
The Government of Canada is leading a collaborative effort with the Governments of Alberta, British Columbia, and the Northwest Territories, in partnership with Indigenous organizations, which all have areas of responsibility in the development of the action plan, and with other stakeholders. Development of the action plan will build on existing efforts by the various partners, and will also address other important issues such as enhanced focus on community-based monitoring. Through this collaboration, all partners will continue to work to preserve the Outstanding Universal Value of Wood Buffalo National Park and address the important issues identified by the World Heritage Committee.
The new funding will be allocated from Budget 2018, which made a historic $1.3 billion investment in Canada’s nature, parks, and wild spaces.
"As I have said many times before, the findings and recommendations of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee represent an important call to action. Today, our Government continues to take action with this new, substantial, and long term investment. Our commitment is real and we will continue to work with all of our provincial, territorial, and Indigenous partners to secure the future of the Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site for generations to come."
The Honourable Catherine McKenna,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
Following a petition submitted to the World Heritage Committee by the Mikisew Cree First Nation in 2014 requesting that Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site be added to the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger, the Committee issued a decision requesting that Canada host a Reactive Monitoring Mission and undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to assess the potential cumulative impacts of all developments on the site’s world heritage values.
Parks Canada hosted a joint Reactive Monitoring Mission of the World Heritage Centre and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and as a result of the mission and subsequent report, the World Heritage Committee formally requested through its July 2017 decision that Canada develop an action plan for Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site.
As one of the most significant investments in nature conservation in Canadian history, Budget 2018 will increase federal capacity to protect species at risk and put in place new recovery initiatives for priority species, areas, and threats to our environment.
Through Budget 2018, over $27.5 million will be invested over five years in the development of, and early implementation of, the action plan for Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site.
Wood Buffalo National Park is located in the traditional territory of Indigenous peoples. Parks Canada is working with the 11 Indigenous communities associated with Wood Buffalo National Park through a co-operative management committee that strives to respect both the mandate of Parks Canada and the cultures and traditions of Indigenous peoples. The development of the action plan will be informed by and will reflect Indigenous perspectives, values, and knowledge.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Parks Canada Agency
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