Wood Buffalo National Park Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada’s largest National Park celebrated around the world for its Outstanding Universal Values, is under threat! Hydroelectric activity on the Peace River in British Columbia and oil sands developments along the Athabasca River in Alberta are leading to the degradation of the Peace-Athabasca Delta, the world’s second largest fresh water inland delta! The Mikisew Cree First Nation have taken action to protect Wood Buffalo National Park by asking UNESCO to place it on the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger. Read more below!
Wood Buffalo National Park is a National and International Treasure!
Wood Buffalo National Park (the “Park”), situated in the Northern Boreal Plains in northeastern Alberta and the southern Northwest Territories, is the largest national park in Canada and one of the largest in the world. At 44,807km2, the Park houses the world’s largest population of free-roaming wild bison and is the only place in the world where a natural predatory relationship between wolves and bison has continued unbroken over time. This vast wilderness contains one of the largest inland freshwater deltas in the world, the Peace-Athabasca Delta (the “Delta”). The Park is home to 47 species of mammals, hundreds of thousands of birds, and the world’s largest beaver dam. This extremely important land has been utilized by Aboriginal Peoples for more than 8,000 years. Subsistence hunting, fishing and trapping continue to occur in the park and the Mikisew Cree First Nations’ cultural, spiritual and physical survival remains tied to the park and the Delta.
Write to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking him to take steps to stop the development of hydroelectric projects and oil sands activities that may negatively affect the Park.
The Park is at Risk
Despite its outstanding value to Canada and the world, the Park is under threat from hydro-electric developments and oil and gas activities. Hydro-electric damming along the Peace River in British Columbia and oil sands activities along the Athabasca River in Alberta have significantly reduced the flow of water to the Delta, affecting migratory bird populations in the Delta and the health of fish populations in the Lake Athabasca area.
Mikisew Cree First Nation’s Petition to UNESCO
The Misikew Cree First Nation is asking UNESCO to place the Park on its list of World Heritage in Danger to encourage immediate corrective action in order to protect these sensitive ecosystems. Steps to protect the park include developing a cumulative effects assessment of hydroelectric regulation on the Delta, implementing strategic water flow regulation, placing a moratorium on industrial development north of the Firebag River pending further research into the effects of oil sands activities, and adopting an adaptive management framework and regulatory system.
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