Wood Buffalo National Park receives $27.5 million investment in its future.
$27.5 Million invested in Canada’s largest and most at risk national park.
— Press Release June, 29, 2018
EDMONTON – CPAWS Northern Alberta is thrilled with Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change latest action on protecting our wilderness. The Minister announced that the Government of Canada will dedicate $27.5 million over the next 5 years to the protection of Canada’s largest, and most at risk, national park, Wood Buffalo National Park.
This is a great step towards Canada meeting the 17 recommendations issued to the government by the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2016, for the protection of the outstanding values of Wood Buffalo National Park.
Wood Buffalo National Park was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for its outstanding natural heritage. In 2014, it was petitioned by the Mikisew Cree First Nations to be added to the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger, as impacts from nearby industrial developments, and climate change threaten its integrity. Addition to this list means Wood Buffalo National Park has the potential to lose its World Heritage status altogether.
“CPAWS is thrilled with the news from Ottawa and thanks Minister McKenna for taking action to protect the park,” says Adean Alessandrini, Boreal Program Manager at CPAWS Northern Alberta Chapter. “It is great to see Canada taking considerable steps toward meeting UNESCO’s recommendations. We look forward to Canada taking action on the remaining recommendations from UNESCO, ensuring Wood Buffalo National Park’s Outstanding Universal Values are protected!”
This news comes in conjunction with the Mikisew Cree First Nation being on-site in Bahrain at the 42nd Session of the World Heritage Committee. Here they are trying to draw international attention to the ongoing deterioration in Wood Buffalo National Park due to extensive industrial activity surrounding the park, water withdrawals from the Athabasca River, and dams on the Peace River. These activities are having severe impacts on the integrity of the Peace-Athabasca Delta, one of the world’s largest inland deltas and an area of significant cultural importance to indigenous communities.
For more information:
Tara Russell, Program Director, CPAWS Northern Alberta Chapter
Phone: 780-328-3780 ext. 3
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is Canada’s only nationwide charity dedicated solely to the protection of our public land and water and ensuring our parks are managed to protect the biodiversity within them. Over the last 50+ years, CPAWS has played a lead role in protecting over half a million square kilometres – an area bigger than the entire Yukon Territory. Our vision is to protect at least half of our public land and water so that future generations can experience Canada’s irreplaceable wilderness.
CPAWS has chapters in almost every province and territory across Canada, and two chapters here in Alberta – a Southern Alberta chapter located in Calgary and a Northern Alberta chapter located in Edmonton. As a collaborative organization, CPAWS works closely with government of all levels, industry representatives, and communities to manage our impact on a shared landscape. We also advocate for the creation of parks and protected areas for the benefit of both current and future generations of Canadians.