1,000 signatures reached
To: Parks Canada Agency
Tell Parks Canada to follow all 17 recommendations from UNESCO to save Wood Buffalo National Park
This campaign has ended.
Parks Canada Agency
Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Robert C. McLeod, Northwest Territories Premier; Minister of the Environment
Shannon Phillips, Alberta Minister of Environment and Parks
George Heyman, British Columbia Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
UNESCO World Heritage Site Committee
Dear Ms. Wein, Mr. MacMillan,
UNESCO’s 2017 report concluded that anything less than, “major and timely” response to the recommendations would, “constitute a case for recommending inscription of Wood Buffalo National Park on the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger.”
We expect the Government will take action on Recommendation 4 and include an environmental and social impact assessment of the Site C Dam on Wood Buffalo National Park and associated downstream watershed (all the way to the Arctic Ocean), in the Action Plan.
If Canada fails to address the above concerns in the Action Plan, we will recommend Wood Buffalo National Park be added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in Danger.
Why is this important?
NOW until December 10th is our time to offer feedback.
UPDATE- FEEDBACK PERIOD HAS BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL DECEMBER 14.
Wood Buffalo National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, in part because of its great concentration of migratory wildlife; its vast inland delta, the Peace-Athabasca Delta; and the fact that it is home to many endangered species such as the Whooping Crane. The park encompass an area larger than the country of Switzerland. The UNESCO designation means that this place has Outstanding Universal Value, and places it among such global treasures as the Great Barrier Reef and the Pyramids.
It is also the traditional homeland of 11 Indigenous groups.
In 2014, the Mikisew Cree First Nation petitioned UNESCO to add Wood Buffalo National Park to their list of World Heritage Sites in Danger. UNESCO agreed there were serious issues in the park, and gave Parks Canada 17 recommendations in order to keep Wood Buffalo off the list.
Parks Canada has released a draft Action Plan for public feedback. At this time, there is no plan to address Recommendation 4 - to conduct a full social and environmental impact assessment of the impacts of the Site C Dam on Wood Buffalo National Park.
We understand that much work has taken place with the 11 Indigenous groups within the Park, which we respect; however, we feel meaningful engagement with the Canadian public has not occurred. The sustained integrity of the Outstanding Universal Value of Wood Buffalo is a concern for all Canadians.
Unfortunately, the Action Plan falls short in responding to all 17 recommendations from UNESCO’s reactive monitoring mission. A significant shortfall is the failure to respond to Recommendation 4 – “conduct, in line with ICUN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and environmental and social impact assessment of the Site C Project, and if moved forward, any hydropower projects potentially affecting the Outstanding Universal Value of the Property” (p. 43).
By failing to meet this recommendation, Parks Canada undermines efforts to successfully address the threats to Wood Buffalo National Park. Water quality and quantity are the key underlying challenges to the other 16 recommendations identified.
From UNESCO’s 2017 Report on the Peace-Athabasca Delta:
…Site C…has so far not been assessed in terms of its impacts of the already altered Peace-Athabasca Delta even though the latter is both a fundamental contributor for the justification of World Heritage and Ramsar status, and home to several Aboriginal Peoples.
…the 2014 federal environmental assessment of the Site C project didn’t examine the impacts on the delta because the projects proponent, BC Hydro claimed there would be ‘no detectable effect…the federal panel restated BC Hydro’s position, ‘without providing a conceivable technical rationale for this conclusion’…
Parks Canada claims that, “previous assessments are sufficient”, despite presenting evidence at the Joint Review Panel that stated Site C would have a negative impact on the Peace-Athabasca Delta and despite continued calls from Indigenous groups for the discontinuation of the project.
You can get more information and request a copy of the Draft Action Plan here:
How it will be delivered
This petition will be presented in person to Wood Buffalo National Park management.
Copies will also be sent via email to the address required for public feedback on the Action Plan: [email protected], to the relevant MPs, MPPs, MLAs, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Committee.