Conservation Successes in Canada | WWF-Canada

Conservation Successes in Canada

Largest Land Withdrawal for Protection Ever in Canada.
Over 10 million hectares of pristine wilderness in the Mackenzie River Basin have been protected from industrial development.

This withdrawal of land and water from industrial activity, announced by the Government of Canada, was made at the request of local First Nations. This interim protection, for a period of four to five years, will allow local people to plan areas for permanent protection around Great Slave Lake and along a northern stretch of the Mackenzie River in the Northwest Territories (NWT).
View map of Northern Land Withdrawal Areas in Canada. 
	© WWF-Canada
View map of Northern Land Withdrawal Areas in Canada.
© WWF-Canada

Map of Northern Land Withdrawal Areas

Aerial of the Mackenzie River upstream from Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories, Canada.
© Tessa MACINTOSH / WWF-Canada
This announcement is a great example of how the Conservation First Principle should be applied in the Mackenzie River Basin, creating a network of protected areas before development occurs. WWF-Canada has been assisting with these community-initiated protected area proposals in the NWT for over 10 years, with help from our supporters, and with our northern conservation partners like Ducks Unlimited, CPAWS and the Canadian Boreal Initiative.

This interim protection is excellent news for an area facing accelerating industrial activities such as the Mackenzie Gas project (including a proposed gas pipeline right down the Mackenzie Valley) and unprecedented uranium exploration east of Great Slave Lake. These areas are culturally significant to the First Nation who call this area home. They are also significant for the wildlife in the region, including barren-ground caribou, wolves, lynx, grizzly bears, moose and huge populations of migratory ducks, geese, swans, shorebirds and loons.

WWF-Canada’s support for these protected areas has included having a full-time office in Yellowknife; providing direct financial, technical and moral support to northern communities; partnerships with First Nations, territorial and federal governments; and testimony before the Joint Review Panel examining the Mackenzie Gas Project.

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