We participated in the JRP hearings to urge the Panel to ensure that adequate conservation plans would be in place before development. This approach, which we call ‘Conservation First,’ is the only practical way to assure the protection of ecological values in landscapes that will be subject to widespread natural resource development. We also urged the JRP to ensure that it weighed the cumulative effects of the proposed project in relation to other anticipated changes in the north, including those that might be induced by the development. We were pleased to see that the JRP addressed our concerns fully in their recommendations.
The JRP’s recommendations are now before the National Energy Board which must provide the government with its report and recommendations on the ultimate disposition of the proposal after consultations with First Nations, the Inuit and the federal and Northwest Territories governments. The NEB is expected to deliver its report this fall.
WWF is hopeful that should the NEB choose to recommend the project be approved, it will carry forward the JRP’s recommendations to assure an orderly and responsible approach to conservation and development in the Mackenzie River Basin.
The Conservation First Principle