A United Nations body has affirmed earlier findings that Canada’s largest national park remains under environmental threats from dams, oilsands development and climate change.
The UNESCO report, issued Friday, concludes that the vast Wood Buffalo National Park on the Alberta-Northwest Territories boundary shouldn’t lose its place on the list of World Heritage Sites at this time. Some things in the park, such as whooping crane numbers, are improving.
But it adds that about half of what makes the park a special place is deteriorating, mostly because of water quality and quantity.
“Major concerns remain about the lack of progress in addressing cumulative impacts from industrial developments around the property,” the report says.
“Expansion of existing oilsands projects has continued without full consideration of the potential impacts.”
The report is the latest step in UNESCO’s ongoing examination of concerns originally expressed by the Mikisew Cree First Nation almost a decade ago. A report was filed in 2016 that found impacts from the Bennett Dam upstream in B.C., oilsands development and climate change had radically changed the amount and quality of water in the park, making it hard, if not impossible, for First Nations users to practise their treaty rights.
Source : CTV