EDMONTON – The Mikisew Cree First Nation is asking UNESCO to place Wood Buffalo National Park on its List of World Heritage Sites in Danger due to growing threats from hydro-electric developments and oil and gas activities. The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and other concerned groups are supporting the petition.
Wood Buffalo National Park was placed on UNESCO’s Natural World Heritage List in 1983 because it contains the largest freshwater boreal delta in the world – the Peace-Athabasca. However, hydro-electric damming along the Peace River in British Columbia and oil sands activities along the Athabasca River in Alberta have significantly reduced the flow of water to the delta, affecting migratory bird populations in the delta and the health of fish populations in the Lake Athabasca area.
UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites in Danger alerts the international community to conditions that threaten the characteristics of a site that justified its placement on the World Heritage List, and is designed to encourage corrective action.
The Mikisew Cree First Nation hope that this petition will improve the prospects for Wood Buffalo National Park – Canada’s largest park and the only place on earth where the predator-prey relationship between wolves and wood bison has continued unbroken over time.
CPAWS has written a letter of support for the Mikisew Cree First Nation petition. Read the letter here.
Courtesy of J.McKinnon, Parks Canada (top)
Courtesty of The Firelight Group (below)