Local Indigenous Groups are calling for more action to protect Wood Buffalo National Park.
A Strategic Environmental Assessment done by Parks Canada says the park is deteriorating and ‘desired outcomes for the world heritage values are not being met.’
The report shows that the Peace-Athabasca Delta is being impacted, oilsands and dams are having a negative effect, grasslands for wildlife are declining, and Indigenous cultures are being threatened.
“The ability of Indigenous groups, peoples and communities to practice their traditional way of life is being negatively impacted and desired outcomes for the world heritage values
are not being met,” the report read.
Back in 2014, the Mikisew Cree First Nation petitioned to have the National Park placed on the list of World Heritage in danger.
“This report adds to the mountain of evidence proving that Wood Buffalo National Park and communities like ours are hurting because of upstream developments and climate change,” said Chief Archie Waquan of the MCFN, in a release.
The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation is also in a fight to protect the WBNP, specifically from Teck Resources proposed Frontier Oilsands.
Their overall concerns focus on the impact on the wildlife and what the future holds for their families.
“Unless governments start addressing the threats to the Park, our children and future generations of Canadians will not benefit from the Park as we once
did,” added ACFN Chief Allan Adam.
The report notes action needs to take place to protect the area, starting with collaborative measures with all affected groups.