The federal government is helping fund an action plan to secure the future of the Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site.
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced on Thursday they’re investing $27.5 million over five years to support the development of the plan and secure the future of Canada’s largest park.
“As I have said many times before, the findings and recommendations of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee represent an important call to action. Today, our Government continues to take action with this new, substantial, and long-term investment,” said McKenna in a release. “Our commitment is real and we will continue to work with all of our provincial, territorial, and Indigenous partners to secure the future of the Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site for generations to come.”
The funding is a follow up to recommendations made last year by a committee which oversees UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Many reports over recent years suggest the area is deteriorating and ‘desired outcomes for the world heritage values are not being met.’
Back in 2014, the Mikisew Cree First Nation petitioned to have the national park placed on the list of World Heritage in danger.
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.
The federal government says recently, the Strategic Environmental Assessment for the park was completed in fulfillment of the World Heritage Committee request to undertake such an assessment and that work is well underway to ensure the ongoing protection of the area.
– With files from Jaryn Vecchio