OTTAWA, March 10, 2017 /CNW/ - The Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, today issued the following statement on the release of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and International Union for Conservation of Nature report on the 2016 reactive monitoring mission to Wood Buffalo National Park:
"The Government of Canada welcomes the report of the mission to Wood Buffalo National Park led by representatives of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The Government of Canada is committed to responding to this report as part of our ongoing commitment to protecting Canada's heritage places now, and for future generations.
Wood Buffalo National Park is a special place. Established in 1922 to protect the last remaining herds of wood bison, it is the largest national park in Canada. The park is home to one of the largest free-roaming, self-regulating bison herds in the world, the only remaining nesting ground of the endangered whooping crane, the biologically rich Peace-Athabasca Delta, extensive salt plains unique in Canada, and some of the finest examples of gypsum karst topography in North America. This presence of rare and superlative natural phenomena led to the park's designation as Canada's eighth UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
The park is located in what has been the traditional territory of Indigenous Peoples since time immemorial. Parks Canada is working with the 11 Indigenous communities associated with Wood Buffalo National Park through a co-operative management committee that strives to respect both the mandate of Parks Canada and the cultures and traditions of Indigenous people. There is much more to be done.
The findings and recommendations contained in this report represent a call to action. It is one that goes beyond Wood Buffalo National Park or the Parks Canada Agency. A true response to this report will only be possible through collaboration at all levels, between federal, provincial, and territorial governments, engagement with Indigenous partners and consultations with industry and other stakeholders. And it will need to include the best available science and the traditional knowledge of our Indigenous communities.
By taking a unified and collaborative approach, we can create a path forward and secure the future of Wood Buffalo National Park, so that it remains a treasured place with Outstanding Universal Value for generations to come."
SOURCE Parks Canada
For further information: Caitlin Workman, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-991-1441, [email protected]; Media Relations, Parks Canada Agency, 855-862-1812, [email protected]