Healthy Land, Healthy People: GNWT Priorities for Advancement of Conservation Network Planning 2016-2021, outlines conservation network planning in the NWT over the next five years. One priority focuses on achieving clarity on the future establishment and management of the existing candidate areas.
A well-coordinated GNWT will work with partners on made-in-the-north solutions to advance and establish existing candidate areas. Partners have articulated a need to designate classes of protected areas and conservation areas that meet numerous modern goals and demands, while being clear on how these designations will achieve broad conservation targets for the NWT. A factor in reaching this goal is being able to refine the existing tools, including new legislation, to meet the management objectives identified for the candidate areas by all parties, while maintaining as much land under northern control as possible.
Between 1999 and 2014, collaborative implementation of the NWT Protected Areas Strategy (PAS) saw the establishment of Saoyú and ʔehdacho National Historic Site – two peninsulas on Great Bear Lake – as well as the facilitation and advancement of over 12 community-based areas of interest for protection through the structured PAS planning process.
Seven of these initiatives advanced to the stage of candidate area. In addition, Thaidene Nëné area of interest is advancing as proposed National Park Reserve and territorial conservation designations.
The candidate areas identified in the Plan are:
- Dinàgà Wek'èhodì on the North Arm of Great Slave Lake
- Edéhzhíe including the Horn Plateau
- Ejié Túé Ndáde, also known as Buffalo Lake, River and Trails
- Ka'a'gee Tu near Kakisa
- Łue Túé Sųlái, also known as Five Fish Lakes
- Sambaa K’e near Trout Lake
- Thaidene Nëné on the East Arm of Great Slave Lake
- Ts'ude niline Tu'eyeta, also known as Ramparts River and Wetlands
Currently, 17.3% of the land and freshwater in the NWT make up the territory’s conservation network. This includes protected areas and areas identified for conservation in approved regional land use plans.
An additional 1.4% of the NWT is proposed for some level of protection in the future.