NWT Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (NWT CIMP)

About Us


Cumulative impacts are the combined effects that human activities and natural processes have on our environment. Monitoring cumulative impacts is a legislative obligation of the Sahtu, Gwich’in and Tlicho comprehensive land claim agreements and a statutory requirement of Part 6 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.

The vision of the NWT CIMP is to watch and understand the land so that it can be used respectfully forever. NWT CIMP has worked since 1999 to make sure environmental information is collected and available to support northern resource management decision-making.

Main activities

To do this, NWT CIMP undertakes the following four main activities:

  1. Working with partners to understand key monitoring priorities
  2. Coordinating, conducting and funding cumulative impact monitoring research and analysis
  3. Communicating results to decision-makers and the public
  4. Assessing the program and the regulatory regime by facilitating the NWT Environmental Audit

NWT CIMP Main Activities
NWT CIMP main activities

A partnership approach

NWT CIMP uses a partnership approach to achieve its objectives. A wide range of partners are engaged to establish priorities and conduct tasks, including Indigenous, federal, and territorial governments, co-management boards, universities and industry. A Steering Committee of Indigenous, federal, and territorial governments, co-management boards and industry representatives guides the program.

NWT CIMP considers all sources of knowledge, including science and Indigenous knowledge (IK) equally valuable. Community capacity building and community-based monitoring are key principles that are supported when they are linked to monitoring that produces information relevant to cumulative impacts.  


The following key principles help NWT CIMP achieve its outcomes:

  1. Focus on monitoring cumulative impacts that are relevant to decisions about land and water use in the NWT.
  2. Cumulative impact monitoring includes measuring both human disturbance and natural changes.
  3. Support effects and stressor-based cumulative impact monitoring approaches to generate the information that decision-makers require.
  4. Support the use of common data collection and analysis protocols.
  5. Strong partnership approach to ensure success. Indigenous governments and organizations are involved in all aspects of the program.
  6. Science and Indigenous Knowledge are equally valuable sources of monitoring information and data.
  7. Support community-based monitoring and capacity building when they help to support its primary objective to monitor  cumulative impacts and/or environmental trends.

For more detailed information on the program principles see the NWT CIMP Action Plan.