Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, the Honourable Robert C. McLeod and Chair of the Standing Committee on Economic Development and the Environment, Mr. Cory Vanthuyne, are announcing today, that in the spirit of consensus government, an agreement has been reached to provide for the expedited review of Bill 38: Protected Areas Act during the May/June sitting of the Legislative Assembly.
The Government of the Northwest Territories has released the first of two videos explaining the methods used to estimate barren-ground caribou populations in the Northwest Territories (NWT).
Numbers of barren-ground caribou are in decline across the NWT, with the most rapid and significant declines in the Bathurst and Bluenose-East herds. The latest estimates from surveys conducted in 2018 showed that both herds have decreased by half or more in just three years.
The Government of Canada is protecting and conserving nature and wildlife, an important legacy for future generations. Together with the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Conference of Management Authorities and Indigenous governments, organizations and communities, we are making progress toward the recovery and protection of boreal caribou.
Mr. Speaker, the land, water, air, wildlife and plants of the Northwest Territories play a critical role in the lives of Northerners. They are part of our heritage, identity and way of life. They provide for us in many ways as food for our families, traditional clothing, and transportation routes. The land sustains our livelihoods through hunting, trapping and gathering. It is the basis for our arts and culture.
Mr. Speaker, I know you and all the other Members here understand the importance of barren-ground caribou to our communities. Caribou are central to the way of life in the North, and have sustained people here for many generations. This is why together, this Legislative Assembly made a mandate commitment to improve food security in the Northwest Territories through the effective co-management of wildlife, including caribou.
The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is inviting Northwest Territories (NWT) residents to have their say on the development of two action plans: an Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Sustainable Livelihoods Action Plan and a GNWT Traditional Knowledge Action Plan.
Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories has a mandate commitment to use the Land Use and Sustainability Framework to establish the Thaidene Nëné protected area in partnership with Indigenous governments and the Government of Canada.
I can inform Members of the Legislative Assembly that we have made significant progress toward the establishment of the protected area with the negotiation of a draft Establishment Agreement between the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Łutsel K’e Dene First Nation.
The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is announcing the creation of a new Wolf Harvest Incentive Area in the North Slave Region for the current winter season, effective immediately. Increased incentives will be offered for wolves harvested in this area as a way to support barren-ground caribou herd recovery and the traditional economy.
YELLOWKNIFE (December 7, 2018) – The Government of the Northwest Territories is reporting on work completed under the bilateral water management agreement signed with British Columbia.
Population surveys carried out this summer by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on the Bathurst and Bluenose-East caribou herds show caribou numbers continue to decline significantly.
Surveys done in June 2018 indicate the number of animals in the Bathurst herd has dropped from about 20,000 in 2015 to approximately 8,200 in 2018. At its peak in 1986, the size of the herd was estimated at more than 470,000 caribou. The Bluenose-East herd has also declined from approximately 39,000 animals in 2015 to roughly 19,300 caribou.