Healthy Land, Healthy People: GNWT moves forward with conservation network planning

YELLOWKNIFE (October 5, 2016) — A five year work plan to advance conservation network planning was released today by the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT).

Healthy Land, Healthy People: GNWT Priorities for Advancement of Conservation Network Planning 2016-2021, outlines key tasks the GNWT will undertake over the next five years to pursue a comprehensive and collaborative approach to conservation network planning.

The work plan advances the GNWT’s mandate commitment to finalize and implement the conservation action plan in order to finalize existing candidate protected areas and contributes to achieving the vision of Northern Lands Northern Leadership - The GNWT Land Use and Sustainability Framework, the GNWT approach to balanced, sustainable land-use decisions, along with other initiatives like regional land use planning, the Mineral Development Strategy and the Economic Opportunities Strategy.


“Making sure land in the NWT remains healthy for future generations is a priority of the GNWT. Conservation network planning is part of the GNWT’s integrated approach for making decisions about land use in the Northwest Territories, in partnership with Aboriginal governments and other stakeholders, that takes into account a range of possible uses and the views and interests of all parties as part of the process.”

  • Robert C. McLeod, Minister, Environment and Natural Resources

Quick Facts

  • Healthy Land, Healthy People outlines two clear conservation network planning priority outcomes to be achieved by the GNWT over the next five years in partnership with Aboriginal governments and other planning partners:
  1. Conclude planning and decision-making for each existing candidate area to a point of final decision on establishment; and
  2. Develop a renewed strategy for NWT conservation network planning, which includes ecological representation planning.
  • A renewed strategy for conservation network planning will build upon the NWT Protected Areas Strategy. It renews the GNWT commitment to conservation network planning and the development of a conservation network, including implementation of ecological representation planning.
  • The tasks outlined in this work plan build on 15 years of partnership and collaborative work on conservation network planning. Recent efforts towards the establishment of Thaidëné Nene and engagement on a draft version of this plan in 2015 also informed the development of Healthy Land, Healthy People.
  • Healthy Land, Healthy People includes an objective to develop new legislation to ensure timely establishment of protected areas and conservation areas. It also includes objectives to develop an equitable management framework and a template for a legally binding contract with Aboriginal governments and organizations for each established area.
  • Conservation network planning includes protecting biodiversity by establishing and managing protected areas and conservation areas. It not only maintains our unique Northern landscapes, it also provides more clarity and certainty for regulators, industry and residents.

Related links

Conservation Planning

Media inquiries

Dawn Curtis
Public Affairs and Communications
Environment and Natural Resources
Government of the Northwest Territories
(867) 767-9231 ext. 53045