The Nunavut Planning Commission’s new proposal for what parts of the territory should be protected from industrial activity is getting some early approval from World Wildlife Fund Canada.
That’s because the new draft of a land-use plan for the territory identifies more caribou and walrus calving areas and marks them as off limits year-round.
Specifically, the government uses Inuit traditional knowledge and a study from the Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board to mark calving grounds on Baffin Island, and these areas would be protected for the first time.
WWF-Canada applauds this move as a “signal that caribou calving grounds are off limits to development,” said its Arctic species and ecosystem specialist, Brandon Laforest.
In 2016, WWF-Canada mapped out the territory’s mineral rich-areas and its caribou calving grounds and found that if all caribou calving grounds identified were protected, there would be 10 per cent of overlap.
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