Featured Image Credit: Adrienne Tivy
By Sarah Sharkey
Canada has recently announced a new national marine conservation area. This puts the government closer to its goal of protecting 5% of Canada’s marine and coastal areas by 2017.
The area is a part of the Arctic Ocean and located in Lancaster Sound (otherwise known as Tallurutiup Imanga in Inuktitut). It is a massive swath of ocean, 109,000 square kilometers to be exact (67,728.46 square miles). The protected land encompasses habitat that is considered very important to walruses, seals, belugas, narwhals, bowhead whales and polar bears. Definitely a good choice of land to protect!
The minister in charge of Canadian Parks said that the region is being protected from the people. “The Inuit have lived here for thousands of years. They rely on the ice. They rely on the amazing mammals that live there.”
The conservation area came about through successful negotiations between the Canadian federal government and the Nunavut and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association. The land is protected from mining, oil and gas exploration and waste dumping.
One important thing that came of this new protection was the fact that 30 oil and gas exploration leases had to be given up by Shell Canada. This end of the leases came after the World Wildlife Fund took Shell Canada to court to insist that the leases were no longer valid.
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