Environment

Strawberry Moon - OMAZINIBII’IGEG (Indigenous Art Collective)

Current Reality

From the devastating impacts of climate change to the devastation caused by rapacious resource extraction projects on Indigenous territory, the environment suffers the most to the detriment of all Canadians.

June 7, 2022: Government of the Northwest Territories has adopted a Statement of Environmental Values…to ensure climate change impacts are specifically considered when making government decisions. The NWT is the second jurisdiction in Canada to take such a step. The Statement outlines seven principles to inform decision makers:

  • The Precautionary Principle: If there is a threat of significant harm to the environment, err on the side of caution and prevent harm.
  • The Polluter Pays Principle: If you cause harm to the environment, you are responsible to fix it, including covering the cost.
  • The Ecological Sustainability Principle: We need to protect NWT ecosystems and biological diversity.
  • The Intergenerational Equity Principle: Future generations have a right to a safe environment, and we can’t compromise the future to meet the needs of the present.
  • The Environmental Justice Principle: Environmental justice means everyone in the NWT equally shares the benefits and burdens.
  • The Sustainable Development Principle: Development cannot meet the needs of the present if it means future generations will not be able to meet their own needs as well.
  • The Indigenous Rights Principle: Decisions that may impact the environment must recognize the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Statement recognizes the rights of Indigenous peoples, the value of Indigenous knowledge in decision making, and the GNWT’s commitment to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

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