This week, Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, alongside Indigenous Governments in the Northwest Territories, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and private philanthropies, celebrated the signing of a framework agreement to support one of the largest Indigenous-led land conservation initiatives in the world.
Once completed, this initiative, known as the Northwest Territories Project Finance for Permanence, or NWT PFP, could more than double the amount of conservation in the territory, contributing more toward meeting Canada’s commitment to protect 30 per cent of the country’s land and inland water by 2030.
This historic milestone in the NWT PFP process was achieved through unprecedented collaboration and builds on a shared vision for an inclusive and long-term approach to climate change mitigation, environmental stewardship, Indigenous rights, and collaborative governance.
The framework agreement outlines the terms and expected outcomes of the initiative in the Northwest Territories, including activities within the scope of investments. Activities include support for establishing new protected and conserved areas identified by Indigenous Governments, as well as ongoing stewardship of existing areas. Guardians’ programs, climate research, investments in conservation-based economic opportunities, and on-the-land, cultural and Indigenous language programs linked to conservation could also be funded.
“Canada’s ambitious conservation goals can only be met in partnership with Indigenous peoples,” said Guilbeault. “This agreement is a testament to what can be achieved when we work together to realize a shared goal. By coupling Indigenous and Western science, we can fight the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, strengthen our relationships with Indigenous communities, and build a better future for everyone.”
The NWT PFP will also help communities adapt to climate change by supporting climate monitoring and assessment activities, preparing for fire risks, and other climate-related impacts.
“This summer’s historic wildfires have been eye-opening for us all. The devastating impacts confirm the critical importance of working together with Indigenous Knowledge Keepers to fight climate change and its disproportionate impacts on Indigenous and racialized communities,” said Anandasangaree. “That is why Canada is proud to support one of the largest Indigenous-led land conservation initiatives in the world, which empowers First Nations, Inuit, and Métis in the North, as they lead efforts to protect the territory that they call home.”
For further information, visit: Project Finance for Permanence: Support for Indigenous-Led Conservation Initiatives