State of Conservation (SOC)
Wood Buffalo National Park (2004)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Total Amount Ap proved:0USD
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
Current conservation issues
The Centre received the State Party’s report, dated 20 January 2004. IUCN reviewed the State Party’s report, which noted that the winter road proposal for Wood Buffalo National Park is unchanged since Canada last reported on this issue. IUCN noted from the report that the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and the Mikisew Cree First Nation filed separate applications in the Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, for a judicial review of the matter. The report noted that both applications sought to prevent construction of the winter road. The report further indicated that the Federal Court of Canada dismissed CPAWS’ application for judicial review in October 2001 and CPAWS subsequently appealed to a higher court. This appeal was heard on April 30th 2003 and was subsequently dismissed.
The report noted that, in December 2001, the Federal Court of Canada allowed the application for judicial review by the Mikisew Cree First Nation and set aside the Government of Canada’s decision on the basis that the winter road infringed upon the First Nation’s treaty rights to hunt and trap in the park. The report stated that the government of Canada appealed this decision and the appeal was heard by the Federal Court of Appeal on September 29th 2003. The Court of Appeal has not rendered its decision yet.
Analysis and Conclusion
Link to the decision
The World Heritage Committee, 1. Noting the report provided by the State Party, and acknowledging progress achieved on the conservation of the property, 2. Requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed on the Federal Court decision on the Appeal on the winter road proposal and its implications for the integrity of the property.
Draft Decision: 28 COM 15B.25
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Noting the report provided by the State Party, and acknowledging progress achieved on the conservation of the site,
2. Requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed on the Federal Court decision on the Appeal on the winter road proposal and its implications for the integrity of the site.
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The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).