State of Conservation (SOC)
Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks (1997)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Total Amount Ap proved:0USD
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
Infrastructural developments in the "Bow Corridor"
Current conservation issues
IUCN has reported to the Centre that the Provincial Government of Alberta has approved a project to exploit a large (22 km long and 3 km wide), open-pit coal mine, located 1.8 km from the Jasper National Park portion of this World Heritage Area. Additional approvals of the mining project, which would affect fish-habitat in eight rivers, are needed from the Federal Ministries for the Environment and Fisheries. IUCN has endorsed the following conclusion of Parks Canada on the proposed mining project: "the Cheviot Mine Project, as proposed, has the potential to adversely impact the ecological integrity of Jasper National Park. Parks Canada's concerns relate specifically to the loss or alienation of habitat, impacts on essential wildlife travel-corridors which link Jasper National Park and the high quality habitat in adjacent provincial lands, increases in wildlife mortality and the cumulative impacts of this project and other planned or proposed activities such as timber harvesting access, and oil and gas exploration in the vicinity of Jasper National Park".
Analysis and Conclusion
Link to the decision
VII.37 Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks (Canada)
The Committee noted with concern the potential threats to the integrity of this site due to the proposed Cheviot Mine Project, designed to exploit a large, open-pit coal mine, located 1.8 km from the Jasper National Park portion of this World Heritage area. Despite the fact that during the environmental assessment process conservation organizations and Parks Canada expressed concern regarding the negative impacts, e.g. loss or alienation of wildlife habitat, impacts on essential wildlife travel corridors etc., which the proposed mining project would have on the integrity of the World Heritage site, the Federal Government of Canada and the Provincial Government of Alberta subsequently approved the project and published a full EIA in favour of the project. At present the proposed mining project is being legally challenged by conservation groups. IUCN stressed that an increasing number of World Heritage sites (a total of nine, including this case) are threatened by proposed mining projects.
The Committee expressed its serious concerns regarding the impacts that the proposed mining project would have on the integrity of the Canadian Rocky Mountain National Parks and invited the Federal Government of Canada to consult with the Provincial Government of Alberta and to re-consider the decision on the proposed mining project with a view to seeking alternative sites in the region which would have less damaging effects. The Committee requested the Canadian authorities to provide detailed information on the proposed mining project, its expected impacts on the World Heritage site, and proposed measures for mitigating those impacts, to the Centre, before 1 May 1998, for review by the Bureau at its next session in mid-1998. The Delegate of Canada indicated that his Government would be happy to provide such a report.
The Bureau may wish to transmit the above report to the
Committee for examination and recommend the following for adoption:
"The Committee expresses its concern over the impacts which the proposed mine would have on this site and urges the Canadian authorities to seek alternative mining sites in the region that would have less damaging effects. The Committee requests the Canadian authorities to provide detailed information on the proposed mining project to the Centre for review by the Bureau at its next session."
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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”).