1.         Wood Buffalo National Park (Canada) (N 256)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1983

Criteria  (vii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/256/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/256/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Project of a dam on the Slave River (issue resolved); Dam on the Peace River ;  Pulp and paper mill developments

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/256/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1990

[Oral report by IUCN]

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN


Decision Adopted: 14 COM IX

Wood Buffalo National Park (Canada)

The Committee noted with satisfaction the information provided by the Canadian representative concerning the various threats to this asset which had been identified by IUCN. First, concerning the diseased bison suffering from brucellosis and tuberculosis, the Canadian representative stated that solutions other than the wholesale slaughter of all the herds were being sought in consultation with all the parties concerned, and that the approach now preferred would consist in eliminating only diseased animals and placing the remaining herds under quarantine.

Concerning the dam on the Peace River in British Columbia, it is known to be affecting the hydrological system of the Park. Initially there were a number of floodings which resulted in numbers of bison being drowned. In recent years, the periodic floods which were always a feature of the delta area have been less frequent. None of these changes have had any effect on the nesting areas of the whooping cranes in the Park.

Finally, the proposed pulp mill developments on the river and their tributaries flowing into the Park would each be the subject of Environmental Assessment and Review. One of these was currently in progress and expected to result in major modifications to the processes to be used in the plant. The real question was the cumulative effect of all of the proposed developments, each of which may be determined to have a negligible deleterious effect but which in sum may be a cause of concern. New Environmental Assessment and Review legislation is presently before Parliament and it is hoped that it will provide a mechanism to deal with such situations.

Further monitoring reports will be provided in 1991.