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Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks

Canada
Factors affecting the property in 1999*
  • Mining
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Infrastructural developments in the "Bow Corridor" 
  • Timber harvesting access
  • Oil and gas exploration in the vicinity
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1999
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 1999**
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Summary of previous deliberations: At its twenty-first session (Naples, 1997), the Committee had expressed its serious concerns over the potential threats posed by the Cheviot Mine Project, designed to exploit a large, open-pit coal mine, located 2.8 km from the Jasper National Park portion of this site. A case filed by conservation groups challenging the EIA of the Federal-Provincial Environment Assessment Panel in favour of the mining project was dismissed because the judge decided that the Panel report was not subject to judicial review. In response to a request of the Bureau (June 1998), the Assistant Deputy Minister of Parks Canada informed the Centre that it was unlikely that construction work on any component of the mine will begin before the spring of 1999. Moreover, on 27 August 1998, the Government of Alberta announced the creation of Whitehorse Wildland Park between Jasper National Park and the proposed mine, to help protect the ecological integrity of Jasper National Park and areas surrounding it. At its twenty-second extraordinary session, (November 1998) the Bureau, while reiterating its concerns over the potential impacts of the mining project, welcomed the initiative of the Government of Alberta to establish the new Whitehorse Wildland Park. The Bureau invited the State Party to provide the Centre and IUCN, before 15 April 1999, with an up-date on the status of the proposed mining project for review at its twenty-third session rendered its decision on 8 April 1999. The Federal Court quashed the Federal Fisheries Act authorisation of August 1998 to allow work to start on the access road and railway and concluded that the environmental assessment did not comply with the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). Furthermore, the Federal Court stated that the Project could not proceed until the Joint Review Panel’s environmental assessment is conducted in compliance with the CEAA. The proponent of the Cheviot Mine Project, Lusar Coal Ltd, announced, on 10 March 1999, that it was delaying decisions on the construction of the mine for at least a year. Progress has been made with regard to preparing an Integrated Framework for the Conservation of Grizzly Bears. A document incorporating results of the consultations undertaken with regard to the preparation of the Framework is to be sent to stakeholder groups in May 1999. IUCN has noted that the markets for coal are on the decline, and that the State Party is preparing a state of conservation report on the site. IUCN will provide further comments once it has received the report of the State Party.

Action Required

The Bureau may wish to welcome these developments and to thank the State Party for the actions taken. The Bureau may wish to compliment the members of the environmental coalition for their efforts in ensuring the protection of the site. The Bureau may invite the State Party to submit the state of conservation report on the site for review at its twenty-third extraordinary session in November 1999.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1999
23 BUR IV.B.28
Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks (Canada)

At its twenty-first session, the Committee had expressed its serious concerns over the potential threats posed by the Cheviot Mine Project, designed to exploit a large, open-pit coal mine, located 2.8 km from the Jasper National Park portion of this site. The Bureau noted that Parks Canada, informed the Centre of a Federal Court of Canada hearing from 1 to 3 March 1999 on this case that had rendered its decision on 8 April 1999. The Federal Court quashed the Federal Fisheries Act authorisation of August 1998 to allow work to start on the access road and railway and concluded that the environmental assessment did not comply with the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (LCEE). Furthermore, the Federal Court stated that the Project could not proceed until the Joint Review Panel’s environmental assessment is conducted in compliance with the LCEE. The proponent of the Cheviot Mine Project, Lusar Coal Ltd, announced, on 10 March 1999, that it was delaying decisions on the construction of the mine for at least a year. Progress has been made with regard to preparing an Integrated Framework for the Conservation of Grizzly Bears. A document incorporating results of the consultations undertaken with regard to the preparation of the Framework is to be sent to stakeholder groups in May 1999. IUCN welcomed the decision that the proposed mine has been put on hold for at least one year.

The Bureau welcomed these developments and thanked the State Party for the actions taken and for regularly providing information on the proposed mine. The Bureau commended the members of the environmental coalition for their efforts in promoting the protection of the site. 

Report year: 1999
Canada
Date of Inscription: 1984
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(viii)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 23COM (1999)
Exports

* : 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”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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