Reports from this week’s UNESCO summit has revealed that Canada’s largest National Park, Wood Buffalo, is under threat due to climate change and oil and gas hydroelectric projects that have been in development in the area.
Wood Buffalo, that bears its name from the rich population of buffalos and cranes that inhabits its land, is at risk of falling on UNESCO’s World Heritage In Danger list. The organization has already put the national park among the endangered sites in 2007, and now has further stressed the necessity to lay out a plan to safeguard the place.
The park, home to several indigenous populations, is situated in north-eastern Alberta and is crossed by the Peace-Athabasca river, a delta that contains one of the largest basins of fresh water which is the reason why the flora and fauna of the park is especially biodiverse.
However, after the park has been targeted by different industrial development projects, such as hydroelectric facilities that aim to exploit the Peace-Athabasca waters as well as oil and gas operations, the life of the creatures and populations that occupy the land has been highly endangered.
Melody Lepine, member of the Mikisew Cree First Nation Government and Industry Relations has called for people to act on the situation fast as “The community has been seeing first hand the way the Peace Athabasca Delta has been deteriorating”.
As technology evolves and develops everyday, we need to become more self-conscious of the resources our land offers us and start to act respectably our ecosystem.