UNESCO released a report last Friday on the Wood Buffalo National Park.
The UN agency lists 17 recommendations to improve the homeland of the world’s largest herd of free-ranging Wood Bison and the eleven First Nations and Métis communities living there.
UNESCO is asking for a clear policy to enable the transition to a genuine partnership with First Nations and Métis communities. The agency recommends Aboriginal Peoples to be involved in the management of the property.
Canada is also encouraged to conduct an environmental and social impact assessment of the Site C project and of the proposed Teck Frontier oil sands mine project.
Severe human health concerns related to exposure of contaminants such as mercury through water, food or air also require investigation, according to UNESCO’s report.
The agency warns that an absence of a major and timely response would constitute a case for adding the park to the List of World Heritage in Danger.