Tallurutiup Imanga, or Lancaster Sound, is located in the rugged northeastern region of Nunavut. The natural and cultural seascape is internationally recognized as one of the most significant ecological areas in the world, which is why Ocean Wise welcomes today’s announcement by Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, establishing the Tallurutiup Imanga/Lancaster Sound National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA).
Lancaster Sound is an ecosystem of great importance, sustaining rich biodiversity and the people who have relied on it for eons. It is home to up to 75% of the world’s mysterious and majestic narwhal population, the largest subpopulation of polar bears and millions of Arctic seabirds. Upon completion of an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement, the NMCA will ensure that this vital region of Canada’s Arctic, which is under tremendous pressure from a changing climate, will not experience further pressure from ecologically unsustainable activities. Such protections in the Canadian Arctic benefit biodiversity as well as social and cultural sustainability and food security in the region.
The Arctic represents two-thirds of Canada’s total coastline—the longest coastline of any country in the world–and we are pleased to see Canada’s largest protected area established in this important region. We congratulate the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, the Government of Nunavut and the Federal Government for this accomplishment.
The creation of the Tallurutiup Imanga/Lancaster Sound National Marine Conservation Area will contribute 2% towards Canada’s stated goals of protecting 5% of our marine and coastal areas by 2017 and 10% by 2020. While more progress must still be made, this is an important step toward meeting those goals.
Ocean Wise is a not-for-profit organization whose vision is a world in which oceans are healthy and flourishing. www.ocean.org