© WWF / Henry Harrison

High Arctic marine protected area would safeguard more of the Last Ice Area

5 December 2018

KEYWORDS
The Last Ice Area Arctic Climate Change Canada

IQALUIT, Dec. 4, 2018 – World Wildlife Fund Canada welcomes the announcement of an agreement in principal between the government of Canada and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association to explore options to protect the High Arctic Basin, or Tuvaijuittuq, which means “the ice never melts” in Inuktitut.

This builds on the previous announcement of Tallurutiup Imanga national marine conservation area – formerly Lancaster Sound – to significantly expand habitat protections for polar bears, narwhal and other Arctic wildlife.

Both Tuvaijuittuq and Tallurutiup Imanga are located within the Last Ice Area, that area where summer sea ice will persist the longest in the face of climate change, providing refuge for ice-dependent species.

Paul Crowley, vice president of Arctic Conservation for WWF-Canada, says:
“WWF has been concerned about conservation in the Last Ice Area for years, since it will be the last refuge for ice-dependent species in the Arctic as the climate changes. Conservation measures for both Tallurutiup Imanga and the High Arctic Basin, and the corresponding investment in the conservation economy, will make this area more resilient for communities and wildlife as the world warms. Working on these resilience pieces now is essential, but we can’t focus on this alone. We still need an immediate, massive effort to drive down greenhouse gas emissions in the next 12 years.”

About World Wildlife Fund Canada
WWF-Canada creates solutions to the environmental challenges that matter most for Canadians. We work in places that are unique and ecologically important, so that nature, wildlife and people thrive together. Because we are all wildlife. For more information, visit wwf.ca.

For further information
Rebecca Spring, senior communications specialist, rspring@wwfcanada.org, +1 647-338-6274

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