Today, Minister Nils Clark and Minister John Streicker announced the release of A Policy for the Stewardship of Yukon’s Wetlands, the territory’s first ever wetlands policy. Wetlands are important to the territory’s ecosystem and contribute to the wellbeing of Yukoners in a variety of ways, from hosting rich biodiversity to their cultural significance for First Nations peoples. The wetlands stewardship policy establishes a consistent and coordinated approach to wetland protection that reflects the values and interests of Yukoners.
The policy was developed through an inclusive process, with input from Yukon First Nation governments; transboundary Indigenous nations; municipal and federal governments; boards and councils; industry; non-governmental organizations; and the public. This policy aims to improve local knowledge of wetlands, manage and minimize impacts on wetlands, and protect the most important wetlands, all while promoting paths towards responsible and sustainable resource development and land use activities.
The policy is intended to:
- provide guidance to Government of Yukon land and water managers;
- help the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board develop consistent recommendations;
- guide industry in the planning and permitting of development proposals; and
- provide land-use planning processes with a consistent approach to wetlands stewardship.
A Policy for the Stewardship of Yukon’s Wetlands can be found online at https://yukon.ca/en/policy-stewardship-yukons-wetlands.
The wetlands stewardship policy will ensure the benefits of the Yukon’s wetlands are recognized and protected when making development and land use planning decisions. The policy will protect sensitive wetlands while allowing for sustainable and responsible resource development. I look forward to implementing this important direction alongside other departments, governments and agencies.
Minister of Environment Nils Clarke
We want to ensure that wetlands of special importance are protected. We also want to ensure that responsible development, including placer mining, is allowed to occur. We spent more than five years developing this policy to ensure we got the balance right in achieving both these goals and I’m proud of what we have accomplished working together across governments, industry and environmental organizations.
Minister of Energy Mines and Resources John Streicker
Wetlands are essential to maintaining water flows, flood protection, purifying water, recharging and discharging groundwater, and are a habitat for fish and wildlife.
Many wetlands support traditional subsistence and cultural activities and provide for harvesting and recreation.
The policy will apply to all wetlands where the Government of Yukon has decision-making authority and to all land uses and resource sectors.
Communications, Energy Mines and Resources