For Immediate Release
Haida Nation and Government of Canada announce Gwaii Haanas Land-Sea-People Management Plan
Innovative plan will protect Gwaii Haanas for future generations
November 19, 2018 HlGaagilda Skidegate, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia
The Gina ‘Waadluxan KilGuhlGa Land-Sea-People Management Plan for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site was tabled in Parliament today. The Gwaii Haanas Land-Sea-People Management Plan, signed by the Haida Nation, Parks Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, is a first of its kind – one that sets direction for how the land and sea of a protected area are managed, from mountain top to seafloor.
Since 1993, Gwaii Haanas has been cooperatively managed by the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada through the Archipelago Management Board.
The Gwaii Haanas Land-Sea-People Management Plan outlines the following key goals for the next 10 years:
- Culture – maintaining a strong and enduring Haida relationship with Gwaii Haanas, a place that has significant cultural, spiritual and economic importance.
- Conservation – conserving and protecting ecosystems and the diversity of terrestrial and marine species that live in Gwaii Haanas, including their ability to adapt to climate change.
- Sustainable Use – continuing Haida traditional use throughout Gwaii Haanas and allowing for other activities that are ecologically sustainable and provide social, cultural and/or economic benefits.
- Working Together – advancing a respectful and collaborative relationship between the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada.
The Land-Sea-People Management Plan integrates historic and contemporary Haida knowledge and also considers opportunities for those who depend on Gwaii Haanas for their livelihood. This will further increase appreciation and learning opportunities in Gwaii Haanas for people today and generations to come.
Furthermore, the Land-Sea-People Management Plan strengthens marine protection by increasing areas of strict protection from the current level of 3 percent to 40 percent. The Plan demonstrates how the Haida Nation, Parks Canada, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada are strengthening protection of the terrestrial and marine environments of Gwaii Haanas, while respecting the area’s cultural, social, and economic significance.
Protecting our natural heritage is essential to our environment, our economy and our communities. That’s why the Government of Canada, in collaboration with partners across the country, has committed to doubling the amount of nature protected in Canada, from coast to coast to coast.
The Gwaii Haanas Land-Sea-People Management Plan incorporates advice from the Gwaii Haanas Advisory Committee, Haida Hereditary Chiefs and communities, Haida Gwaii residents, and key stakeholders including the tourism, fishing and shipping sectors as well as environmental groups.
“Gwaii Haanas is a globally renowned ecological and cultural treasure. We have worked with the Haida Nation for more than 25 years to protect Gwaii Haanas and share its stories with Canadians and the world. This important step will help preserve some of the most abundant and unique nature in the world, and protect the cultural heritage of this iconic place. I would like to say haawa – thank you to all who contributed to the plan for Gwaii Haanas.”
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
“The hard work of developing a management plan that seamlessly and naturally integrates the land, sea and people of a place is at the leading edge of planning. Approving this management plan is a welcome task and one that both the Haida Nation and Canada can be proud of. When we set aside our political differences and get to the essence of why we are all involved in managing Gwaii Haanas, it comes down to our respect for this globally renowned archipelago. This plan not only meets the high expectations of the Haida Nation, but, we also believe, it meets the expectations of those from across the country who were involved in its development. This plan recognizes the Haida’s long relationship with Gwaii Haanas, it protects areas of high importance on the land and in the sea, and ensures the continuation of ocean-based sustainable livelihoods.”
kil tlaats ‘gaa Peter Lantin
President of the Haida Nation
“The governance and management of Gwaii Haanas is as unique as its ecology. This is a “first-of-its-kind” plan, managing protection, conservation and sustainable use from mountaintops to the depths of the ocean. For decades, the Haida Nation and Canada have sorted out many of our differences while cooperatively managing Gwaii Haanas, and while working through the details of this plan we encountered and resolved some new ones. Both governments’ members of the Archipelago Management Board deserve our respect and thanks, as do the staff who made this happen. This 10-year plan is forward-thinking and sets a high standard which other global protected areas may wish to examine and possibly emulate.”
Ginn waadluu un uula isdaa ayagang Trevor Russ
Vice-president of the Haida Nation
“We are all connected through our oceans. The Land-Sea-People Management Plan for Gwaii Haanas puts this principle into action to co-operatively manage this unique ecosystem. Gwaii Haanas has significant social, cultural and economic value, and I recognize the effort and long-term commitments of those from the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada who have been, and continue to be, involved in the innovative and forward-thinking management of this ecological and environmental treasure.”
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
- Gwaii Haanas is one of a growing number of co-operatively managed, nationally protected areas in Canada. Since 1993, the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada have worked together to protect and share this amazing place.
- Gwaii Haanas is home to 42 species-at-risk, over 700 known archaeological sites and 20 different species of marine mammals. On average, Gwaii Haanas hosts 2500-3000 visitors annually.
- The National Marine Conservation Area Reserve contributes to Canada’s marine conservation targets.
- Gwaii Haanas translates to “Islands of Beauty” in Haida. Located in the southern part of Haida Gwaii, approximately 130 km off British Columbia’s coast and 640 km north of Vancouver, Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site encompasses more than 5,000 km2 from mountaintop to seafloor. Gwaii Haanas is renowned for its spectacular wilderness and its vibrant cultural resources as well as for the intimate connections it has between land, sea, and people.
Photos for media use:
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans
and the Canadian Coast Guard
Director of Communications
Council of the Haida Nation
Parks Canada Agency
Fisheries and Oceans Canada