QIA Signs AIP to Advance the Qikiqtani-Project Finance for Permanence Project

QIA Signs AIP to Advance the Qikiqtani-Project Finance for Permanence Project

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QIA Signs AIP to Advance the
Qikiqtani-Project Finance for Permanence Project

Iqaluit, Nunavut, October 5, 2023 – The Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA), along with the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard, Diane Lebouthillier, and Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, have reached a significant milestone by signing an Agreement in Principle (AIP), signalling their shared commitment to working toward the Qikiqtani Regional Conservation Vision through the Qikiqtani Project Finance for Permanence (Q-PFP) model.

The Conservation Vision is based on the following key principles: Inuit governance founded in Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, Inuit-led stewardship, targeted infrastructure, and expanded economic opportunities for Inuit relating to fisheries in the offshore waters adjacent to the Qikiqtani region.
In total, the Q-PFP aims to empower Inuit to protect and manage 989,879 km² of land and waters in our region. Once completed, the Q-PFP project has the potential to comprise the largest network of Inuit-led protected areas in the world.
This AIP outlines a shared commitment of the signatories to advance the following objectives:

• Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreementfor proposed conservation areas Qikiqtait and Sarvarjuaq, encompassing Inuit Protected and Conserved Areas upheld through Inuit stewardship and governance, grounded in Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, and aligned with a sustainable regional protected area model.
• A regional governance agreement designed to align over time all current, proposed and future protected areas with a common Inuit led regional governance model that includes community specific committees with the responsibility to guide local conservation activities and priorities.
• A commitment that QIA will designate proposed and future protected areas as Inuit Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs).
• An Inuit developed and Inuit led Qikiqtani Inuit Protected and Conserved Areas Plan (QIPCAP), that outlines QIA’s overall approach to delivering tangible outcomes in each Qikiqtani community.
• Achievement of one or more Qikiqtani Fisheries Reconciliation Agreements and associated measures if required, encompassing support for new opportunities and engagement relating to fisheries in the offshore arctic waters within Canada’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
• A financial plan that details funding amounts required to implement a long term and sustainable approach to Inuit led conservation.
• Efforts to support development of additional multi-use facilities, together with efforts to address funding shortfalls related to Tallurutiup Imanga, including advancement of a small craft harbour in Arctic Bay.

• Eventual renegotiation of the Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreements (IIBAs) for Auyuittuq, Sirmilik and Quttinirpaaq and Qausuittuq National Parks in addition to other IIBAs related to conservation.
• Collaboration with Qikiqtani communities, the Government of Nunavut, the Government of Canada, and philanthropic supporters to identify additional protected areas, as well as marine and terrestrial protection measures.

“The signing of the AIP is part of a sequence of integral moments in both conservation and our work towards Saimaqatigiingniq with the Government of Canada. Protecting our region and forging a path for Inuit to lead governance in their communities is an essential step for our conservation future. While today’s signing marks an important milestone, we recognize that our work to reaching Saimaqatigiingniq is ongoing. QIA remains dedicated to working with the Government of Canada to healing past wrongs, reinforcing Inuit governance, and enhancing the Inuit economy in our communities,” – Olayuk Akesuk, President, Qikiqatani Inuit Association

“Since being taken out on the land in Qikiqtani Region last March, the beauty and splendour of this natural treasure has remained an inspiration to me. Canada’s commitment to protect 30 percent of lands and waters by 2030 cannot happen without partnerships, and this Agreement in Principle, made possible by QIA leadership, is a momentous step forward – for the people of Nunavut, for Canada, and for the world. Through whole-of-government, and nation-to-nation, Indigenous-led initiatives such as this, we can create vast mosaics of interconnected marine and terrestrial protected areas.” – The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“The signing of this Agreement in Principle signals a key milestone for the Government of Canada and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association. Together, we can propel our shared goal of pursuing marine conservation underpinned by partnership and reconciliation. Inuit have been stewards of land, waters and ice for time immemorial, and we must work together and learn from one another in order to advance our conservation efforts.” – The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Investing in Inuit-led management of the Arctic ecosystem has never been more urgent in the face of escalating climate change and biodiversity loss. Empowering Inuit to take ownership and steward their ancestral lands and waters aligns climate resilience with cultural continuity, ensuring the prosperity of the ecosystems Inuit rely on.

For more information, please contact:
Karen Flaherty
Director, Strategic Communications, Qikiqtani Inuit Association
(P) 867.975.8398 or toll-free 1.800.667.2742

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