Parks and Conservation Areas
Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement:
Canada’s Largest Body of Protected Waters
Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area was formally established in August 2019 with the signing of an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement (IIBA) between QIA and the Government of Canada.
At, 108,000 Km², approximately the size of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick combined, it is Canada’s largest body of protected waters. Known as the Arctic Serengeti, Tallurutiup Imanga is the birthplace and refuge for nearly all species found in the Eastern Arctic.
Tallurutiup Imanga has sustained Inuit for generations. It is an artery connecting communities and allowing travel throughout the High Arctic. Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Grise Fiord, Pond Inlet and Resolute Bay are the communities adjacent to Tallurutiup Imanga.
Through the establishment of the Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement QIA realized the vision of Inuit leaders who have been seeking protection for these waters since the 1960s in the face of growing oil and gas development interest.
QIA employed a whole-of-government approach when negotiating the Tallurutiup Imanga IIBA. This approach resulted in additional Agreements being established with other federal departments for investments in infrastructure such as harbour developments and food processing units.
The success of these Agreements serves as a blueprint for what can be achieved when Inuit and the Federal Government work together. These unprecedented Agreements ensure Inuit governance of the protected areas, jobs for Inuit as environmental stewards and funding to address the infrastructure deficit in the High Arctic.
The origin of the name Tallurutiup Imanga connects Inuit traditions and the land. Inuit believed that Devon Island resembles facial tattoos on a jawline. Tallurut is the Inuktitut name for Devon Island. Imanga means a body of water surrounding an area.
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Tuvaijuittuq Marine Protected Area: Protecting the High Arctic Basin
Tuvaijuittuq, which means “the ice never melts” in Inuktitut, is an area of particular ecological importance due to the presence of old, thick, multi-year pack ice. The organisms living in this area are abundant and diverse and sustain larger animals such as walrus and bearded seals. The areas’ importance to the Arctic ecosystems is expected to become more critical as climate change melts sea ice. The multi-year ice has been key for travel and harvesting for Inuit in the region.
On August 1, 2019 the Government of Canada and Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) announced an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement (IIBA) for the establishment of Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area. The IIBA includes provisions for the interim protection of Tuvaijuittuq Marine Protected Area.
QIA is collaborating with the Government of Nunavut and the Government of Canada to conduct a feasibility study to assess options to pursue permanent protection for Tuvaijuittuq.
Combined, Tallurutiup Imanga and Tuvaijuittuq cover more than 427,000 square kilometres, which is larger than Newfoundland and Labrador. As a result of these agreements, approximately 14 per cent of Canada’s oceans are now protected.
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