Government of Canada Reacts to UNESCO Decision on Pimachiowin Aki

The Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today commented on the news that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee has asked Canada to refine the nomination proposal for the inscription of Pimachiowin Aki on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The World Heritage Committee made this decision today at its annual meeting in Cambodia.

"Canada nominated Pimachiowin Aki as a site of global cultural and natural importance, where there is an indivisible relationship between the First Nations who live there and the boreal forest landscape they inhabit," said Minister Kent. "It is a nomination that illustrates the connection between human society and the natural environment around us. We are pleased that the Committee commended Canada, the First Nations and other stakeholders involved in the project for our exemplary efforts to develop a nomination that will protect, maintain and restore the significant cultural and natural assets and values associated with Pimachiowin Aki. At this year's meeting, the Committee has concluded that the nomination is a strong candidate for inscription on the World Heritage List and asked its expert advisors to work with Canada so that the nomination can be considered for inscription at the Committee's meeting next year."

Pimachiowin Aki is a cultural landscape where the Anishinaabeg people have lived for thousands of years and where they have been proud and careful stewards of the land. It is a huge protected area in Canada's globally important boreal forest, where the rivers flow freely and such iconic species as the wolf and the moose find vital habitat. At more than 33,000 km2, Pimachiwoin Aki centres around the traditional territories of the Bloodvein River, Little Grand Rapids, Paungassi, Pikangikum and Poplar River First Nations along with Woodland Caribou Provincial Park and the Eagle-Snowshoe Conservation Reserve in Ontario and Atikaki Provincial Park in Manitoba.

The nomination process was spearheaded by the Pimachiowin Aki Corporation, established through a partnership of the five First Nations whose lands are included and two provincial governments.

Parks Canada has a mandate to protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada's natural and cultural heritage to Canadians, today and in the future. Parks Canada is also the Government of Canada's representative for the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. Eleven of Canada's World Heritage Sites are areas managed by Parks Canada.

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