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Developing a Yukon Wetland Policy

Developing a Yukon Wetland Policy

About this project

The Government of Yukon has committed to developing a wetlands policy for Yukon. We are inviting governments and external organizations with an interest in wetlands to be a partner in developing the policy. We will have an on-going roundtable meeting process throughout 2018 and 2019.

Why do we need a wetlands policy for Yukon?

  • Wetlands are important, unique parts of the ecosystem and have many valuable functions.
  • Human activities can affect wetlands, and we need to improve our management of these effects.
  • Multiple governments and organizations have roles in managing wetlands and activities that affect them, a common policy framework will support a consistent and integrated approach.

How did we get here, and where are we going?

There is currently no framework in place to guide the management of activities in wetlands across Yukon. This has created uncertainty for land managers, industry, and project assessors when dealing with development in wetlands.

As part of the implementation of the Yukon Water Strategy, the Government of Yukon is mandated to “develop a policy for managing Yukon wetlands, including support for wetland inventory and monitoring, in partnership with other governments, stakeholders and the public.”

We anticipate the Yukon wetland policy will be complete early in 2020.

Our commitment to participants

The Government of Yukon has committed to working in partnership, with invited participants, in a collaborative policy development process. In practice, this means:

  • Discussing and making recommendations about policy contents together with participants;
  • Attempting to include and address all participants’ interests and perspectives; and
  • Using all available tools to find policy solutions that everyone is willing to support.

A collaborative decision-making process

Policy development will occur through a series of roundtable workshops over the next 12 months. The roundtables will be composed of representatives from all invited organizations. Smaller technical working groups may be formed to support the roundtable and facilitate more focused discussion on particular topics.

Roundtable participants (including the Government of Yukon's representatives) will strive for consensus on policy elements as we create a draft policy. Then, we will circulate the draft policy for public review, revise it based on the public input received, and then circulate it for inter-governmental review.

Following any revisions, we will advance a final recommended draft policy to the Government of Yukon Cabinet Committee for review and approval.

How do I participate?

  • Contact your government or an organization that represents your perspectives at the roundtable (see list below).
  • Share your thoughts through this website (coming soon).
  • Comment on the draft policy once completed and available online for public review.

What can I expect from the process?

The Government of Yukon is committed to developing the wetland policy through a collaborative and transparent process. At the conclusion of the engagement process, the roundtable participants will present the recommended wetland policy to the Government of Yukon.

We will keep the public informed of the progress and discussions throughout the policy’s development by posting information and updates on this site.

Those invited to the roundtable

Technical working groups

Policy Outline Drafting Group

Based on feedback received during the first roundtable, we established a small group of participants to create a draft outline of the policy.

This outline helps to inform the path forward for the roundtable; identifying areas where there is already considerable agreement on policy content, and those areas where further discussion is needed.

This working group was composed of representatives from:

  • Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Yukon
  • Chamber of Mines
  • Ducks Unlimited Canada
  • Government of Canada
  • Government of Yukon
  • Klondike Placer Miners Association
  • Tr’ondëk Hwech'in
  • Yukon Conservation Society
  • Yukon Prospector’s Association

Background/Context Drafting Group

A small group was identified at the second roundtable meeting to further develop the background and context sections of the policy. Draft text is being developed by the Government of Yukon's representatives and will be reviewed and updated by representatives from the following organizations:

  • Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Yukon
  • Ducks Unlimited Canada
  • Government of Canada
  • Government of Yukon
  • Klondike Placer Miners Association
  • Tetlit Gwitchin Council
  • Tr’ondëk Hwech'in
  • Yukon Conservation Society

Other Technical Working Groups

Other groups will be listed as they are established.

Timeline

Below is the anticipated timeline for engagement activities. You can see who is involved during each phase of the project. These times are not confirmed and may change at any stage. Any changes will be updated here.

Or download here as a PDF.

Ministers' message

We are looking forward to working together with First Nations, Inuvialuit, municipal and federal governments, industry organizations, boards, councils, and environmental organizations to develop this wetland policy.

We know that wetlands are important to the environment and humans in many ways, from hosting rich biodiversity to their cultural significance for First Nation’s peoples. We also know resources in and around wetlands can be economically significant.

As part of our mandate to promote responsible resource development balanced with environmental management, we have undertaken several research and regulatory activities in recent years related to placer mining and wetlands.

Our government is also aware that Yukoners have expressed an interest in conserving wetland areas in the territory, and have concerns related to human impacts on wetland ecosystems and habitat.

By developing a wetland policy, we can provide a consistent and integrated approach to how the Government of Yukon manages human impacts on wetlands .

This will be a Government of Yukon policy that respects collaborative management approaches, Final and Self Government Agreements, and Aboriginal rights and title. It will reflect shared environmental, cultural, social and economic needs and understanding. We will base this on common understanding of wetlands values and functions. This policy will not target any specific Yukon wetland or resource sector.

We expect the Government of Yukon’s wetland policy to provide guidance to industry, land managers and project assessors in their decision-making on wetlands. We hope it will be a general policy, flexible to differing circumstances. It may inform future actions, such as developing guidelines for resource development.

We hope by working together throughout the process of developing a wetland policy we can a build a strong, consistent and united approach to managing activities in wetlands that is responsive to the values and concerns of all Yukoners.

Pauline Frost and Ranj Pillai

Ministers responsible for Environment and Energy, Mines and Resources


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