There are a number of ways that governments protect areas in Canada's North:
- Federal and territorial governments protect special natural features and important wildlife habitat through national parks, provincial and territorial parks, national wildlife areas and migratory bird sanctuaries. Canada is currently recommending that sites in the North, including Quttinirpaaq National Park, be designated World Heritage Sites by UNESCO because of their natural and cultural significance.
- Environmental monitoring is carried out by a number of government agencies and their partners such as universities and non-governmental organizations. They gather information on different aspects of the northern environment, such as ecosystems, wildlife species, ice, climate conditions and chemical pollution. This information helps us understand Canada's North and see what changes are going on so we can try to head off future problems.
- Pollution control is an ongoing challenge because so much of the contamination comes from outside Canada's northern region. Environment Canada, for example, enforces laws and promotes actions countrywide that help reduce pollution that might otherwise find its way to the North. Territorial governments also regulate activities that cause pollution locally.
- Sustainable development is an approach to activities (such as mining, oil exploration, forestry, manufacturing and hunting) that considers long-term environmental values as well as economic benefits. Canadian and territorial governments hold public meetings to allow people to have input into developments that might affect them, and often require developers to prove that their activities won't damage the environment.
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