It’s billed as a first-of-its kind agreement that will further preserve a protected area of Haida Gwaii from the ocean floor to the mountain top.
The Gina ‘Waadluxan KilGuhlGa Land-Sea-People Management Plan for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site was tabled in Parliament this week.
The agreement signed onto by the Haida Nation, Parks Canada, and DFO strengthens marine protection by increasing areas of strict protection from 3 percent to 40 percent and incorporates historic and contemporary Haida knowledge.
“The hard work of developing a management plan that seamlessly and naturally integrates the land, sea and people of a place is at the leading edge of planning, said kil tlaats ‘gaa Peter Lantin, President of the Haida Nation in a news release. “Approving this management plan is a welcome task and one that both the Haida Nation and Canada can be proud of. When we set aside our political differences and get to the essence of why we are all involved in managing Gwaii Haanas, it comes down to our respect for this globally renowned archipelago. This plan recognizes the Haida’s long relationship with Gwaii Haanas, it protects areas of high importance on the land and in the sea, and ensures the continuation of ocean-based sustainable livelihoods.”
The plan outlines four key goals of culture, conservation, sustainable use, and working together over the next ten years.
Gwaii Haanas, which translates to “Islands of Beauty” in Haida, is located in the southern part of Haida Gwaii and is home to 42 species-at-risk, over 700 known archaeological sites and 20 different species of marine mammals.
The region, which has been co-managed as a protected area since 1993, receives about 2500-3000 visitors each year.