Mining Threatens UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada

Waterton Glacier International Peace Park (Photo: CGP Grey, Wikimedia Commons).

By Valentina Ruiz Leotaud  Sept 15, 2016

Almost one-third of threats to Canadian World Heritage Sites in the past three decades have been the product of both mining and oil and gas operations, CBC reported quoting information from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Out of 75 documented threats against a total of nine designated natural and cultural sites, 23 belong to the “physical resource extraction” category.  Most of them, occurred in the first 13 years of the new millennium when energy prices reached record highs.

Wood Buffalo in northern Alberta was the focus of attention in the organization’s latest report, which dates back to 2015. The national park received nine reports, one of which relates to Teck Resources’ proposal for its Frontier open-pit mine which falls partially within a watershed sub-basin that flows directly in the property into Lake Claire, the largest lake within the Peace-Athabasca Delta.

In a petition filed in December 2014, the Mikisew Cree said that the Frontier Mine would be “the first mine within the last remaining intact forest and ungulate habitat that is contiguous with the WBNP. As such, the Frontier Mine provides the most direct threat to the PAD from an oil sands development to date.”

UNESCO says that the Peace-Athabasca Delta also faces potential dangers from a breach of a tailings pond, given the number of oil sands tailings ponds that are located along the Athabasca River.

To read more, click the link:  Mining threats UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada |


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