Protecting Nunavut’s environment is a complex task that requires vigilance and the cooperation of Nunavummiut, scientific experts, industry and government. The Environmental Protection division delivers a range of regulatory and operational program functions, including a number of commitments under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA). The division administers the Environmental Protection Act, recognizing that all sectors of society must share the responsibility as stewards of the environment.
Environmental protection is responsible for ensuring that Nunavut’s environment is protected, promoted and enhanced, while encouraging responsible development through input and direction into various permit applications.
Visit the Resources page for information on Environmental Protection Legislation and Regulations in Nunavut.
The objectives of the Environmental Protection division are to:
- enforce Nunavut’s Environmental Protection Act, and all associated regulations and guidelines in a consistent, professional and equitable manner;
enhance and promote efficient and effective environmental emergency response capability in Nunavut;
- undertake initiatives directed toward identifying and resolving environmental issues;
- provide input and direction to industry, government and the public through environmental assessment review processes and land use planning initiatives in order to minimize impacts of industrial and other activity to the environment;
- assist the government, industry and the public in complying with the spirit and intent of the EPA through the development and promulgation of environmental guidelines;
- provide technical and regulatory advice to the government, industry and the public;
- develop programs and policies that will assist Nunavut in adapting to projected climate change impacts.
The Environmental Protection division is divided into three main program areas:
The environmental protection program provides and facilitates environmental protection and enforcement in all of Nunavut’s communities. The program includes environmental monitoring and ensures legislative and regulatory compliance.
Environmental Assessment and Land-Use Planning
The Environmental Assessment (EA) and Land Use (LU) section is responsible for supporting the Department of Environment and the Government of Nunavut (GN) in the delivery of certain obligations under the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement for Environmental Assessment and Land Use Planning.
The EA & LU section is dedicated to supporting the GN in the implementation of the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement: by enhancing government-wide capabilities in environmental assessment, ensuring the active participation of the GN in the Land Use Planning Process, and through the provision of knowledge and expert advice to land and resource managers
The division is the first point of contact for the Nunavut Impact Review Board to access the GN’s expertise in human health, wildlife, environmental contamination, environmental emergency response, air quality, parks and fisheries.
The division works with the Nunavut Planning Commission (NPC) to deliver GN responsibilities under NLCA Article 11 for land use planning. We coordinate the GN’s participation in the development, review and approval of the land use plan to guide and direct resource development in the territory. Additionally, the division works with the NPC to develop land use planning policies, and coordinates the provision of information, expertise and support to the NPC.
The Climate Change Section serves Nunavummiut by developing and delivering climate change programs and policies, and sharing information through the development of funding and research partnerships.
For more information about climate change in Nunavut, please visit: www.climatechangenunavut.ca.