Declaration

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED DECLARE THAT:

Deh Cho, the Mackenzie River, is Canada’s wildest big river flowing through globally important forests and tundra teeming with caribou, moose, geese, wolves, and bears;

  • Indigenous Peoples have conserved and stewarded the lands, waters and wildlife of the Mackenzie Valley from time immemorial;
  • The proposed $7 billion Mackenzie Gas Project would harm ecosystems and wildlife and disrupt communities, while creating only 50 permanent jobs in the Northwest Territories;
  • The Project would trigger massive industrialization of the Mackenzie watershed by inducing at least $70 billion in expenditures on tar sands and natural gas projects within the next decade, which would in turn accelerate fragmentation of wilderness and damage to biodiversity
  • Climate change caused by burning of fossil fuels globally already is harming the Mackenzie Valley much more than other parts of Canada; and
  • Tar sands developments to be supplied with Mackenzie gas produce the world’s most harmful type of oil for the atmosphere, and would prejudice Canada’s ability to meet its Kyoto Protocol targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

WE THEREFORE OPPOSE THE PROPOSED MACKENZIE GAS PROJECT AND THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRIALIZATION OF THE MACKENZIE WATERSHED THAT IT WOULD TRIGGER.

Should construction of the Mackenzie Gas Project proceed in spite of these concerns, Canadian governments must:

  • Support Canada’s commitments to protect the global atmosphere by:
    • Guaranteeing that Mackenzie gas is not used to fuel expansion of tar sands developments; and
    • Ensuring that Mackenzie gas displaces carbon-intensive fuels such as coal or oil.
  • Protect the biodiversity and ecology of the Mackenzie Valley by:
    • Ensuring cumulative environmental effects are assessed and mitigated, and then monitored by an independent agency; and
    • Establishing an interconnected network of protected areas.
  • Ensure sustainable, healthy Mackenzie Valley communities by:
    • Promoting community-controlled land use planning; and
    • Investing in green energy initiatives.
  • Respect the rights of Mackenzie Valley Indigenous Peoples by:
    • Ensuring full partnership of their organizations in directing environmental assessments and establishing an environmental monitoring agency.