NWT Environmental Audit

2015 NWT Environmental Audit

About the Audit

The 2015 Northwest Territories Environmental Audit (full report; summary report) looks at the effectiveness of the regulatory system in the Northwest Territories, the quality of environmental information used to make decisions, and processes related to monitoring cumulative impacts. The Audit provides recommendations that are intended to improve how the environment is managed.

What did the Auditor do?

In 2015 the Auditor:

  • reviewed the effectiveness of the regulatory regime created under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act to protect the environment from significant impacts
  • considered the effectiveness of methods used to monitor cumulative environmental impacts in the Northwest Territories
  • looked for any key gaps in information used to determine cumulative impacts and environmental trends, and the significance of the gaps, particularly for caribou, water and fish
  • reviewed actions taken in response to recommendations of the 2005 and 2010 Northwest Territories Environmental Audits

Most aspects of the Audit cover all of the Northwest Territories, including both the Mackenzie Valley and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR). However, since the ISR is governed by different environmental legislation, its regulatory system was not examined.

What did the Audit find?

The Auditor found that since the last Audit in 2010, the environmental regulatory system in the NWT has continued to improve. The integrated system of land and water management is generally effective in protecting the environment. However, the Auditor concluded that some foundational challenges continue to affect the ability of the system to fully function.

These challenges create uncertainty for proponents, co-management boards, Aboriginal governments and organizations, and regulators. Closing these gaps is a priority.

Recommended actions included:

  • completing unsettled land claims
  • completing land use plans
  • providing clarity on federal Crown consultation
  • increasing funding for Aboriginal governments and organizations and others to participate in the system
  • improving integration of socio-economics (especially community wellness) into decision-making

More information

If you have questions, please contact the Northwest Territories Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (NWT CIMP) at nwtcimp@gov.nt.ca