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About Us

What we do

As a department, we work to promote and support the sustainable use and development of natural resources and to protect, conserve and enhance the Northwest Territories environment for the social and economic benefit of all residents. We share  this responsibility with Aboriginal and municipal governments, federal and territorial departments, boards and agencies and every resident of the Northwest Territories.

Some of our work includes

  • Working collaboratively with Aboriginal governments, communities and the public to protect our environment and ensure the wise and sustainable use of our resources.
  • Management and regulatory authority for on-shore waters, wildlife species, wildlife habitat and forests in the Northwest Territories.
  • Assessing, monitoring and mitigating impacts of development on our forests, water, wildlife and wildlife habitat.
  • Negotiating, and implementing, transboundary water agreements with neighbouring jurisdictions.
  • Supporting and promoting the use of alternative energy sources, such as biomass, solar, wind and geothermal, and energy conservation in communities.

How we do it

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources works collaboratively with Aboriginal governments, communities, the public and partners to protect our environment and ensure the wise and sustainable use of our resources.

We use the best available scientific, local and traditional knowledge to develop natural resource policies and programs and to ensure management decisions are current and relevant to the Northwest Territories.

The ENR Strategic Plan 2015-2020 outlines the goals and objectives for the next five years to help the Department acheives its vision and mission. Departmental priorities as set out in the Strategic plan are complement to the GNWT Sustainability Development Policy and the Land Use and Sustainability Framework. They are also compatible with the mandate of ENR.

The Department is responsible for

Conservation, Assessment and Monitoring

Ensures NWT environment figures prominently in land use planning, including conservation lands, and the review of proposed development activities within the regulatory system.


Prevents and reduces the impact of human activities on the environment.

Forest Management

Ensures sustainable use of NWT forest resources and protecting people, property, communities and values at risk from wildland fire.

Water Resources

Ensures water stewardship and works closely with NWT boards issuing water licenses by providing technical advice and reviewing applications and coordinating Ministerial approval for Class A water licences.


Responsible for the stewardship of wildlife resource by assessing and monitoring wildlife populations, habitat, species at risk, wildlife health and biodiversity.