Canada risks the embarrassment of Wood Buffalo National Park joining the UNESCO list of world heritage sites in danger, says a northern Alberta First Nation.
A committee of international experts from UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – starts a 10-day monitoring mission Sunday to look at how oil, gas and hydro projects nearby will affect the national park.
UNESCO approached Canada last year to invite its team to the park after it received a petition from the Mikisew Cree First Nation that asked for the site to be added a list of world heritage locations in danger. Wood Buffalo, straddling the Alberta-Northwest Territories border, has been a World Heritage site since 1983. The mission takes place Sept. 25 to Oct. 4.
“We felt the site was just basically being neglected, being forgotten,” said Melody Lepine, of the Mikisew Cree First Nation.