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The ban means that the government cannot hand out any new offshore oil and gas licences in Arctic waters. And without a licence, a company cannot apply to drill for oil or gas. In essence, the ban protects both the sensitive Arctic environment and vulnerable communities by stopping risky projects before they start.
Across the globe, freshwater wildlife populations have declined 81 per cent over the past four decades. That's more than twice the population decline for land-based or ocean wildlife. In Canada, some of those freshwater species at risk include Atlantic salmon, white sturgeon, freshwater mussels, nooksack dace, the northern leopard frog, and seven of eight freshwater turtle species.
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Most of us couldn't imagine that it would come to this, at least not in our lifetime. The Arctic is changing from a white, ice-covered, predictable environment to one that is increasingly unstable. And because of the tight linkages between Earth's systems, changes in the Arctic will reverberate around the world.
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We are consuming more than nature can deliver. And wildlife is paying the price. A mass migration has already begun as wildlife move in reaction to changing seasons, to find water, to escape wildfires, to go where sea ice once prevented them from going.
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Marine mammals such as the North Atlantic right whale are threatened by shipping collisions and entanglement in fishing gear. Beluga whales are threatened by chemical and noise pollution, as well as loss of habitat. And all species in Canada will feel the effects of climate change, which is happening faster than species can adapt.
Just out for a swim, you?
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Recently, the Gitga'at, with other First Nations, won a slim victory against the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline project, which would have seen 200 tanker ships filled with bitumen passing each year across their territory.
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Government representatives and community leaders joined dozens of policy, utility and legal experts in one room for the first time to talk about the realities of weaning Arctic communities off dirty diesel fuel, and onto habitat-friendly renewable energy.
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Canada has its own commitments to live up to: to protect five per cent of Canada's marine territory by 2017 and 10 per cent by 2020. We know we can get there. We just need to get going.
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The little brown bat, northern long-eared bat and tri-coloured bat, whose ranges extend to Wahnapitae First Nation, are some of the hardest hit by the disease. All three are listed as endangered due to the sudden and dramatic declines in their populations.
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For far too many watersheds, basic water quality information is inaccessible. That's because it's locked away in the proprietary reports of corporations or tucked away in a file somewhere in an organization that is understaffed with overworked people. Or because it's simply not being collected in the first place.
Shell Canada has relinquished 30 oil and gas exploration permits that were the subject of a lawsuit launched by WWF-Canada. Now, after decades of struggle, nothing stands in the way of finally creating a National Marine Conservation Area in Lancaster Sound, with all the significant protection measures that includes.
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Known worldwide for its rich biodiversity and abundant marine life, Talluruptiup Tariunga, as it's called by the Inuit, is home to strong currents and tides that bring a constant supply of nutrients to the surface, sustaining a wide range of species from the land, sea and air. Polar bears, narwhals, belugas, bowheads, walrus, seals and seabirds all make their home here.
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Don't try to take two steps at a time.
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The Canadian Arctic is a special place for conservation. Where else in the world do we have the opportunity to safeguard a place that is still, in many ways, pristine, with people and species living in ecosystems that have only been lightly altered by human activities.
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Over the last decade we've seen an alarming decrease in the water quality of Lake Erie. The biggest issue facing the lake right now is the increasing number and size of harmful algal blooms -- which are caused largely from an excess amount of the nutrient phosphorous flowing into the lake.
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Polar bears are facing a dire situation for several reasons, and we have the numbers to illustrate exactly how potentially tragic things could be if we don't change things soon. Here's some facts on the status of polar bears today, and why action to reverse climate change is so important for this species.
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Polar bears are spending longer periods in the summer and fall open-water season resting along Arctic coastlines due to thinning and retreating sea ice. Cut off from seals, their primary food source, these bears scavenge food and are sometimes attracted to communities by odours from country (hunted) food and general human waste.
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The Great Bear Region along British Columbia's coast holds one of the largest unspoiled temperate rainforests left on the planet. There was a time when much of the rainforest was slated to be clear cut. But this week, environmentalists, forestry companies, and the 26 First Nations that call the rainforest home reached a final agreement that permanently protects the wilderness and benefits us all.
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To most Canadians, the Arctic is a faraway and mysterious place. It's a romantic piece of our history and identity. That wildness and cold is something we're proud of, but we don't know much about. It should play a bigger role in our consciousness. The Arctic makes up almost 40 per cent of Canada's landmass and two-thirds of our coastline.
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Species have declined by 52 per cent globally in the past 40 years. Climate change is one of the biggest contributors to this decline, and will have even more impact in the years to come.
Without the forest and the economic activity it generates, the North Shore, the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and all the other forest regions of Quebec would not have experienced the same level of economic development that has benefited all Quebecers. However, forestry activity could fall sharply in the fairly near future.
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The government of Nunavut adjusted the January 1, 2015 moratorium on caribou hunting on Baffin Island to allow for a hunt of 250 male caribou. WWF does not support this adjustment and is urging the government to consider a precautionary approach to caribou management on Baffin Island until numbers recover enough to allow for a sustainable harvest.
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On Saturday, September 19, more than 35,000 Canadians will be out in full force to clean up a shoreline in their community for the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup -- It's part of the International Coastal Cleanup Day, making it one of the biggest cleanup events in the world.
We don't need to look any further than the collapse of Newfoundland's northern cod fishery to be reminded of how communities are impacted when resources are overexploited. For centuries, the cod stocks in this region seemed inexhaustible. But when the fishery collapsed in 1992, over 40,000 people lost their jobs.
Now is surely the time to say "enough is enough." We need to tally all the impacts we've seen, think about how many more are yet to come and decide it's time to take action on climate change. Canadians need to look at the other countries who are leading on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and realize that we're being left behind. Our leaders must implement new climate policies now and prepare for the UN Climate negotiations that are happening in Paris this December.
While these colourful marine life forms have been a common and popular sight in the past, in 2013 beach-goers and researchers alike started noticing sea stars with missing or damaged arms. The sea star wasting disease has since been found in over 20 species of sea stars, throughout their Pacific coast range.
Phosphorus is a key nutrient in aquatic systems, but excess phosphorous is the leading cause of the increase in the harmful blue-green algae that is becoming more common in the Great Lakes. Toxic and harmful algal bloom occurrences in Lake Erie pose risks to drinking supplies, quality of life and economic vitality.
Canada is a treasure trove of rivers, lakes and wetlands supporting countless communities, economies and species. With freshwater species experiencing the greatest rate of decline in what is being referred to as the sixth great extinction, Canada must step up efforts to improve watershed health for people and animals. For a prime example of our freshwater health and wealth, we need to look no further than the Skeena watershed on the northwest coast of British Columbia.
Algal blooms are not a new for Lake Erie. In the 1960s and 70s, blooms were so bad the lake was described as "dead." But despite the success of earlier remedial measures, harmful algal blooms are back and bigger than ever. Algal blooms later this summer are expected to be among the worst ever seen in Lake Erie.
Five years ago, the world's tiger countries came together in the face of drastic tiger population decline to set an ambitious goal. With as few as 3,200 wild tigers remaining, a 97 per cent decline from historic populations, governments agreed to double the number of wild tigers by 2022 -- the next year of the tiger. Five years into this ambitious campaign, we have started to see some extremely promising results in Nepal, a country which is becoming known for its innovative work to protect charismatic species like the tiger, rhino and elephant.
WWF-Canada's new national freshwater threats assessment (FTA) found the St. John - St. Croix watershed to experience a "high" level of threats, a score that is in line with most of the other watersheds in the developed areas of the country.