Pimachiowin Aki recommended for acceptance as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Winnipeg, May 27, 2016. Evaluation of Canada’s nomination of Pimachiowin Aki is complete, and Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Committee recommend that the site be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The evaluation reports were released today, and will go to the World Heritage Committee during its 40th session from 10-20 July 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey.
Pimachiowin Aki is Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) for “the land that gives life”. This project is a joint effort among five Anishinaabe First Nations - Poplar River, Pikangikum, Little Grand Rapids, Pauingassi and Bloodvein - and the Manitoba and Ontario governments. Parks Canada, the federal agency responsible for leading implementation of the World Heritage Convention in Canada, provided advice on the nomination.
Pimachiowin Aki is 33,400 square kilometres in area. The site is an exceptional mosaic of boreal shield ecosystems, a remarkable cultural landscape; the manifestation of an ancient, enduring and sustainable kinship between culture and nature. Of the 1,031 World Heritage Sites, only 3 percent are both a natural and cultural heritage site. Pimachiowin Aki would be the first of its kind in Canada,” said Pimachiowin Aki spokesperson, William Young of Bloodvein First Nation.
“We are thrilled that the Advisory Bodies are recommending Pimachiowin Aki become a new World Heritage Site. We understand that the World Heritage Committee makes the final decision in July 2016, and we are very optimistic. We have been working on this for over ten years and are very excited our nomination has reached this stage in the process. Pimachiowin Aki will foster sustainable growth for First Nation communities and allow us to carefully develop and manage a wide range of initiatives.”
On behalf of all the Pimachiowin Aki partners, Young especially wished to thank the Advisory Bodies, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), for their collaboration and the invaluable contributions they provided during the nomination process.