The federal government has reached an agreement with local Inuit that will lead to the protection and management of a massive swath of northern sea in one of the most ecologically sensitive regions of the Canadian Arctic.
The new proposed boundaries of a national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound, which has sometimes been called the Serengeti of the Arctic because of the breadth of its biodiversity, would encompass more than 131,000 square kilometres of ocean.
That is 10 times larger than the biggest of the four existing national marine conservation areas, more than twice as large as any other protected area on land or sea, and would more than double the area of Canada’s marine protected waters.
It also represents about 1.9 per cent of the country’s expanse of ocean and would mark a significant step toward meeting its commitment, under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, to conserve 10 per cent of coastal …