UNESCO says industry, poor governance "likely" endanger Canadian World Heritage site

UNESCO site in danger

A United Nations agency says Canada's largest national park is now so threatened that it could likely be placed on the list of World Heritage sites in danger.

UNESCO released the finding on Alberta's Wood Buffalo National Park this week.

It says despite the federal government's $60-million action plan for the park, it continues to be threatened by development in both British Columbia and Alberta.

The report says long-term issues created by B.C.'s Site C dam remain to be worked out and that plans to release water from the tailings ponds on Alberta's oilsands are a large concern.

UNESCO says it wants to send another review panel to have a first-hand look at the park.

Melody Lepine, spokeswoman for the Mikisew Cree, welcomes the UNESCO report and says a healthy park is essential to her people's way of life.

Wood Buffalo is the world's second-largest freshwater delta and is home to millions of songbirds that migrate throughout North America, including endangered whooping cranes.

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