We operate in a unique and pristine environment and are committed to protecting it. The water, air, plants and wildlife of this region have for many generations existed untouched and sustained the indigenous peoples of the Northwest Territories.
We are aware that respect for this land is essential to the continued well-being of present and future generations. To ensure that our practices always perform to a degree higher than required standards, we have a dedicated on-site environmental team that focus on legislated agreements specific to Gahcho Kué such as the Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat Protection Plan, the Wildlife Effects Monitoring Plan, and the Annual Wildlife Report which closely documents the observed or inferred activities of all animals within the vicinity of Gahcho Kué. The Wildlife Report is especially focused on species of concern. In addition to this, our team regularly carry out and document the results of regular water, soil and air monitoring. Results must adhere to strict limits set by the Government of the Northwest Territories. Our goal is always to limit these impacts to levels far below what is required and as many of our employees belong to local communities, the motivation to achieve this is strong.
Perhaps the most innovative environmental monitoring process we are part of is, however, the Ni Hadi Xa agreement. The purpose of Ni Hadi Xa is also to minimize our environmental impact, but one main difference is that it is founded on the use of traditional knowledge in monitoring and managing the land, water, plants, and wildlife. Traditional knowledge is thousands of years old and transmitted by each successive generation and is therefore a source of consistent and very reliable information and understanding.
The agreement is a binding contract between six indigenous nations in the region and the partnership between Mountain Province Diamonds and De Beers Canada. It derives its strength from the skills of several indigenous monitors who use traditional techniques. These techniques gather information from observations made at the Gahcho Kué site, observations made on the land in the greater region surrounding Gahcho Kué, and through technical reviews.
Monitors make use of a permanent, dedicated monitoring cabin and each year travel to cover a wide area around the site, to include major waterways. Traditional knowledge monitors work closely with our environmental team sharing and reviewing data, guiding ‘best practices’ at site, making recommendations, and engaging and exchanging information with local communities. We are proud to support and be a part of an innovative and cooperative process that will play an important role through the entire life, and post-life, of Gahcho Kué.