NGMP Funded Project Descriptions (2010-2016)

Nunavut General Monitoring Plan (NGMP) supports monitoring activities in the following areas: ecosystemic monitoring; socio-economic monitoring; and monitoring of the use of land and water through its grants and contribution funding program.

These three monitoring categories are defined by numerous monitoring sub-themes, with each ecosystemic and socio-economic monitoring theme further substantiated by valued components. 

During each call for proposals, NGMP may choose different monitoring priorities at the discretion of the steering committee.

The monitoring areas are defined in detail below:

Ecosystemic Monitoring: Related to the complex of a natural community of living organisms and its environment functioning as an ecological unit in nature (Article 12, Nunavut Land Claim Agreement).

Socio-economic Monitoring: Examines social and economic factors to better understand how the combination of both influences people and society. It relates to: demographics, health and well-being, food security, education and training, housing, crime, and energy use; cultural practices, including Inuit language, traditional activities and skills; economy, including employment and economic activities.

Use of Land and Water Monitoring: Related to land and water use planning, which includes: resource development, land ownership, heritage and archaeological sites, municipal infrastructure, transportation infrastructure and activities, communications infrastructure, parks and protected areas, military activities, contaminated sites, research facilities and paleontological sites.

ECOSYSTEMIC MONITORING

Ecosystemic, Fresh Water

SE03 Title: Nunavut Drinking Water Quality- Source to Tap Monitoring

Monitoring Theme: Ecosystemic, Fresh Water

Project Lead: Dalhousie University

Monitoring Period: 2011-2015; Completed

Project Description:

The overall goal of the project was to assess the quality of potable water in Nunavut communities from source-to-tap. This project identified chemical and microbiological components of the water supply system where contaminants could be introduced to potable water. The project also aimed to develop remediation strategies to specifically address identified issues, and therefore improve the quality and safety of water delivered to community residents.

In the initial phases of the project, from January to March 2012, researchers developed the analytical capacity to detect and measure a wide range of microbial and chemical parameters in water in Nunavut. Instrumentation and analytical methods were then tested during a pilot scale water sampling program which was conducted in the community of Coral Harbour, Nunavut in March 2013.The sampling program was extended to Pond Inlet, Pangnirtung, and Iqaluit in July 2013.

Further Information:

Ecosystemic, Fresh Water Fish

EC02 Title: Establishing a Long-Term, River-Based Monitoring System for Arctic Char in the Cambridge Bay Area, Nunavut

Monitoring Theme: Ecosystemic, Fresh Water Fish

Project Lead: Ekaluktutiak (Cambridge Bay) Hunters and Trappers Association

Monitoring Period: 2011-2016; On-going

Project Description:

The project aims to establish a long-term, community-based monitoring program for the collection of fishery-dependent data, with an emphasis on catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) information from harvested Arctic char in the Cambridge Bay area. Training of local monitors and fishers will facilitate the collection of river-specific catch and effort information by, and for, community resource users. This project will directly enhance community-based monitoring for the region and involve capacity building for involvement in natural resource monitoring in Nunavut aquatic ecosystems.

This monitoring program will occur at commercial waterbodies (i.e., Ekalluk, Halovik, Paliryuak, and Jayko rivers) annually, spanning from mid-July to late September. The initial length of the project is seven years, five of which will be specific to the collection of CPUE data. Five years is the minimum length of time needed for such data to be incorporated effectively into quantitative stock assessment models. In the seventh year, the results of a stock assessment will be formally published in the Government of Canada Manuscript Report series and the final report will be distributed amongst all project partners.

Further Information:

EC03 Title: Development and Implementation of a Community-Based Fishery Monitoring Programme and Adaptive Co-Management Plan for Arctic Char in Baffin Region, Nunavut

Monitoring Theme: Ecosystemic, Fresh Water Fish

Project Lead: Pangnirtung Hunters and Trappers Association

Monitoring Period: 2011-2016; On-going

Project Description:

The goal of this project is to build local capacities for Arctic Char monitoring and management in Nunavut, as this will ensure long-term conservation of the resource and food security, while supporting sustainable fishery development and viable economic growth in communities based on traditional fish harvesting practices. The project is centered on the design and implementation of a community-based fishery monitoring program and stock assessment framework in Baffin Island communities over a five- year period. Phase I involves the community of Pangnirtung.

Long-term goals include: realizing a community-based framework for conservation, simultaneous optimization of Arctic char resources, and fostering community involvement in decision-making processes relating to Arctic char management.

Further Information:

EC28 Title: Establishing an Aquatic Monitoring Program for Nunavut – Nunavut Community-Based Aquatic Program (N-CAMP)

Monitoring Theme: Ecosystemic, Fresh Water Fish

Project Lead: Government of Nunavut - Department of Environment

Monitoring Period: 2011-2016; On-going

Project Description:

This project aims to develop a pilot training program for monitoring water quality, aquatic invertebrate species, and fish populations and harvests in Nunavut. The project will use other Canadian aquatic monitoring protocols as a basis, but integrate Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit principles into the content and delivery methods. The ultimate goal of the project is to empower Nunavut communities by providing active training in sustainable fisheries and aquatic ecosystem monitoring.

More specific goals include: building community fish monitoring capacity, promoting continuity and regional coordination of this monitoring, and developing a geographically referenced information system allowing Fishing and Sealing (F&S) Division offices to share data related to Nunavut communities.

During  Phase I of N-CAMP, F&S established regional aquatic sampling kits, organized community consultations, and prioritized program goals. Phase II and III focused on developing the fisheries and aquatic bio-monitoring modules with the assistance of other partners. In Phase III, a new website (Nunavut Community Aquatic Monitoring Program) was established, creating a space where local knowledge and other aquatic resources could be gathered and shared.

Further Information:

Ecosystemic, Avian Wildlife

EC20 Title: Hudson-Strait/Foxe Basin Marine Bird Coastal Monitoring Survey- Assessing the Impacts of Declining Summer Sea Ice and Northern Development

Monitoring Theme: Ecosystemic, Avian Wildlife

Project Lead: Carleton University

Monitoring Period: 2011-2016; On-going

Project Description:

The purpose of this project is to estimate the distribution and abundance of marine birds in the Hudson Strait-Foxe Basin region during the summer breeding season, and asses their vulnerability to northern development activities and potential industrial accidents. The project will also examine potential cascading ecological impacts resulting from the loss of summer sea ice on marine bird populations from increased predation by polar bears.

Project tasks:

  • Compile baseline data on eider and other marine bird abundance and distributions in coastal areas.
  • Estimate the number and proportion of nests potentially susceptible to flooding by ship wakes.
  • Identify critical habitats for nesting and brood rearing that could be damaged by industrial accidents such as oil discharge or grounding.
  • Monitor polar bear activity on bird colonies and quantify the extent of bear predation of bird nests.
  • Document Inuit traditional ecological knowledge of changing relationships between polar bear, seals, and birds as they relate to sea-ice conditions and climate change.
Further Information:

Ecosystemic, Marine Invertebrates

EC13 Title: Spatial and Temporal Variations of Petroleum Hydrocarbons (PHCs) in Marine Sediments of Baffin Bay, Eastern Canadian Arctic

Monitoring Theme: Ecosystemic, Marine Invertebrates

Project Lead: University of Manitoba

Monitoring Period: 2011-2016; On-going

Project Description:

The purpose of this study is to measure baseline concentrations of hydrocarbons in the foundational organisms (benthic and pelagic invertebrates) of the Baffin Bay food web in advance of future oil exploration/exploitation and increased shipping. The samples were collected in the summer onboard the Amundsen research expedition from sites across Baffin Bay that represent known oil seep locations, as well as control locations, in order to spatially map out baseline hydrocarbon concentrations and signatures.

Oil reserves under the sediments in Baffin Bay (including the North Water Polynya, Davis Strait, Lancaster Sound and Jones Sound) are the largest in Arctic Canada, with some potential reservoirs estimated to contain billions of barrels of oil. Global warming and reduced ice coverage has made these reserves more accessible and the exploration/exploitation of offshore oil in the region more feasible. With declining ice conditions, oil exploration and shipping traffic through the North West Passage will only increase, and both of these activities have the potential to increase petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations in Baffin Bay. However, hydrocarbons are also naturally present as a result of natural oil seeps, fossil fuel combustion, and terrestrial run-off.

Further Information:

Ecosystemic, Marine Mammals

EC05 Title: Eastern Canadian Arctic Killer Whale Tagging, Biopsy, and Monitoring

Monitoring Theme: Ecosystemic Monitoring Projects: Marine Mammals

Project Lead: University of Manitoba

Monitoring Period: 2013-2016; On-going

Project Description:

The goal of the research project is to develop a sustainable, long-term killer whale (Orcinus orca) research program throughout Nunavut.  Through this project, researchers will learn more about killer whale ecology in Nunavut, including their seasonal distribution in Nunavut waters, where they go during the winter, and whether they specialize in certain species of Arctic marine mammals as prey. Researchers will also use genetic analysis to determine how killer whales in Nunavut are related to one another, as well as to other killer whale populations in the North Atlantic and other regions. Results from the research will contribute to a better understanding of killer whale influence in Arctic ecosystems, and will help Northerners anticipate ecosystem changes associated with increases in killer whale occurrence with retreating Arctic sea ice. Killer whales live in Nunavut waters during summer months where they prey on narwhal, beluga, and bowhead whales, as well as seals. These whales are rarely observed in the eastern Canadian Arctic during winter as they are believed to migrate to the North Atlantic ocean to avoid Arctic sea ice.

The project is modeled after other successful community-based monitoring projects, and plans include the development of a network of field researchers based in several communities throughout Nunavut. During the initial season, researchers will conduct fieldwork and train Northern research assistants in each community, with the intent that these research assistants will independently perform fieldwork in future years.  

Further Information:

EC23 Title: Community-Based Monitoring of Ice-Breeding Seals and Polar Bear Feeding in the Gulf of Boothia

Monitoring Theme: Ecosystemic Monitoring Projects: Marine Mammals

Project Lead: York University

Monitoring Period: 2011-2016; On-going

Project Description:

The goal of this study is to investigate the ecology and health of the Gulf of Boothia ecosystem, establishing a collaborative partnership with the community of Kugaaruk to carry out a community-based monitoring study of seal and polar bear ecology.  The project will determine how climate warming and increased development may affect ringed seals, bearded seals, and polar bears, with the goal of assisting in conservation and maintaining healthy, abundant populations capable of sustaining harvesting needs of communities around the Gulf of Boothia. The biological information and samples will be collected to develop a long term data set and greater understanding of arctic seal ecology (i.e. reproduction survival, body composition, food habits, genetics, movement, contaminants, and disease). Tissue samples from seals will also be used to assess the feeding habits of polar bears in the area. Local hunters will use Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) and traditional knowledge to determine local and seasonal variability in seal distribution and abundance.

Project tasks:

  • Provide basic information about seals' demography, diet, and space-use in the Gulf of Boothia that can serve as a reference for future studies;
  • Collect blubber samples from seals that can be used to estimate the diets of polar bears in the region;
  • Propose conservation initiatives to ease environmental impacts of climate warming and increased industrial development;
  • Work with the community of Kugaaruk to develop a long-term community-based monitoring program.
Further Information:

Ecosystemic, Marine Coastal and Offshore Environment

EC22 Title: Small Polynyas in Nunavut: Targets for Biodiversity, Climate Change and Contamination

Monitoring Theme: Ecosystemic Monitoring Projects: Marine Coastal and Offshore Environment

Project Lead: Acadia University

Monitoring Period: 2011-2014; Completed

Project Description:

This project sought to establish baseline data on biodiversity and contamination features at two small polynyas in Queen's Channel and between Devon and Ellesmere Island in the Canadian High Arctic, and to develop a suitable protocol for environmental monitoring at these sites.  As a basis for long-term monitoring, researchers established data on the occurrence and breeding success of marine birds and other wildlife in the polynyas, and used the established protocol to make recommendations for other locations and features that could be monitored at polynyas elsewhere in Nunavut. The project used both western scientific data and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) data to achieve these goals.

Small polynyas are biodiversity "hotspots" in the Canadian Arctic, which form critical wildlife habitat. Traditionally, they have been used as important hunting areas for Inuit and occur across the Nunavut territory. As polynyas offer open water through the winter, many support resident populations of marine mammals and serve as key migratory stopover sites and breeding sites for returning marine birds.

Project tasks:

  • The first year (2011-2012) consisted of contract work to aggregate, analyse and provide existing data on the meteorological and biological information available from the two locations, including a literature review relevant to these sites.
  • The second year (2012-2013) sought a contract to compile, analyse and present available contaminant and chemical data for these sites, a second contract to compile and present IQ data for these sites, and support for field studies to establish and test monitoring approaches (timing, duration, breeding success, reliability etc.).
  • The third year (2013-2014) required student support for completing the testing of monitoring approaches and final report preparation, including suggestions concerning where other locations or communities should have monitoring in place.
Further Information:

EC30 Title: Impacts of Hydroelectric Projects on Winter Sea Ice and Wildlife Entrapments in the Hudson Bay

Monitoring Theme: Ecosystemic Monitoring Projects: Marine Coastal and Offshore Environment

Project Lead: Arctic Eider Society

Monitoring Period: 2013-2016; On-going

Project Description:

The purpose of the project is to implement community-based research that supports the use and preservation of Inuit knowledge and its integration with scientific approaches, to study environmental change and cumulative effects of hydroelectric projects affecting sea ice ecosystems in Hudson Bay. River inputs peak during the spring melt, but extensive hydroelectric developments now hold back water until electricity demands peak in mid-winter, reversing the hydrological cycle. Despite concerns of local Inuit about the influence of changing freshwater regimes on sea ice habitats and wildlife, little to no base-line research and monitoring has been conducted. Research questions will address how hydroelectric demands affect the extent and dynamics of freshwater plumes under winter sea ice, how this affects salinity, currents, sea ice dynamics at polynyas and floe edges, and how these factors influence wildlife populations, with a particular focus on entrapments and die-off s. This program empowers Inuit communities to lead their own monitoring programs and provides meaningful training that promotes traditional sea ice knowledge and hunting skills, while also informing wildlife co-management decisions, food security and economic development of local wildlife based industries.

This study will provide important baseline and long term environmental monitoring information for Government and Nunavummiut for use in decision making, results based wildlife co-management and allow assessing cumulative effects of hydroelectric projects on Hudson Bay which can be used to establish thresholds and form a baseline for industry obligations and policy.

Further Information:

LU06 Title: Oil Spill Detection and Modelling Solutions for Hudson and Davis Straits

Monitoring Theme: Ecosystemic Monitoring Projects: Marine Coastal and Offshore Environment

Project Lead: LOOKNorth

Monitoring Period: 2013-2014; Completed

Project Description:

This project addressed the challenge of detecting and responding to potential oil spills in the Hudson and Davis Strait regions through the use of Earth Observation (EO) technologies. As the economic importance of Nunavut increases, there will be an increase in ship traffic through these straits with a corresponding increase in the risk of marine pollution. EO techniques have been successfully applied throughout the world as integral parts of marine pollution surveillance programs because of both the sensitivity at detecting incidents, and the efficiency at covering large remote areas.

The project reviewed EO technology used for detecting and predicting the movement of oil in Arctic waters with specific reference to Hudson and Davis Strait. The project also summarized local knowledge regarding the environment and the behaviour of indigenous species and socio-economic behaviours for consideration in assessing the impact and guiding response efforts. It also considered what local capacity exists to support response efforts. Through these assessments, a recommendation of what constitutes 'best practices' for these Nunavut waters was formed, including the identification of key gaps in the response capability.

Further Information:

Ecosystemic, Terrestrial Mammal

EC04 Title: An Estimate of Breeding Females in the Beverly Herd of Taiga Wintering Barren-Ground Caribou, Rangifer Trandus Groenlandicus

Monitoring Theme: Ecosystemic Monitoring Projects: Terrestrial Mammals

Project Lead: Government of Nunavut, Department of Environment

Monitoring Period: 2010-2011, 2014-2016; On-going

Project Description:

The project seeks to assess the abundance, distribution, seasonal range use, and productivity of the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq caribou populations within both the Kivalliq and Kitikmeot regions of Nunavut. The project will also determine the relative densities of muskox, grizzly bear and wolf within the same study areas. Caribou have an important place in Inuit and aboriginal culture; they are important for subsistence harvesting of healthy food, jobs and revenue associated with commercial sport hunting and meat sales and tourism, and for helping to maintain traditional ways of life amongst Inuit and other aboriginal peoples. The Beverly and Qamanirjuaq caribou herds range across Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Both populations calve and rear their young completely within Nunavut; rutting grounds, migratory corridors and winter range, along with harvesting, occur across the territory.

Project tasks:

  • Obtain periodic abundance estimates and statistical population trends for the number of breeding cows on the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq calving grounds with a coefficient of variation of <15%.
  • Determine relative productivity utilizing over winter calf survival of both populations during late through the indexing of cow/calf ratios.
  • Document seasonal range use, movement rates, and the mechanisms governing both, utilizing GPS telemetry.
  • Monitor potential conflicts between exploration and development activities and caribou utilizing real time telemetry data.
Further Information:

EC07 Title: Kitikmeot Muskox Disease Monitoring Program

Monitoring Theme: Ecosystemic Monitoring Projects: Terrestrial Mammals

Project Lead: Government of Nunavut - Department of Environment

Monitoring Period: 2010-2012; 2013-2016; On-going

Project Description:

This project aims to provide information on the health status of muskoxen that can be used to advise on the management of sustainable muskox population for subsistence and commercial use, and to monitor muskox and human health risks. Muskoxen are an important native species for the Arctic ecosystem and the indigenous population as they contribute to community subsistence and provide economic opportunity. Muskoxen appear to be particularly susceptible to a variety of diseases and may therefore provide early indicators of disease trends in the Kitikmeot region. Pathogens (i.e. viruses, bacteria, and parasites) are highly sensitive to environmental conditions, which is a particular concern in the Arctic where significant and rapid climate change alters ecosystem dynamics. Therefore, understanding the distribution and ecology of these pathogens in muskoxen will help mitigate human health risks and reveal how muskox and human health are inter-related.

Project tasks:

  • To gather traditional knowledge on muskox health and incorporate this knowledge into a muskox health surveillance plan.
  • To continue to monitor pathogen diversity, prevalence and abundance in muskoxen harvested near Kugluktuktuk and Ikaluktutiak and expand this program at a less intensive level to the remaining communities in the Kitikmeot region (Gjoa Haven, Taloyoak, Kugaaruk, Umingmaktok).
  • To determine the current spatial distribution, track the range expansion of the muskox lungworm, investigate the pathology and effects of this parasite on muskoxen, and to measure corticosteroid levels in muskox feces and determine if they are related to parasite burden.
  • To train and educate community members (harvesters) on sample collection for muskox disease monitoring and enhance general capacity for community-based monitoring of wildlife health.
Further Information:

EC10 Title: Monitoring of Nunavut Large Terrestrial Carnivores: Wolverine, Wolves, Grizzly Bear

Monitoring Theme: Ecosystemic Monitoring Projects: Terrestrial Mammals

Project Lead: Université du Québec à Rimouski

Monitoring Period: 2011-2015; Completed

Project Description:

The project monitored Nunavut's three species of large terrestrial carnivores: wolverine, wolf, and grizzly bear, acquiring population data which can be used to ensure that the current and future cumulative effects of human activity on these carnivores are sustainable in the region.

In Nunavut, the wolverine, wolf, and grizzly bear are an important cultural and economic resource for the people. The potential cumulative direct and indirect impact of human development in the tundra, including ongoing resource development activities within natural habitats, escalated concerns about the species. These concerns further emphasized the need to estimate mortality pressure and collect relative abundance information on wolverine, wolves, and bears in the area to monitor their trend. Prior to this study, no baseline data on grizzly bear population size, distribution and trend in Kivalliq and eastern Kitikmeot existed, and few techniques were available for estimating population abundance or trend of wolverine population.

Project tasks:

  • Analyze ecological data collected in previous years of the project;
  • Enhance and pursue our community-based harvest collection program of wolverine, Arctic wolf, and grizzly bear;
  • Collect Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (Inuit traditional knowledge) to document trends in the abundance and distribution of these three species and to document important information on their ecology.
Further Information:

EC26 Title: Toward the Optimization of an Inuit Non-Invasive Polar Bear Survey: Completing the Evaluation of Non-Invasively Collected Polar Bear Tissue

Monitoring Theme: Ecosystemic Monitoring Projects: Terrestrial Mammals

Project Lead: Queens University

Monitoring Period: 2011-2015; Completed

Project Description:

As part of the development of a low-cost, Inuit-inclusive survey of polar bears, the project aimed to complete the evaluation of the use of polar bear tissue collected non-invasively by Inuit hunters, therefore enabling Inuit to participate in the monitoring and management of Nunavut's polar bears more significantly. The project also sought to provide a more accurate estimate of the Minimum Number Known Alive for polar bears in the M'Clintock Channel polar bear management unit. This information is important in reconsidering the near zero quota the residents of Gjoa Haven have endured for the last 10 years. The Baffin Bay polar bear subpopulation has been the subject of significant debate amongst government agencies, Inuit, and other stakeholders with different perspectives on population size, trend and the sustainability of harvest level.

Project tasks:

  • The Gjoa Haven Inuit Hunters collect faecal samples from a broad area in and around Gjoa Haven and King William Island and complete ground based biopsy trials
  • Complete the optimization of microsatellite genotyping of polar bear faecal samples to establish the identity of the bears.
  • Microsatellite Genotype all faecal samples from all years
  • Optimize genetic sexing of polar bear faecal samples
  • Genetically sex all polar bear faecal samples
  • Optimize genetic identification of food types from polar bear faeces
  • Genetically identify food types of sampled polar bears
  • Optimize the Stable Isotope Analysis of non‐invasively sampled polar bear hairs
  • Collect Stable Isotope data from non‐invasively sampled polar bear hairs.
  • Analyze findings and complete the evaluation of non‐invasive tissue collected by Inuit ground‐based activity survey.
  • Communicate findings to the community and other sponsors
Further Information:

EC27 Title: Fuel Caching & Seasonal Rotary Wing Aerial Disturbance Effects on Barren-Ground Caribou

Monitoring Theme: Ecosystemic Monitoring Projects: Terrestrial Mammals

Project Lead: Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board (2010-11) Government of Nunavut, Department of Environment (2014-2016)

Monitoring Period: 2010-11, 2014-2016; On-going

Project Description:

The goal of the project is to determine the disturbance effects of rotary wing aircraft on barren-ground caribou from the Qamanirjuaq subpopulation through 8 seasonally distinct life cycle periods including: calving, post-calving, late summer, early fall, the rut, early winter, late winter and spring migration. With aerial supported exploration and development accelerating within caribou range, it is critical that we understand how aircraft impact caribou so that effective measures can be applied to reduce disturbance. The Qamanirjuaq Caribou Herd is the largest herd in the western Arctic, occupying a large but poorly understood annual range.  Any decline in productivity or increase in mortality herd-wide, would have a devastating impact on thousands of subsistence harvesters and their families across the range. 

Disturbance represents one of a small group of leading threats to the long-term viability of the heard. Information on disturbance effects measured through this work will be used to inform aerial activities associated with resource development, ecotourism, scientific studies and general aerial activities across seasonally important caribou range. The project incorporates controlled over flights by a rotary wing aircraft over a selected group of 8 of 10 specially programmed GPS collars affixed to Qamanirjuaq caribou. Two of the collars will be used as controls and will not be subjected to over flights. The work represents the first of its kind for caribou in North America and will provide valuable direction to all aircraft working within caribou seasonal ranges. 

Further Information:

EC29 Title: Re-assessment of the Nunavut Polar Bear Sub-Populations in M’Clintock Channel and Baffin Bay

Monitoring Theme: Ecosystemic Monitoring Projects: Wildlife Monitoring

Project Lead: Government of Nunavut - Department of Environment

Monitoring Period: 2010-2011, 2013-2015; On-going

Project Description:

This project aims to reassess the size and status of the Baffin Bay and M'Clintock Channel polar bear subpopulations through a three year study involving genetic mark-recapture. The project takes into account Inuit concerns regarding capture and handling of polar bears in addition to a broader interest in the development of alternative monitoring techniques for polar bears. Unlike methods previously used to study polar bears in Baffin Bay, the study design does not require the capture of polar bears. Instead, biopsy darting is used to obtain samples of DNA which are then analyzed to identify individual bears.

In 2010-2011, the project team completed a polar bear assessment in west Baffin Bay with NGMP's funding. In 2014-2015, after the successful completion of a polar bear assessment in the remainder of Baffin Bay, the project team moved to M'Clintock Channel, where a smaller polar bear sub-population exists. As a result of unsustainable harvest which resulted in a moratorium between 2001 and 2004, reduced harvest of the polar bear was implemented in the communities to achieve long-term recovery; however, in recent years, Inuit observation confirmed an increase in polar bear abundance. In accordance with commitments under the 2005 Polar Bear Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for M'Clintock Channel and in response to concerns regarding subpopulation status, the project proposes to use means of genetic mark-recapture to assess the abundance of polar bears. Results from this study will be used to provide a TAH and management recommendations.

Further Information:

EC31 Title: Making More Use of What We Know: The Circumpolar Arctic Rangifer Monitoring Assessment Network (CARMA)'s Approach to Building Capacity for Monitoring to Describe Cumulative Impacts and Development on Nunavut's Caribou

Monitoring Theme: Ecosystemic Monitoring Projects: Wildlife Monitoring

Project Lead: Yukon College

Monitoring Period: 2011-2013; Discontinued

Project Description:

The project aimed to collect and analyze existing monitoring information on caribou herds and their environments in Nunavut. The information was to be used to determine what decision-making and information-management tools would be most useful in predicting the impact of development and climate change on Nunavut's caribou, as well as create tools and transfer knowledge and building capacity between Nunavut staff and partners. Nunavut is home to a rich diversity of caribou, including migratory tundra herds, Peary caribou, Dolphin-Union caribou and large island populations (Baffin and Southampton).The diversity of caribou reflects the regional diversity in Nunavut's climate and habitats.

This project was built on information and methods from the CARMA Network, an international network endorsed by the Arctic Council. CARMA's mission is to monitor and assess the impacts of global change on caribou and wild reindeer herds around the Arctic. The network is a place for scientists, governments, co-management boards and communities to exchange information and ideas on caribou herds and the factors affecting them.

Project tasks:

  • Develop partnerships to ensure a collaborative environment between CARMA and Nunavut.
  • Integrate available caribou datasets, identify key data gaps, inform future monitoring
  • Conduct initial analysis of habitat conditions for each herd.
  • Develop tools to support cumulative effects assessment of development and climate change on caribou.
  • Assess and describe the effectiveness of monitoring indicators.
  • Transfer CARMA's tools, data and expertise to Nunavut.
Further Information:

Socio-economic monitoring: People

SE05 Title: Monitoring Educational and Professional Success Amongst Inuit of Nunavut who have Registered in a Post-Secondary Program

Monitoring Theme: Socio-Economic Monitoring: People

Project Lead: University of Laval

Monitoring Period: 2011-2014; Completed

Project Description:

The project aimed to collect data on success among Nunavut Inuit who are attending, or have attended, post-secondary programs, in addition to developing a monitoring system that would enable the collection and analysis of such data in subsequent years. In Nunavut, little is known about the level of success enjoyed by students with post-secondary education, the graduation rate of students in post-secondary programs, their employment rate, and the links between graduation and employment. No public data on programs attended by Inuit students from Nunavut, currently exists. Better data will contribute to better decision making and capacity building in Nunavut by enabling decision-makers to understand and quantify the impact of post-secondary education on young Inuit. Such data could be used by the Department of Education to adapt its post-secondary programs, or by FANS (Financial Assistance for Nunavut Students) and Kakivak to adapt their funding programs to student needs.

Project tasks:

  • Collect data on post-secondary educational success among Inuit students within and outside Nunavut (as measured by graduation rate, academic program, and number of years in a post-secondary program);
  • Collect data on professional success among Inuit with postgraduate education, depending on whether they have graduated or not (as measured by job satisfaction and relatedness of educational background to employment);
  • Collect data on the financial assistance programs and compare their effectiveness in terms of post-secondary success and graduation (as measured by source of financial assistance and appropriateness for student needs.
Further Information:

SE06 Title: Understanding Community Change in the Qikiqtaaluk: Examining Communities Affected by the Mary River Project through Community Based Research

Monitoring Theme: Socio-economic monitoring: People

Project Lead: Qikiqtani Inuit Association

Monitoring Period: 2013-2016; On-going

Project Description:

This project aims to conduct research in community change in the communities most affected by the proposed Mary River iron ore mining project, and to develop an understanding of how resource extraction affects social, collective, and individual well-being. The Qikiqtaaluk and Nunavut societies are poised to shift as resource development in the Arctic intensifies, bringing a new era of opportunity and challenges. The purpose of this project is three-fold: to help Inuit organizations and territorial and federal governments understand how individual and community well-being are affected by resource development; to understand community change through a lens of social cohesion; and to engage community researchers at all stages of a community-based socio-economic  monitoring project, including setting research priorities, development of research tools, data collection, analysis, evaluation and information sharing.

Project tasks:

  • Conduct community-based research in the effort to understand and monitor community change in communities affected by Mary River mining project.
  • To support community understanding and engagement in socio-economic monitoring.
  • To build research knowledge and capacity of QIA and further our mandate of advancing the rights and benefits of Inuit of our region.
  • To build research capacity at the community level.
  • Influence policy and programming decisions of Inuit organizations, territorial and federal governments.
  • To contribute to on-going monitoring in Nunavut under Nunavut General Monitoring Plan and Socio-economic Monitoring Committee.
  • Share the lessons of what Nunavummiut have learned with indigenous groups from other areas, so to better make decisions about resource development.

The work will focus on the following eight communities: Pond Inlet, Igloolik, Hall Beach, Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Kimmirut, Cape Dorset, and Iqaluit.

Further Information:

SE09 Title: Kivalliq Inuit Association (KIA) Rotational Shift Work Monitoring Project (Phase 1)

Monitoring Theme: Socio-economic monitoring: People

Project Lead: Kitikmeot Inuit Association (KIA)

Monitoring Period: 2011-2012; Project on hold by Proprietor

Project Description:

This project aimed to develop a monitoring framework that would raise standards of regional socio-economic monitoring.  The monitoring framework would employ means such as  interviews, surveys, and other information gathering tools to delve into the narratives of individual workers and their families to better understand what is happening to them.

Kitikmeot Inuit are increasingly involved in rotational work at mine sites, a trend that is poised to increase over the next two decades. The socio-economic effect of rotational shift work is usually considered during the environmental review (NIRB) process, but it is largely the responsibility of development proponents and their consultants. During NIRB reviews, KIA acts as a reviewer and intervener for socio-economic and cultural matters. To more effectively understand the socio economic effects of rotation shift work, statistical approaches need to be supplemented by a qualitative or "case-study" approach that informs researchers about long-term trends.

The project was divided into phases. Phase 1 was aimed at developing the conceptual monitoring framework itself.  Subsequent phases would have engaged actual acquisition and assessment of information from Kitikmeot Inuit beneficiaries engaged in rotational shift work. The information generated through the initiative would be shared widely to guide future northern developments and to plan support programs focused on assisting Inuit involved in rotational shift work. 

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SE10 Title: Enhanced Health Information Collection and Health Monitoring

Monitoring Theme: Socio-economic monitoring: People

Project Lead: Government of Nunavut, Health and Social Services

Monitoring Period: 2011-2013; Completed

Project Description:

The project aimed to collect health data indicators to provide better baseline data by monitoring and evaluating health initiatives. Evidence regarding what is effective and what is not can be used to inform funding, programming, and policy decisions within the department and within the Government of Nunavut.  While a variety of health indicators are collected by the Department of Health and Social Services, these indicators are in no way comprehensive, leaving data gaps that result in an inability to effectively monitor the impact of health policies and programs. This work could improve the health of Nunavummiut by allowing the DHSS to evaluate existing programs and policies and develop new programs and policies based on evidence.  This will lead to effective and efficient programs that respond to the needs of the population.

Project tasks:

  • Analysis of data monitoring needs and sources.
  • Implementation of the Nutaqqavut "Our Children" Health Information System (NHIS).
  • Enhanced communicable disease monitoring and surveillance (including tuberculosis).
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Activities/Land and Water Use Monitoring

LU08 Title: Kitikmeot Inuit Traditional Land Use and Occupancy Baseline Data Integration Project (ILUOP)

Monitoring Theme: Activities/Land and Water Use Monitoring

Project Lead: Kitikmeot Inuit Association (KIA)

Monitoring Period: 2011-2014; Completed

Project Description:

The project aimed  to convert Inuit Land Use and Occupancy Project (ILUOP) hardcopy data into geo-referenced electronic data that would be integrated into the KIA's existing NTKP GIS database. The integrated data could then be used as a decision-making tool in the management of KIA's lands, in the integrated resource management system established under the NCLA, and as a valuable education tool that demonstrates the cultural vitality and history of the Kitikmeot Inuit. In the early 1970s, a substantial amount of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit or Inuit Traditional Knowledge (IQ/TK) was collected from the Kitikmeot Region under a project titled "Inuit Land Use and Occupancy Project" (ILUOP). ILUOP provided an unparalleled baseline data to detect, quantify and monitor the status of Inuit land use and occurring changes. Geo-referenced traditional knowledge databases provide Inuit with the ability to present their own information in an informed and timely fashion, which allows them to participate in decision-making processes associated with the development of lands.

Project tasks:

  • Assess the quantity, quality and condition of ILUOP data for the Kitikmeot region.
  • Develop a plan to process and categorize the ILUOP data for integration into KIA's traditional knowledge database.
  • Digitize, geo-reference and integrate ILUOP data into KIA's traditional knowledge database
Further Information:

LU04 Title: Improve Access to Nunavut Monitoring Information Using the Nunavut Database

Monitoring Theme: Activities/Land and Water Use Monitoring

Project Lead: University of Calgary

Monitoring Period: 2013-2014; Completed

Project Description:

The project aimed to update the design of the Nunavut Database website, adding 1,000 records based on missing research licenses and permits issued in Nunavut in 2010-2013, and ensuring that 100 publications resulting from Nunavut-based monitoring programs were included in the database, particularly those identified or funded by the Nunavut General Monitoring Plan (NGMP). The Nunavut Database is a gateway to information about Nunavut, freely accessible online for  government, industry, researchers, non-profit organizations, Nunavummiut, and the general public.  It contains descriptions of 8,700 research projects conducted in Nunavut between 1974 and 2009, and descriptions of publications resulting from monitoring projects. The Arctic Institute of North America aimed to involve Inuit and other Northerners in the project by working with Nunavummiut organizations to obtain relevant publications and information for the database.

Project tasks:

  • Provide a single location to search for Nunavut monitoring publications and research project descriptions that is free and easily accessible online.
  • Improve access to Nunavut monitoring publications and research project information for Nunavummiut and decision makers.
  • Improve the dissemination of Nunavut monitoring information to scientific, regulatory, and community audiences.
  • Help identify monitoring gaps by providing a comprehensive view of past and current research projects.
  • Help researchers and organizations to coordinate their work by helping them identify past and current Nunavut monitoring initiatives that are relevant to their own research interests.
  • Improve the sharing of knowledge between Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit holders and scientists by providing a space where each of their publications can be accessed.
Further Information:

LU05 Title: Past, Present, and Reasonably Foreseeable Project Mapping Initiative

Monitoring Theme: Activities/Land and Water Use Monitoring

Project Lead: Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB)

Monitoring Period: 2011-2014; Completed

Project Description:

This project aimed to address a noted gap in the availability and accessibility of information regarding past and present development which meets the threshold for environmental assessment within the Nunavut Settlement Area. In accordance with the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA), the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) is mandated to assess the potential impacts of proposed development projects within the Nunavut Settlement Area (NSA),  to determine whether or not developments should be allowed to proceed, and, if so, to recommend any project-specific mitigation measures that should be applied to the activities in question through relevant authorizations to be issued. 

NIRB proposed to create an interactive database and mapping application that illustrates where different types of land use are proposed or occurring in relation to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable northern developments. The tool would also indicate where approvals have been issued and what conditions are associated with these approvals, as well as providing access to project monitoring results through interaction with the NIRB's online public registry. 

Further Information:

LU07 Title: Using Canadian Polar Data Network to Support Nunavut General Monitoring Plan

Monitoring Theme: Activities of Land of Water Use Monitoring, Resource Development

Project Lead: Canadian Polar Data Network, University of Waterloo Canadian Cryospheric Information Network, University of Alberta Libraries, Ontario Council of University Libraries

Monitoring Period: 2013-2016; On-going

Project Description:

This project would facilitate a collaborative relationship between Canadian Polar Data Network (CPDN) and Nunavut General Monitoring Program (NGMP) to initiate data management support. CPDN provides long-term repository and access services to Canadian institutions and programs with interests in or connections to polar research data. In recent years, CPDN has provided data management infrastructure and planning services to the International Polar Year (IPY) and the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) programs, and currently supports the Beaufort Regional Environmental Assessment (BREA) program and the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC).

Project tasks:

  • Produce an inventory of metadata and datasets from projects funded by NGMP since 2010, including the following information: annual reports, results from projects, names of data files, locations of data files, descriptions of data record layouts, and data processing notes.
  • Based on the results of the Project Inventory and in close consultation with the NGMP, develop a work plan to ingest NGMP project metadata and datasets into the CPDN data repository.
  • Coordinate opportunities with NGMP staff and funding recipients to introduce and discuss the use of data management planning processes for projects.
  • Write a year end activities report, which would:  summarize the project team activities, create a guide to future implementation of comprehensive data management, recommend modifications or enhancements to the NGMP report template, and advise next steps for NGMP project data management.
Further Information:

LU11 Title: Integrating a Water Monitoring Information System into the KIA Land Use and Water Use Management System

Monitoring Theme: Activities/Land and Water Use Monitoring

Project Lead: Kivalliq Inuit Association (KIA)

Monitoring Period: 2011-2012, 2014-2016

Project Description:

The overall objective of this project was to update the existing KIA Land and Water Use Management Licensing System and develop a new water quality monitoring information system. This system would provide information about water quality conditions through time, manage data in a more efficient way, perform spatial analysis of the effects on water due to land use activities and monitor significant changes that occur in water quality and flow. Water is a critical component of any ecosystem and an essential part of traditional indigenous life style. As mineral exploration is increasing in the Kivalliq region, it is important to assess water quality and quantity conditions in all phases of mining (i.e. exploration, operation/production, and decommissioning) in order to ensure the NLCA right that water flowing through Inuit Owned Lands (IOL) be substantially unaffected in quality, quantity, and flow. The initial funding culminated in the conceptualization of the ‘Baker Lake Cumulative Effects Monitoring Program'.

The 2014-2016 funding enables KIA to fulfill a central role as partners in this program now referred to as Inu'tuti. It is a collaborative undertaking also involving Indigenous and Northern Affairs (Water Resources, Nunavut Regional Office), the Nunavut Water Board and NGMP as well as other partners and participants. KIA has been instrumental in ensuring the integration of Inuit traditional knowledge in the design of the project, they are involved in the development and management of community based monitoring, and will continue to facilitate on-going community participation in the interpretation of data and the analysis of cumulative effects.

Further Information:

LU12 Title: Use & Occupancy Mapping

Monitoring Theme: Activities/Land and Water Use Monitoring

Project Lead: Nunavut Planning Commission

Monitoring Period: 2010-2011; Completed

Project Description:

This project aimed to conduct land use and occupancy mapping throughout all Nunavut communities so as to provide information about community based land use within living memory. The collection of Use and Occupancy Mapping unlocks information at the community-level and transforms it into a powerful decision making and general monitoring tool that is consistent across the territory. The map information from the interviews was collected on hardcopy 1:250,000 topographic maps to ensure consistency. The hardcopy maps were scanned at the NPC and the resulting digital images were then digitized into vector Geographic Information System (GIS) data.

The Nunavut Planning Commission (NPC) is established under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA) to develop land use plans that provide for conservation, development and use of land. As NPC is a key partner in NGMP, the investment aimed to strengthen NPC's overall efforts within the Land-Use Planning (LUP) process by enabling NPC to carry out this project in a timely fashion in relation to concurrent LUP developments.  This information provides a valuable layer for the LUP process, which in turn, contributes to valuable assessments of future land use and occupancy through monitoring.

Further Information:
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