Inuit worried after Nunavut drops opposition to mines on caribou calving grounds

IQALUIT, Canada -- Inuit groups and environmentalists are worried because the government of Nunavut has dropped its long-held opposition to industrial development on caribou calving grounds.

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The change was revealed during discussions on a land-use plan for the territory.

A spokeswoman for the territorial government says mineral exploration would only happen on calving grounds after full hearings were held and mitigation measures put in place.

Inuit wildlife management boards and groups such as the World Wildlife Fund say that backs down from its previous position.

They say the change was made without consultation.

Calving grounds are considered particularly sensitive habitat for caribou herds, which are still large but have been dramatically shrinking.

The animals are still a major source of food for people in the central Arctic.


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