Canada's Tentative List

Sirmilik National Park and the proposed Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area, Nunavut

Sirmilik National Park and the proposed Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area is an exceptional representation of the high Arctic coastal ecosystem. The site is one of the most biologically productive and diverse Arctic marine areas in the world. It is an exceptional representation of human integration with high Arctic coastal ecosystems and a vast land-sea- and ice-scape that tells the story of human occupation over millennia. It is also a living cultural landscape where Inuit are integral to the ecosystem. Tallurutiup Imanga is incomparable in the Arctic in that it remains ice-free most of the year. Nutrient rich, it is a polar oasis and a major migratory corridor for beluga, bowhead, walrus and harp seal, home to 75% of the world’s Narwhal population, and important habitat for the polar bear. The region has supported the Inuit seasonal round for millennia as demonstrated by forty-six known archaeological sites and continued subsistence use to this day. Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit carries the collective experience and harvesting traditions used at these same hotspots for generations.

The World Heritage criteria that best support this site are:

  • (v) It is an outstanding example of land, sea and ice use which is representative of Inuit culture and Inuit interaction with the Arctic environment as it becomes vulnerable under the impact of climate change.
  • (ix) The remarkable size and distinctive ecosystems processes of the site make it one of the most productive Arctic coastal regions in the world. It contains an exceptional diversity of Arctic terrestrial and marine ecosystems and fully supports all essential ecological processes in the region.