Our Approach

We use an ecosystem-based approach to meet the goals of Northern Voices, Northern Waters: NWT Water Stewardship Strategy (the Water Strategy). An ecosystem-based approach within watersheds recognizes that people are a key part of the ecosystem and that we affect the ecosystem and it affects us. Decisions are based on an understanding of how the ecosystem works to try to sustain both people and the environment. Watersheds do not typically fall within one town, municipality or region, but will often stretch across many - so sound water stewardship decisions must be made within watersheds as a whole, as well as within political boundaries at many levels.   Three key themes are an important part of an ecosystem-based approach:

  • Stewardship – recognizing that people are part of the environment, and that effective stewardship by all governments, organizations and residents will help us realize our vision of clean, productive and abundant waters in the NWT.
  • Water and watershed values – identifying and understanding the natural, spiritual, cultural, social and economic values within a watershed and using these values when making decisions about water and land use.
  • Information to understanding – ensuring that management decisions for protecting and preserving our water and aquatic ecosystems are based on the best available information (from local and traditional knowledge and western science), and that we are continually gathering new information to improve or adapt current management practices.