Northwest Territories Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program


The Northwest Territories Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (NWT CIMP) is a source of environmental monitoring and research in the Northwest Territories (NWT). The program coordinates, conducts and funds the collection, analysis and reporting of information related to environmental conditions in the NWT. Its main purpose is to support better resource management decision-making and the wise use of our resources by furthering our understanding of cumulative impacts and environmental trends.

Monitoring cumulative impacts is a constitutional obligation of the Sahtu, Gwich’in and Tlicho comprehensive land claim agreements and a statutory requirement of Part 6 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. The vision of the NWT Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (NWT CIMP) is to watch and understand the land so that it can be used respectfully forever. NWT CIMP has worked since 1999 to make sure environmental information is collected and available to support northern resource management decision-making.

Northwest Territories
Project Type
To do this, NWT CIMP undertakes the following four main activities:
  • Works with partners to understand key monitoring and research priorities
  • Coordinates, conducts and funds cumulative impact monitoring, research and analysis
  • Communicates results to decision-makers and the public
  • Assesses the program and the regulatory regime by facilitating the NWT Environmental Audit
The NWT is a relatively large area in comparison to the resources of NWT CIMP, so the program uses a partnership approach to achieve its objectives. A wide range of partners are engaged to establish priorities and conduct tasks, including Indigenous governments, universities, industry, and federal and territorial government departments. A Steering Committee of First Nations, Inuvialuit, Métis, federal and territorial government representatives guides the program. NWT CIMP employs all sources of knowledge, including science, traditional knowledge (TK), and local knowledge, as sources of information. Community capacity building and community-based monitoring are key principles that are supported when they are linked to monitoring that produces information relevant to cumulative impacts.  The following ten key principles help NWT CIMP achieve its outcomes:
  1. NWT CIMP is focused on monitoring cumulative impacts that are relevant to decisions about land and water use in the NWT.
  2. Cumulative impact monitoring includes measuring both human disturbance and natural changes.
  3. NWT CIMP is focused on geographic “hot spots” of past, current, or proposed development where cumulative impacts of development are most likely.
  4. Cumulative impact monitoring can include baseline monitoring where required.
  5. NWT CIMP supports effects and stressor-based cumulative impact monitoring approaches to generate the information that decision-makers require.
  6. NWT CIMP supports the use of common data collection and analysis protocols.
  7. Aboriginal governments are involved in all aspects of the program.
  8. NWT CIMP relies on a partnership approach to ensure its success.
  9. Science and Traditional Knowledge are sources of monitoring data.
  10. NWT CIMP supports community-based monitoring and capacity building when they help to support its primary objective to monitor the cumulative impacts of development.
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Visit Discovery Portal – searchable registry for all CIMP research and monitoring data