Hudson Bay is Canada’s largest drainage basin, providing critical habitat for wildlife and an important region for economic development. Despite long-standing concerns expressed by Inuit and Cree communities about environmental change and stewardship gaps, Hudson Bay is one of the least funded and understudied regions of Canada, and the nation’s only large ocean system still lacking an integrated governance structure.
Some of the biggest challenges to addressing these concerns include the complex nature of jurisdictional overlap in Hudson Bay (see figure) and sources of cross-regional funding. Building on past efforts to address these issues, the Arctic Eider Society has partnered with communities and stakeholders to develop the Hudson Bay Consortium initiative. The primary goal of this initiative is to develop the capacity needed for inter-jurisdictional coordination of research, communications, and knowledge mobilization towards planning (e.g. for protected areas) and action for environmental stewardship for the greater Hudson Bay ecosystem.
Jurisdictional overlap in the east Hudson Bay/James Bay is the most complex region in the Canadian Arctic. Map courtesy of Makivik
Several key meetings have been held towards establishing the Hudson Bay Consortium, including a preliminary consultation meeting with stakeholders in Ottawa in December 2014, and the first ever East Hudson Bay/James Bay Regional Roundtable held in Chisasibi in November 2016. While the Consortium is currently in a planning phase, our goal is to formally create the Consortium through a memorandum of understanding within the next year. The Arctic Eider Society is just one of the many stakeholders involved in the development of the Hudson Bay Consortium; however, we are playing a key role by facilitating coordination, logistics and administration. To learn more about the Hudson Bay Consortium initiative visit the official website below.