The health of the environment continues to dominate public attention at the territorial, national and international levels. Northerners share a deep concern for the environmental health of our lands and waters, and are firmly engaged in local and global environmental issues. Climate change, habitat loss, the depletion of renewable and non-renewable resources, and water, waste and noise pollution are issues of significant concern to NWT residents and the GNWT. 

The residents of the Northwest Territories are fortunate to live in a vast and relatively unspoiled environment that supports subsistence harvesting, resource development, recreation and tourism. Northerners have a strong and enduring attachment to the land, which demands special attention to addressing environmental challenges.

The Department of Transportation is mandated to provide for the safe, secure, accessible and reliable movement of people and goods to meet the NWT’s social and economic needs and aspirations. Conserving the environment for future generations is one of the Department’s core values.

The cost-efficient transportation of people and goods is of fundamental importance to society. This is especially true in the North, where communities are located far apart and essential goods are delivered from great distances. The delivery of goods is further challenged by the lack of year-round and, in some cases, a complete lack of highway access, low standard highways and the limited and/or costly alternate modes of marine and air. Notwithstanding these challenges, the need for the efficient movement of goods and services must be supported with a balance of attention to environmental considerations.