Nature conservation projects

There is hardly any place here in Central Europe without street noise. There is no place from which we can look across a natural landscape to the horizon. We cannot imagine walking 5000 kilometers without crossing a street. Such places still exist in northern Canada. It is the last area of wilderness of this size in the world, and it is the home to bears, wolves, and tremendous herds of caribou in a magnificent landscape.

The Gwich´in people were searching for partners for a plan that is vital to their survival: The protection of the Three Rivers area (Peel River Watershed), which lies in the border area between the Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories in the northwest of Canada. Wilderness International accepted this challenge. Since 2006 the foundation and the Tetl’it Gwich’in have worked together to develop these meaningful projects.

Western Arctic project

Bild Karte Projekt Westarktis

Process of the project

May 2007

Gwich'in in Germany

Students from Dresden take part in the
„Walk for the wild“, creating the documentary
film “Saving the Three Rivers Watershed“

Gwich'in in Germany
July/August 2007

Exploratory expedition

The Wilderness International team in the
project area on the Snake River

July/August 2008

Expedition Three Rivers

Nature conservation expedition on the Snake
River with youth participants and Gwich’in
elders as well as the participating students
from Saxony

The expedition team
The scholarship projects

„Breathe Wilderness“

In July 2008, seven open-minded,
enthusiastic and fit students
from Saxony embarked on an adventure.
They were to "breath the wilderness"
during a two-week journey on the
Snake River in the west Arctic.
Even after the end of the expedition
the students continued to do
a great job on our Arctic project!

to expedition team
Bild Expeditionsteam

Arctic Paradise

The Peel River Watershed is a jewel in north-
ern Canada. It is an untouched area approxi-
mately the size of Ireland. At the Peel River
Watershed, herds of caribou migrate unhind-
ered as they have done for thousands of years.
Grizzly bears and wolves drink from crystal
clear waters. It is paradise for rare flowering
plants, as well as a rich variety of moss and
lichen. The Gwich'in First Nation and Nancho
Nyak Dun have lived in this region for centur-
ies. After these First Nations people made con-
tact with fur traders and missionaries they
settled north and south of the Peel River
Watershed. Today, this area still remains un-
touched nature. But, for how long?

Arktisches Paradies Bär

Why Canada?

For a very long time, the area was protected due to its location and tough climate. There was
nothing to take from the land except a few animal hides. First Nations took care of the land for
perpetual use. But rising commodity prices have changed things. Even though the conditions are
extreme, the mining for mineral resources in these areas is still economical. That is why the
final sale of the last wilderness area has begun. If we exploit all of our nature, one day we
will finally recognize that the problem of raw materials will never be solved but the last big
area of wilderness will be destroyed

We believe that we have the responsibility to inform the public about these issues and the public
has a right to know about them. We all should decide about the future of this area. That is what
we’re working for. And that is why we organized an expedition to northern Canada to the Three Rivers.

Why with students? They are young people, there is nothing holding them back, their minds are
open and they are free from economic pressures. Life is still ahead of them and they have
the right to a future.

We will not be able to prevent the entire area from being mined for mineral resources. But we can
protect a large piece of the wilderness which houses the habitat of flora and fauna that are the
basis of the First Nations’ livelihood.


Daily life during the expedition

Hiking and rafting in this untouched mountain
region, discovering the culture of the Gwich’in,
possibilities for a lasting and careful
utilization of scientific projects.

To the projects
Arktisches Paradies

About the scholarship projects

If you have any suggestions and questions
about the projects, please get in touch!

Phone: 0351/31402220

Our Project Partner