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Frequently Asked Questions

Draft Nunavut Land Use Plan

What does the land use plan do?
  • The land use plan guides and directs resource use and development in the NSA and is legally binding.

  • The land use plan informs land users on activities that may/may not occur, and during what times of the year. 

  • ‘Valued Components’ identify areas of importance to residents and wildlife. 

What does the land use plan NOT do?
  • The land use plan does not replace or duplicate the responsibilities of Government (federal and territorial) and other IPGs.
  • A land use permitted under the land use plan must still be approved by the respectful authorizing agency before it may proceed. 
  • The land use plan does not guide and direct the development of Municipal Plans (that responsibility belongs to the municipalities).
How does the land use plan affect communities, residents, and other interested parties?
  • The land use plan addresses important issues such as protecting community drinking water, promoting job creation, and maintaining healthy wildlife populations.
Can the Draft Nunavut Land Use Plan be changed?
  • The Nunavut Planning Commission encourages anyone to further inform the development of the land use plan by providing feedback on the Draft.  
  • Your feedback will be reviewed at a public hearing prior to revisions to the plan and submission for approval.
  • The Nunavut Land Use Plan is considered a ‘living document’ and can be amended as new data becomes available. 
Can I provide input into the development of the land use plan?
  • Communities, residents, and others are encouraged to identify important areas or land use issues that may benefit from management under the land use plan.
  • The Nunavut Planning Commission welcomes everyone’s ideas, and encourages you to contact the Commission at any time.
Why is the Nunavut Planning Commission developing a land use plan for the Nunavut Settlement Area (NSA)?
  • Land use planning is a benefit to Inuit and required under the Nunavut Agreement and Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act (NUPPAA).
  • A single land use plan for the NSA will provide certainty to residents and investors by identifying where development can occur, where wildlife and wildlife habitat is preserved, etc.
Are there land uses or areas that the land use plan does not apply to?

Yes, Land use plans developed by the NPC do not apply to:

  • Traditional land uses of the Inuit including non-commercial fishing, hunting, and camping.
  • The construction, operation and maintenance of buildings and services within an established municipality, except for bulk fuel storage, power generation with nuclear fuels, hydro power, and any industrial activity. See Internal Procedures: Conformity Determination for more information.
  • Uses within the boundaries of established National and Territorial Parks.
What information does the Nunavut Planning Commission consider when developing a land use plan?
  • Information about population growth, birth rates, education and employment rates.
  • The natural resources and patterns of resource use. (i.e. mining, lodges, commercial wildlife harvesting and fisheries)
  • Economic opportunities and needs.
  • Energy requirements, sources and availability.
  • Community infrastructure requirements, including health, housing, education, and other social services
  • Environmental considerations, including Parks and Conservation Areas, and wildlife habitat. 
  • Cultural factors and priorities, including protection and preservation of archaeological sites and outpost camps, and
  • Special local and regional considerations.
How does the Nunavut Planning Commission make land use planning decisions?
  • Within its established budget, the Nunavut Planning Commission provided numerous opportunities for government, the public, Inuit organizations, and others to share information to inform decision making on the 2016 Draft Nunavut Land Use Plan.
  • The Nunavut Planning Commission must balance the information received to promote and protect the existing and future well-being of residents and communities. The policies, strategies, and legal responsibilities of Government, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, and the Kitikmeot, Kivalliq, and Qikiqtani Regional Inuit Associations are also taken into account. 
  • Being mindful not to duplicate the legal responsibilities of Government (federal and territorial), the Nunavut Planning Commission determines the content of the land use plan by considering all of the information received in combination with various public policies and strategies.

Plan Implementation

What is a conformity review?
  • A review of a project proposal located within a planning region by the NPC to determine whether or not the project proposal is consistent with the provisions of the approved land use plan.
What triggers a conformity review?
  • All project proposals must be first submitted to the NPC for review. If a project proposal is located within the approved North Baffin Land Use Planning Region or Keewatin Land Use Planning Region, it must be assessed by the NPC for conformity with the applicable land use plan.
What information do I need to provide as part of a conformity review?
  • To submit a project proposal to NPC, the proponent needs to create an account on our online portal. You will then be able to fill out the online application form and add any additional documents you may feel are necessary for NPC staff to better understand the scope of your project.
  • Generally, you will have to provide a brief description of the project proposal, the project proposal location, the land uses and licensing requirements, materials and equipment to be used, and impacts and waste management.
  • In the event that your project proposal is more complex, or the information provided is insufficient or unclear, the NPC will contact you and request additional information.
How long does a conformity review generally take?
  • The NPC is required to complete the review of a project proposal within 45 days.
What is a conformity determination?
  • A conformity determination is the decision issued to federal and/or territorial agencies from the NPC regarding whether or not a project proposal conforms to the approved land use plan. A positive conformity determination may contains terms that a proponent must adhere to as part of the project undertaking. 
How will the conformity determination affect my project proposal?
  • Project proposals in a planning region must conform to the applicable land use plan. Before a license or authorization is issued by a land use authorizing agency, the NPC must confirm that the project is consistent with the applicable land use plan.
  • Project proposals not located in a planning region with an approved plan still require review, with a decision made within 45 days on whether screening by the Nunavut Impact Review Board is required.
  • Licenses and authorizations that are issued by authorizing agencies will implement any applicable requirements identified in the determination. 
What happens after I receive a positive conformity determination?
  • The NPC will send its determination and any recommendations to the appropriate authorizing agencies identified by the proponent. 
  • The NPC will also send the project proposal, with its determination and any recommendations, to the Nunavut Impact Review Board for screening, unless the project proposal is exempt from screening pursuant to Schedule 12-1 of the Nunavut Agreement.
  • The proponent is responsible for contacting and submitting license/permit applications to the appropriate authorizing agencies, and, when applicable, contact the Nunavut Impact review Board to submit an application for screening.  
What happens if my project proposal does not conform to the land use plan?
  • If it is determined that a project proposal is not in conformity with a land use plan, proponents may apply for a minor variance when applicable, a plan amendment, or for a Ministerial exemption.  
Who can I contact for more information?

You can contact the NPC for information on submitting and reviewing project proposals or any other questions you may have about the role of the NPC.

  • Jonathan Savoy, Director of Policy and Planning, can be reached at or  867 983 4632, and
  • Goump Djalogue, Manager of Implementation, can be reached at or 867 979 3444.

Data Sharing

Does the NPC share the data that it receives from planning partners?
  • The Commission does not share third party information. Requests for data should be made to the original data sources.
  • GIS files for the Land Use Designations and Recommendations contained in the Draft Nunavut Land Use Plan are available here.