Shell Canada, the Canadian subsidiary of the Anglo-Dutch supermajor, on Wednesday donated its Arctic offshore oil exploration rights to the Nature Conservancy of Canada so they can contribute to a national marine conservation area off the coast of Nunavut, the northern territory of the Inuit people.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada has passed on the permits to the national government. They cover 860,000 hectares (8,600 square kilometres) of offshore exploratory permits in the waters of Baffin Bay, near Lancaster Sound and are adjacent to an area already earmarked for a conservancy area so that area now becomes potentially much bigger.
The area covered by the oil permits was subject to a legal challenge by World Wildlife Fund Canada which disputed their validity because they represented an impediment to the realization of the Lancaster Sound National Marine Conservation Area.
In announcing its donation Shell Canada cited its history of joint conservation efforts with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, which is a private, not-for-profit charitable environmental organization.