The NWMB has a number of responsibilities assigned to it, primarily through the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA). The NWMB has mandatory functions (s 5.2.33 NLCA), discretionary functions (s 5.2.34), and research functions (s 5.2.37-5.2.38 NLCA). Informing these functions of the NWMB are the principles and objectives contained in Sections 5.1.2 and 5.1.4 of the NLCA and these principles of Article 5 guide the NWMB.
The NWMB performs the following primary functions:
- Participating in or facilitating wildlife research;
- Conducting a wildlife harvest study from time to time;
- Rebutting presumptions as to need;
- Establishing, modifying, or removing levels of total allowable harvest;
- Establishing and/or adjusting the basic needs level;
- Allocating resources from the surplus to other residents and to existing operations;
- Making recommendations as to allocation of the remaining surplus;
- Establishing, modifying or removing non-quota limitations; and
- Any other function required by the NLCA and not specifically referred to above.
The NWMB’s discretionary functions are as follows:
- Approve the establishment, disestablishment, and changes to boundaries of Conservation Areas;
- Identify wildlife management zones and areas of high biological productivity and provide recommendations to the Nunavut Planning Commission with respect to planning in those areas;
- Approve plans for management and protection of particular wildlife habitats including those within Protected Areas;
- Approve plans for:
- Management, classification, protection, restocking or propagation, cultivation or husbandry of particular wildlife, including endangered species; and
- The regulation of imported non-indigenous species and the management of transplanted wildlife populations;
- Provide advice to government departments, Nunavut Impact Review Board and other agencies regarding mitigation measures and compensation related to impacts arising from commercial and industrial developments on wildlife habitat;
- Approve designation of rare, threatened and endangered species;
- Provide advice with respect to the promotion of wildlife education, information and training of Inuit for wildlife management; and
- Establish qualifications respecting guides;
The NWMB may also perform other activities relating to the management and regulation of access to wildlife in the Nunavut Settlement Area as agreed by the NWMB and Government.