The Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) is an institution of public government created by the Nunavut Agreement (NA) to assess the potential impacts of proposed development in the Nunavut Settlement Area prior to approval of the required project authorizations. Using both traditional knowledge and recognized scientific methods, the NIRB assesses the potential biophysical and socio-economic impact of proposals and will make recommendations and decisions about which projects may proceed. The Board may also establish monitoring programs for projects that have been assessed and approved to proceed.

In carrying out its functions, the primary objectives of the NIRB shall be at all times to protect and promote the existing and future well‑being of the residents and communities of the Nunavut Settlement Area, and to protect the ecosystemic integrity of the Nunavut Settlement Area.  The NIRB must also take into account the well‑being of residents of Canada outside the Nunavut Settlement Area.

The NIRB’s mandate and authority comes from Article 12 of the Nunavut Agreement and the Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act.

The mandate of the NIRB is at all times to be interpreted within the context of the following objectives upon which the NA was negotiated: 

  • to provide for certainty and clarity of rights to ownership and use of lands and resources, and of rights for Inuit to participate in decision-making concerning the use, management and conservation of land, water and resources, including the offshore;
  • to provide Inuit with wildlife harvesting rights and rights to participate in decision-making concerning wildlife harvesting;
  • to provide Inuit with financial compensation and means of participating in economic opportunities; and,
  • to encourage self-reliance and the cultural and social well-being of Inuit.