In 1999, Canada's third territory was officially added to the map of Canada, and in the brief decade since its formation, Nunavut has advanced politically, economically and socially - beginning to fulfill the promise of the landmark land claims agreement that led to its creation. When people talk about "territory", they often speak in terms of land - and, that is the very name that was chosen for this new territory - Nunavut - "our land". This territory is more than land - it is the people on the land - who form the heart of what Nunavut is about. Nunavummiut communities are spread across one-fifth of Canada and yet are connected by cultural traditions that come from a common vision and a sense of belonging. This July 31st 2009 Envisat-MERIS image over the Nunavut territory in the Canadian Arctic captures the contrast of the icy shallower waters of Foxe Basin (top centre) with the warmer deeper waters of Foxe Channel (bottom).
Canada is a cooperating member of European Space Agency (ESA) and contributed to the development of the Earth Observation Envisat satellite. During the construction of Envisat, ABB Bomem of Quebec City (Québec, Canada), developed software to allow the selection and generation of the MERIS instrument products. In response to an expression of interest articulated by Canadian Government users, the Canadian Space Agency has invested in the upgrade of the Canadian ground infrastructure at the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing for the reception and processing of Envisat MERIS Full Resolution. As a result, MERIS Full Resolution data acquired over North America are now available on Internet for the Canadian Government users.
Through the Canadian Space Agency Government Related Initiatives Program (GRIP), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Fisheries and Oceans, Natural Resources Canada and other organizations are using the MERIS data to develop land and ocean products.