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Canadian Biodiversity Strategy

GOAL 2 - Ecological Management

B. Increasing Resource Management Capability

Data and Information Management

Many government and non-government agencies collect data and information necessary for the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of biological resources. However, collected data and information are often not available because of exchange problems between management systems or because individuals are not aware of potentially useful sources. Also, the full range of data including biological, physical, chemical, social, cultural and economic data, required by resource planners and managers is often unavailable. Effective management systems are required to ensure data and information are available to those who need it.

Data Management

Article 7:

Maintain and organize by any mechanism data derived from identification and monitoring activities.

Convention on Biological Diversity

Enhanced coordination among agencies and individuals could solve many data and information communications problems, although access to some information may need to be restricted in order to protect certain populations, species or sites.

Strategic Directions:

11.
Investigate and implement means to enhance the collection, sharing, analysis, scope and distribution of data and information required to conserve biodiversity and sustainably use biological resources.
12.
Promote the continuing development of information management systems such as Geographic Information Systems and other technologies that facilitate the rapid analysis and distribution of biological and biophysical data and information.
13.
Work towards ensuring that data and information generated by publicly-funded studies are made available to potential users through appropriate sharing arrangements.
14.
Participate in the development and maintenance of appropriate international data bases.

Integrated Planning and Ecological Management

Ecological planning and management, especially at landscape and waterscape levels, are essential to implementing an ecological management approach. Such planning processes should integrate ecological, social, cultural and economic objectives. They should also provide for public and stakeholder participation to prevent and resolve conflicts among various resource users. Integrated planning and ecological management enhances the effectiveness of environmental assessments.

Planning and Integration

Article 6:

Develop, or adapt existing strategies, plans or programmes for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity reflecting the measures set out in the Convention.

Article 10:

Integrate consideration of the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources into national decision-making.

Convention on Biological Diversity

Ecological planning and management efforts have been successfully implemented in many regions of the country. For example, planning processes have been applied in several forested regions to provide opportunities for multi-stakeholder participation in determining resource use and conservation approaches. Land use planning and ecological management have been effective in determining appropriate land uses in urban areas, and have led to the establishment of protected areas. However, biodiversity conservation considerations are not yet fully integrated into these activities. Enhanced collaboration between all orders of government responsible for planning is required to achieve the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of biological resources.

Strategic Directions:

15.
Design and implement improved ecological planning and management at the landscape/waterscape level to conserve biodiversity and use biological resources in a sustainable manner.

16.

Improve ecological planning to assist in the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of biological resources, especially in or near sensitive aquatic areas, in areas that support populations of endemic, threatened or endangered species, and in areas that are undergoing significant changes resulting from human activity and development.

Integrated Systems Planning Along the St. Croix River

The St. Croix River, a designated Canadian Heritage River, extends along the Canada/United States border for approximately 185 km. Industrial and residential development along the lower portions of the river threaten the land and water quality.

New Brunswick has developed a land-use plan and zoning regulation aimed at protecting the natural environment, scenic values, rural lifestyle and economy, and wildlife along the river corridor, while taking into consideration the need to combine land and water planning.

New Brunswick's planning efforts are being harmonized with those of the State of Maine.

17.
Use ecological or land-use planning to help identify and establish protected areas and to ensure that the ecological integrity of established protected areas is maintained.
18.
Strengthen planning processes to work toward the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of biological resources of internationally-shared ecosystems and trans-boundary rivers and aquatic ecosystems, such as the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.
19.
Strengthen international planning efforts and other processes to eliminate or reduce adverse impacts on biodiversity and the sustainable use of biological resources, resulting from activities in other countries, with special consideration placed on migratory species, aquatic ecosystems and airborne pollutants.

Resolving Land-Use Conflicts in British Columbia

The Commission on Resources and Environment (CORE) was established in 1992 to resolve land-use conflicts in British Columbia by bringing land users together to discuss land-use allocations. CORE has initiated land-use plans in four regions of British Columbia, including Vancouver Island, Cariboo-Chilcotin, East Kootenay and West Kootenay-Boundary.

Environmental Assessments and Emergency Planning

Effective mechanisms must be implemented to provide for the adequate assessment and mitigation of the adverse impacts on biodiversity that could result from proposed projects.

Environmental Assessment and Emergency Response

Article 14:

Introduce appropriate procedures requiring environmental impact assessment of proposed projects likely to have significant adverse effects on biodiversity.Introduce appropriate arrangements to ensure that the environmental consequences of programmes and policies likely to have adverse effects on biodiversity are duly taken into account.Promote notification, exchange of information and consultation on activities likely to adversely effect biodiversity beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.Promote national arrangements for emergency responses to activities or events, which present grave or imminent danger to biodiversity.

Convention on Biological Diversity

Environmental assessments, as defined by legislation and policy, are used to determine the effects of projects that have the potential to significantly affect the environment. As our ability improves to inventory, describe and understand the components of biodiversity, better information will be available to enhance the effectiveness of environmental assessments.

Environmental assessments are also conducted to determine the potentially adverse impacts of government initiatives on biodiversity. Often these can be effectively assessed by applying simplified environmental assessment procedures. In some instances, land-use planning and environmental impact assessment have been successfully merged. This can be very effective in decision-making, as well as in reducing the cumulative impacts of developments.

In addition to implementing environmental assessments, the Convention requires all contracting parties to promote arrangements for emergency responses to events, such as coastal oil spills, that present a grave and imminent danger to biodiversity beyond national jurisdictions.

Strategic Directions:

20.

Use environmental assessments to determine potential impacts of developments on ecosystem, species and genetic resources and to recommend appropriate ways to avoid or reduce them to acceptable levels.

International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation 1990

Requires that: ships and oil handling facilities have oil pollution emergency plans and report any spills; andcountries promptly respond to oil pollution accidents and cooperate in sharing pollution-control information and training.

21.
Continue to examine and develop ways to harmonize environmental assessments nationally and internationally, where appropriate.
22.
Enhance efforts to determine and eliminate or reduce to acceptable levels, cumulative environmental effects that result from human activities on ecosystems, species and genetic diversity. This includes developing early-warning indicators and working towards incorporating cumulative environmental effects into relevant national and international agreements.
23.
In cooperation with other countries, maintain or develop environmental disaster prevention plans, procedures and other measures, and respond to events that pose grave and imminent risk to national, international and trans-boundary biodiversity.
24.
Maintain or develop arrangements to notify and respond with appropriate action to events originating in Canada that could significantly affect the biodiversity of other countries.

Training

Ecological planning and management training programs, tailored to the needs of policy-makers and resource managers are required. Training will also help policy-makers understand the implications of policies and programs before they are implemented.

Scientific Training

Article 12:

Establish and maintain programmes for scientific and technical education and training in measures for the identification, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and its components.

Convention on Biological Diversity

Training and information programs are also necessary to keep personnel informed of improved management practices, new technologies, and the appropriate use and application of traditional knowledge. Highly trained, professional staff will be required in order to implement certain provisions of this Strategy. This will require taking advantage of existing facilities and expertise as much as possible and enhancing communication between educators and institutions.

Strategic Directions:

25.
Improve coordination and efficiency of training and information programs by strengthening relationships among educational institutions, government agencies, local and indigenous communities, private property owners, non-government organizations, business and industry.
26.
Strengthen training programs in: ecological management, sustainable use inventory methodologies, monitoring, data management, multi-disciplinary research, management of protected areas, environmental education, environmental assessment and emergency planning.