Executive Summary

The Government of Canada is committed to a clean-growth future built on the dual cornerstones of economic prosperity and environmental protection. Central to this vision is sustainable development, which is defined as our ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

The Government’s plan for sustainable development begins with the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS). It sets out the Government’s priorities, establishes its goals and targets, identifies actions to achieve those objectives, and provides performance indicators to measure the results. For example, the 2016-19 FSDS outlined 13 long-term goals to promote clean growth, ensure healthy ecosystems and build safe, secure and sustainable communities.

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has a significant role to play in these federal efforts by promoting the sustainable development of Canada’s energy, minerals, metals, and forests. This includes producing geographical, geological and other vital scientific information to support decision making about Canada’s land-based and offshore resources, as well as the management of these lands.

This 2017-20 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS) outlines how NRCan contributes to the Government’s long-term goals in the FSDS by promoting environmental stewardship at the same time that it helps ensure that Canada’s natural resource sectors are globally competitive, that Canadians are making smart, environmentally sound consumer purchases and that our lands and resources are being wisely managed to ensure greater public safety.

The DSDS is also an opportunity for NRCan to demonstrate its contributions to important domestic initiatives and international commitments — including the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, which is a blueprint to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, spur innovation, adapt to climate change and create good jobs across the country. It also illustrates how the Department supports the Minister of Natural Resources in addressing priorities set by the Prime Minister. As part of these efforts to advance sustainable development in concrete ways, the Department works closely with partners such as the provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, communities, industry, academia and non-governmental organizations.

This three-year DSDS will be updated annually to reflect new and emerging priorities and initiatives that further improve the quality of life of Canadians and ensure Canada’s place as one of the greenest countries in the world.


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