Integrating sustainable development
Sustainable development is central to the mandate of NRCan and essential to the future of the natural resources sector. NRCan is responsible for ensuring the sustainable development of Canada’s energy resources, minerals and metals, and forests, and for providing the geographical and geological information base that supports decisions about Canada’s land-based and offshore resources and the management of these lands.
NRCan’s decision-making process considers FSDS goals and targets through the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process. A SEA for policy, plan or program proposals assesses whether the proposal will result in environmental effects, both positive and negative, and how elements of the proposal contribute to achieving FSDS goals and targets. NRCan’s SEA process includes three levels:
- Preliminary SEA - determines the need for further analysis
- SEA Scan - identifies the importance of the environmental effects likely to arise from a proposal
- Detailed SEA - comprehensive analysis of important environmental effects
A summary of the results of NRCan’s detailed SEAs is made public when an initiative is announced (see NRCan webpage). The purpose of the public statement is to demonstrate that the environmental effects, including the impacts on achieving the FSDS goals and targets, of the approved policy, plan or program have been considered during proposal development and decision-making.
NRCan continues to measure SEA performance through the rate of compliance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, plan and program proposals and its guidelines. This includes determining how many approved proposals contributed to the FSDS.
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