ARCHIVED - Sustainable Development

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Report on Plans and Priorities 2011-2012
Electronic Layer of Reporting
Elements of NRCan's Sustainable Development Strategy

Section 2 - Departmental Decision-making and Sustainable Development

Strategic Environmental Assessment Planned Highlights and Commitments

As a department mandated to enhance both the sustainable development and the competitiveness of Canada’s natural resource sectors, NRCan is committed to carrying out strategic environmental assessment (SEA), in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals (the Cabinet Directive) and its guidelines.

The Cabinet Directive specifies that:

Consistent with the government's strong commitment to sustainable development, ministers expect that policy, plan and program proposals of departments and agencies will consider, when appropriate, potential environmental effects.

More specifically, ministers expect a strategic environmental assessment of a policy, plan or program proposal to be conducted when the following two conditions are met:

  1. the proposal is submitted to an individual minister or Cabinet for approval; and
  2. implementation of the proposal may result in important environmental effects, either positive or negative.

Departments and agencies are also encouraged to conduct strategic environmental assessments for other policy, plan or program proposals when circumstances warrant. An initiative may be selected for assessment to help implement departmental or agency goals in sustainable development, or if there are strong public concerns about possible environmental consequences.

Internal Coordination

NRCan commits to:

  • Update internal NRCan policy to incorporate new requirements of the guidelines supporting the Cabinet Directive, such as: analysing within SEAs the impact of policy, plan and program proposals on FSDS goals and targets; reporting on SEA results through Departmental Performance Reports; and describing the impact of policy, plan and program proposals on FSDS goals and targets in SEA public statements
  • Update NRCan guidance material (e.g. SEA templates, internal websites, training material, etc.) to ensure that the impact of policy, plan and program proposals on FSDS goals and targets is considered and documented in SEAs
  • Deliver briefing and training sessions to NRCan staff
  • Provide relevant NRCan SEA materials (e.g. guidance, templates and case studies) to the interdepartmental network of SEA coordinators in support of fostering a community of practice on SEA

Performance measure for FY 2011-12:

  • Rate of NRCan compliance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals and its supporting guidelines

For more information on SEA at NRCan, please see the NRCan website:
http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/assessment/145