Environmental Studies and Assessments
Government departments, regulatory bodies and industry require information rooted in sound science in order to reduce the environmental impacts that may occur in the development of major resource projects. This Sub-program provides innovative scientific information such as remote sensing science and geoscience expertise to address the environmental risks, impacts and constraints imposed by metals mining, northern pipelines, the oilsands and offshore energy development. NRCan’s expertise also contributes toward the completion of environmental assessments required by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) and for all federally triggered or regulated projects and/or reviews. The expertise is also used in published assessments of non-renewable mineral and energy resources, which are necessary in designating new federal parks and protected areas on federal lands.
|Expected Result||Performance Indicators||Targets|
|Governments, regulatory bodies and industry have access to sound environmental geoscience information||Number of knowledge attributions – e.g., citations – using NRCan's remote sensing data, geoscience data, or derived information, within the context of environmental studies, reports, or guidelines (excluding CEAA Environmental Assessments, and Mineral and Energy Resource Assessments)||5 by March 31, 2014|
|Percentage of responses, including expert opinion, delivered as per Environmental Assessments (EA) and Mineral and Energy Resource Assessments (MERA) requests for MMS scientific technical expertise||99% by March 31, 2014|
|Planned Spending||Main Estimates|
FSDS Theme III – Protecting Nature
FSDS Goal 6 – Ecosystem/Habitat Conservation and Protection
Maintain productive and resilient ecosystems with the capacity to recover and adapt; and protect areas in ways that leave them unimpaired for present and future generations.
FSDS Target 6.2 – Terrestrial Ecosystem and Habitat
Park Protected Habitat
Maintain or improve the overall ecological integrity in all national parks from March 2008 to March 2013.
FSDS Implementation Strategy
6.1.13 Establish one new national park by March 2013; complete feasibility assessments of five other potential national parks and one proposed expansion. (PC, NRCan)
How Activity Supports FSDS Target
NRCan delivers expertise, information and data to other government departments, enabling a clear understanding of environmental risks and opportunities, which in turn supports environmental responsibility in the development of national parks, protected areas and the use of Canada's natural resources. Thus, efforts under this Sub-program contribute indirectly to FSDS Target 6.2 – Terrestrial Ecosystem and Habitat.
FSDS Target 6.3 – Marine Ecosystems
Improve the conservation of ocean areas and marine ecosystems by 2012.
FSDS Implementation Strategies
6.3.1 Develop a federal-provincial-territorial network of Marine Protected Areas. (DFO, NRCan)
6.3.5 Provide advice to decision-makers on potential environmental impacts and ecological risks with specific, high-priority ocean activity. (DFO, EC, NRCan)
6.3.8 Complete feasibility assessments for two potential national marine conservation areas. (PC, NRCan)
How Activity Supports FSDS Target
Geoscience information and expertise are necessary to review and assess resource potential in order to establish marine protected areas. Geoscience information is used to ensure environmental impacts and ecological risks are known in order to provide federally regulated projects, such as deep water and pipeline approval, which contributes to ecosystem and habitat conservation. Utilizing the scientific research and expertise for the completion of feasibility assessments regarding potential national marine conservation areas, as well as collaboration with federal-provincial-territorial governments to create a network of marine protected areas will facilitate decision-making and the conservation of Canada’s ocean areas and marine ecosystems. Thus, NRCan’s efforts under this Sub-program contribute indirectly to FSDS Target 6.3 – Marine Ecosystems.
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