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Sub-program 3.1.3

Forest Disturbances Science and Application


Climate change is widely believed to be contributing to an increase in the frequency and intensity of native and invasive alien forest pest infestations and other disturbances such as wildland fire. Canada needs the scientific knowledge to understand, forecast, mitigate and adapt to natural and human-induced impacts to forest ecosystems. Through this Sub-program, NRCan conducts research and analysis to develop scientific knowledge of forest disturbances (e.g., pests, fire). This scientific knowledge is used by federal, provincial and territorial governments and agencies (both policy-makers and regulators) as well as the forest industry to assess risks, forecast impacts and develop mitigation and adaptation strategies related to pests, fire, and climate change. This Sub-program includes the Invasive Alien Species Strategy for Canada, and Climate Change Adaptation Program.

Non-Financial Performance Information
Expected Result Performance Indicators Targets
Governments, agencies and industry are provided with scientific knowledge on forest disturbances to assess risks, and develop mitigation and adaptation strategies Representation of the Canadian Forest Service on advisory boards or committees involving governments, industry, and non-governmental organizations in order to provide scientific knowledge on forest ecosystems Maintain current representation on 73 advisory boards or committees by March 31, 2014
Financial Performance Information ($ thousands)
Planned Spending Main Estimates
25,615 25,615

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 6.4 – Managing Threats to Ecosystems

Threats of new alien invasive species entering Canada are understood and reduced by 2015.

FSDS Implementation Strategy

6.4.1 Fulfill federal responsibilities related to prevention, detection, rapid response and management of invasive alien species. Key activities are related to governance (including international cooperation legislation/regulation, science and technology, risk analysis, information management and sharing, performance promotion, management and mitigation). (EC, NRCan)

How Activity Supports FSDS Target

Under this Sub-program, NRCan has continued improvement in understanding forest invasive alien species pathways, assessment of human-assisted introduction and the impact of invasive alien forest pests. Similarly, NRCan has continued scientific research in addressing knowledge gaps in taxonomy, biology, ecology, distribution, and pest-host and forest-pathogen relationships. The Department also engages in the production of detection, diagnostic and surveillance tools and strategies including molecular, pheromone and chemical attractant methods for forest invasive alien species. In addition, NRCan continues to provide science and policy advice that supports phytosanitary trade negotiations and the development of national and international forest phytosanitary standards. Thus, initiatives under this Sub-program directly relate to FSDS Target 6.4 – Managing Threats to Ecosystems.

Program Name: Enhancing Competitiveness in a Changing Climate

CAA Theme: Adaptation

Description of Enhancing Competitiveness in a Changing Climate:

NRCan’s enhancing Competitiveness in a Changing Climate program involves activities in the Earth Sciences Sector (under Sub-program 3.1.4), the Minerals and Metals Sector (under Sub-program 2.2.1) and the Canadian Forest Service (under Sub-program 3.1.3). The activities for this program for each sector are described below.

Earth Sciences Sector (ESS) Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation (CCIAD)

Successfully planning for and managing the impacts of climate change requires not only the exploration of the risks and opportunities created by a changing climate but also information sharing and co-operation among multiple levels of decision-makers. This program is delivering an Adaptation Platform that brings together industry and professional organizations, provincial, territorial and federal departments as well as other relevant organizations to address shared adaptation priorities. The Adaptation Platform will enhance the competitiveness of regions and key industries by providing a structure to bring together knowledge, capacity and financial resources from across Canada to produce information and tools that regions and key industries need to understand and adapt to the effects of a changing climate on their operations.

Minerals and Metals Sector (MMS) Project on Mine Waste Management in a Changing Climate

Climatic warming in the North poses new challenges to various mining-related activities, especially mine waste management and effluent treatment. Relying on available and proven technologies without exploring new alternatives is inadequate to efficiently tackle the pending challenges. As part of a larger departmental program on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation, CanmetMINING is assessing the current mine waste management and effluent treatment practices in the North with respect to their ability to accommodate the impacts of extreme climatic events. The work focuses on northern mining vulnerability, examining operations, development and reclamation projects, as well as researching potential adaptation options.

Canadian Forest Service (CFS) Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation

The Canadian Forest Service is building a national framework to integrate existing and new scientific information and enable the integrated assessment of the implications of climate change for Canada’s forest sector. The program includes developing a set of indicators of climate change impacts on Canada’s forests and forest management systems, and implementing a system to track and report on them. A toolkit of useful and actionable information and tools to inform operational, strategic and policy decisions on adaptation and to enhance forest sector capacity to mitigate climate change impacts is being developed in close collaboration with Canada’s forest sector.

Expected program results for 2013-14:

NRCan’s Enhancing Competitiveness in a Changing Climate program will deliver information and share expertise to improve the ability of decision-makers in Canada’s regions and targeted economic sectors to adapt. The Earth Sciences Sector will establish an Adaptation Platform and continue to bring together knowledge, capacity and financial resources to efficiently and effectively facilitate adaptation action. In 2013-14, cost shared projects funded under the Mining, Northern and Measuring Progress Working Groups will deliver preliminary results that will be shared broadly. A second call for proposals will fund activities in existing and newly established working groups including Economics of Adaptation and Energy. The program will also deliver an update to the 2007 national assessment of climate change impacts and adaptation. The Minerals and Metals Sector will deliver a report and a technical seminar to improve knowledge on the climate change impacts on mine waste management and effluent treatment in the North and offer practical adaptation technologies. The Canadian Forest Service will deliver a prioritization framework for indicators of climate change impacts, develop an initial adaptation toolkit, and start reporting results of its tracking system. In 2013-14, the program will also identify the areas of focus and the methodology for its integrated assessment.

Performance measures:

Key outcomes Indicators Targets Tracking
Increased awareness and engagement in adaptation Change in number of decision-makers aware and engaged 30% increase in awareness of adaptation over 2009 benchmark by 2014 Survey in 2014-15
Participation in the Adaptation Platform 90% of targeted stakeholder groups participate Reports on Platform activities
Increased capacity of individuals, communities and economic sectors to adapt to a changing climate Mining staff, regulators and public more aware of climate change effects on the management of mine wastes and potential mitigation strategies 300 individuals in the mining sector (mining company and regulatory staff) and public participate in information sessions or training related to project findings Number of people who attend project information sessions and other project activities
Program spending for 2013-14
Total CAA Program Planned Spending
$873,256Footnote 1


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