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ARCHIVED - Key Result 3: Canada is globally recognized as a responsible steward of our natural resources and is a leader in advancing sustainable development internationally

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Final Progress Report on NRCan's Sustainable Development Strategy - Moving Forward


Of the 20 Targets:

  • 19 targets have been completed.
  • 1 target was revised (to reflect operational conditions and to ensure their successful completion).
A Snapshot of Some Accomplishments

Sustainable development involves integrated decision-making and cooperation from a number of stakeholders. Through its work, NRCan has contributed to the goal of positioning Canada to be globally recognized as a responsible steward of our natural resources and a leader in advancing sustainable development internationally.

  • NRCan provided policy advice on the effectiveness of R&D in promoting more sustainable nuclear technologies with a reduced environmental footprint as a means to decrease GHG emissions in Canada and abroad. As a result, the Government of Canada signed the Generation IV Framework Agreement (treaty) with six other countries and the European Union plus two Nuclear System Arrangements that will allow Canada to jointly undertake R&D to achieve the stated goal. NRCan led the negotiations on the Canadian participation that should maintain market access for CANDU and related products and increase international dialogue related to energy conservation through the development of more efficient and advanced nuclear technologies.
  • NRCan’s commitment to the sustainable development of Canada’s natural resources included optimizing social and economic benefits for Canadians. NRCan maintained and in some cases improved international market access for the products of Canada’s natural resource sectors. NRCan undertook trade promotion and facilitation activities in collaboration with Industry Canada, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Environment Canada. For instance, training in wood frame housing systems was provided in China, Taiwan and Korea.
  • To date, strong collaboration with Korean wood associations has further expanded to include the delivery of a number of technical seminars. In conjunction with Korean associations, promotional material targeted at consumers also being developed. Ongoing work also includes the establishment of three additional offshore offices or representatives to provide a base for Canadian products to be showcased and marketed. All the initiatives have resulted in greater knowledge and acceptance of Canadian wood products and our wood frame construction system to increase demand for Canadian wood products as well as an increase in opportunities for export growth to ensure the prosperity in the wood products sector.
  • As an example of collaborative efforts to increase international dialogue related to sustainable development within the natural resource sectors, NRCan worked to strengthen India’s ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable development, and worked to enhance the capacity and willingness of key stakeholders to effectively use NRCan-developed technology for concrete construction. This was carried out through an implementation program for High Volume Fly Ash in Concrete (HVFAC) technology, including demonstration projects, transfer of technology activities, and networking with standards and specifying bodies and organizations. Examples of initiatives conducted in India, which led to increased awareness by Indian industry, government authorities and other agencies of the benefits associated to the use HVFAC for sustainable development, include:
    • demonstration projects, which were successfully completed as planned;
    • several training programs on HVFAC technology, which were established and conducted in India;
    • the issuance of technical information (reports, publications) along with best practice Guidelines on the use and uptake of HVFAC technology.
  • As part of a Groundwater Resources Management initiative in Brazil, NRCan enable the transfer of technologies to the professional staff of the Geological Survey of Brazil on various aspects of spatial analysis and geo-statistical methods used to build local capacity to develop the groundwater resources of drought-prone northeast Brazil. Seminar on the use of a new groundwater management and data information system, which allow users to conveniently access data from tens of thousands of water wells throughout the country, and to analyze them on their desktop computers, were also conducted. Further to a decision by the Government of Brazil, the groundwater information and management system developed by ESS for north-eastern Brazil has been extended and adopted as the standard for the entire country. Implementation is now being carried out on a state-by-state basis by the Geological Survey of Brazil and the Brazil Water Commission.
  • NRCan plays a key role in helping shape the contribution of the natural resources sectors and allied industries to the high quality of life of Canadians. The Department’s approach to innovation and partnerships has also helped elevate the role of Canadian natural resources companies abroad. Indeed, Canada is:
    • a leading exporters of mineral products (15.2% of our total domestic exports);
    • a leader in Geomatics, which ranks in the top three most important professional fields in the global market. Approximately 400 Canadian firms export products or services around the world;
    • the United States’ major trade partner for energy products (99% of our energy exports goes to the US, accounting for $84.8 billion);
    • the world’s largest forest-products exporter (15.9% in 2005);

More information on NRCan’s progress for Key Result #3 can be found in the tables below.

Action 3.1: Address issues related to resource access within Canada, and international market access issues concerning Canadian natural resource products and producers
Number Target Status Achievements / Next Steps By 2005, provide training in wood frame housing systems in China. Completed The Quality Assurance (QA) program is underway with a team of three construction specialists/trainers located in Shanghai.  Technical seminars are continuing and wood design courses are held in Tongji, Tsinghua and Harbin Universities.  At the request of builders and developers, monthly conferences/forums are delivered-aimed at enticing Chinese builders at creating their own association and QA program. By 2007, provide training in wood frame housing systems in Taiwan and Korea. Completed Korea - strong collaboration with Korean wood associations have further expanded to include the delivery of a number of technical seminars.  In conjunction with Korean associations, promotional material targeted at consumers also being developed.

Fire, acoustical and seismic codes revisions will continue in 07/08 to allow wood frame construction in multi-family, low rise buildings.

Taiwan - In recognition of the low potential in Taiwan, the Canadian industry has ceased all market development activities, except for partial in-market contract representation to monitor the pulse of the market. By 2007, establish three additional offshore offices or representatives to provide a base for Canadian products to be showcased and marketed. Completed 6 offices were established since 2003: Brussels, London, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, and contract representation in Taipei. The network of Canada Wood Offices is currently investigating the possible addition of a contract representation in Dubai, servicing the Middle East and north African region. By 2006, increase international market opportunities for Canadian technologies. Completed

The following was achieved through this target: International business development was supported through feasibility funds for clean energy projects (Canadian Initiative for International Technology Transfer, CIITT), and Climate Change Trade Promotion Officers (CCTPOs) based in Mexico, Poland and India.

The Canadian Initiative for International Technology Transfer (CIITT) continued to support the development of international market opportunities by funding twenty-two feasibility studies for clean energy technology projects by Canadian companies in international markets. A recent program audit completed by the Audit and Evaluation Branch indicated a majority of feasibility studies completed show "good potential for implementation in the future" with potential gross revenues of over $100,000,000 to Canadian firms. These initiatives were feasibility studies and these projects typically follow a slower evolution in the international environment. CETC has maintained contact with a number of companies and of the 22 feasibility studies a number continue to move forward. By 2004, amend Canada’s Export and Import of Hazardous Waste Regulations to facilitate international access to recyclable materials. Completed In March 2004, amendments to Canada’s regulations on the export and import of hazardous waste were published in the Canada Gazette I.  Final publication of these regulatory amendments in the Canada Gazette II occurred in June 2005, and the new regulations came into force on November 1, 2005. NRCan is satisfied that this amendment package significantly improves access to recyclable materials as per Canada’s Minerals and Metals Policy. By 2004, meet with delegations from foreign governments interested in studying and assessing Canada’s administration of its mineral resources, and how to establish a competitive investment climate in Canada as a stable source of supply of minerals and metals and/or as a centre of expertise in all phases of minerals and metals activity. Completed Events included the following (with points 2 and 3 on Canadian expertise):

1) In 2004, met with delegations from Japan, Korea and China interested in securing long-term supply of key industrial minerals and metals, mining investment opportunities, Canadian investment climate and foreign ownerships in Canada.

2) Hosted at EFSAB, MMS a mining financing intern from China’s Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR), Sept. 2003-Feb. 2004.

3) Lectures for senior mining officials from MLR at Queen’s University on mineral policy and mining and development regulatory processes, August 2004. By 2004, meet with a number of foreign governments to communicate the positive aspects of the Canadian investment climate. Completed Communicated the positive aspects of the Canadian investment climate:

1) At the 2004 NRCan Mining Investment Forum for Canada and China on March 9, 2004 in Toronto during the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention.

2) During Minister John Efford’s visit to Beijing in Sept. 2004 (attended meetings between Minister Efford and Minister Sun Wengsheng of MLR and Chairman Ma Kai of National Development and Reform Commission).

3) During a joint MMS-ESS Mission to China in November 2004, as a follow-up to Minister Efford’s Sept. visit (attended meetings with NDRC and MLR and proposed respective MOUs, which were signed during Prime Minister Paul Martin and International Trade Minister Jim Peterson’s visit to China in January 2005.  Also promoted Canada with the Chinese government and major Chinese mining companies at the China Mining 2004 conference in Beijing). By 2007, work towards the completion of a major investment in Canada by Korea and/or China. Completed Proposals made to both the Ministry of Land and Resources (NRCan’s counterpart in China) and the National Development and Reform Commission in China. Proposals are under consideration by China.  In 2006, a joint effort between MMS’  Industry Analysis and Business Development Branch, and the Economics, Investment and Fiscal Analysis Branch, in collaboration with the Canadian Embassy in the Republic of Korea resulted in Hanwha Living and Creative Corporation making an investment in Southern Ontario to create a manufacturing facility worth about US $30 million. By 2004, provide Canada’s Mines Ministers with analysis and recommendations of the intergovernmental mineral tax working group on exploration incentives. Completed The Intergovernmental Working Group on the Mineral Industry tabled a report on "Taxation Issues for the Mining Industry 2004 Update" at the Mines Ministers’ Conference in Iqaluit, Nunavut in July 2004, to ensure that ministers had access to the most timely and accurate information. This report contains detailed information on exploration spending related to federal and provincial incentives and the views of industry and working group members on future extensions of the incentives and modifications to eligible expenditures. By 2004, produce recommendations for federal action on how to address challenges faced by Canada’s base metals smelters and refineries. Target revised Industry recommendations for changes to the Canadian Exploration Expense rules to allow exploration in the vicinity of existing mines are being evaluated by the NRCan led IGWG Taxation Issues subgroup.  These changes would encourage exploration in the most prospective areas for increasing Canada’s base metal reserves.
Action 3.2 Forge partnerships for advancing the contributions of natural resource sectors to sustainable development internationally
Number Target Status Achievements / Next Steps By 2004, launch Intergovernmental Forum in partnership with the Government of South Africa. Completed In February 2005, twenty-five countries had confirmed their membership in the Forum and triggered its coming into force.  Acting as the Secretariat, NRCan is now preparing the inaugural meeting of the Forum to be held in Geneva in the Fall 2005. By 2005, put in place a model for Canadian participation among government, industry and academia in the Generation IV program. Completed

Completed. Natural Resources Canada led the negotiations for the System Arrangement for the Supercritical Water-cooled Reactor (SCWR) which led to its signing by The European Union and Japan in November 2006.  Canada’s leadership role in the SCWR system was recognized by the international community – including European Union, France and Japan when the Canadian representative to the System Steering Committee was elected Chair. Canada also signed the Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) System Arrangement, in which Canada plans to participate. The next level of legal agreements, called Project Arrangements, will commit each participant to an agreed scope of work and schedule under each project.  The Project Arrangements for the VHTR Materials, Hydrogen and Fuel projects were negotiated and will be signed in July 2007. Canada is currently leading the Project Arrangement negotiations on the SCWR.

To support Canada’s international commitments, as well as support the development of the SCWR and VHTR within Canada, the Generation IV National Program in 2006-2007 continued to expand its effort to broaden the participation in the program to give a truly national character.  Highlights of these efforts in 2006-2007 saw several NRCan labs, private industry, nine universities in four provinces, and AECL labs receive funding from the program to perform research and to build experimental and analytical capabilities.  The Generation IV National Program will continue its efforts to achieve broader participation across Canada from government laboratories, private industry and academia in the coming years."

Action 3.3 Promote best practices for sustainable development abroad
Number Target Status Achievements / Next Steps By 2005, transfer Canadian technologies and know-how in specific application areas relating to earth sciences to support sound decision-making with respect to sustainable development in developing countries. Completed Completed. By 2004, develop project Web site. Completed Project website was developed and information posted. By 2005, complete four demonstrations projects of HVFAC technology in India. Completed Thirteen demonstration projects were successfully completed. By 2005, complete one series of transfer of technology seminars in large cities in India. Completed One series of seminars was held in December 2004.  Approximately 15 seminars and other awareness-raising events were carried out in major Indian cities for more than 3500 participants. By 2004, conduct three training sessions of Indian engineers in Ottawa. Completed Short-course training was given to more than 100 Indian technical personnel and focused group meetings were conducted with more than 600 municipal, state, and central government representatives across India. By 2005, conduct six training programs on HVFAC technology in India. Completed Completed. Training programs were held during the period: March 05 in Nagpur; April 05 in Delhi; June 05 in Mumbai and Margapatta; July 05 in Lucknow, Bangalore and Pune. By 2005, issue technical information (reports, publications) on fly ash and HVFAC in India. Completed

All reports related to the various demonstration projects and studies undertaken under this project have been completed and posted on the project website, which will be maintained by the Confederation of Indian Industry (

Best practice Guidelines on the use of HVFAC technology in India have been written and are also available on the project website.

A two-page outline for practitioners on the use of HVFAC has been prepared and translated in 5 different languages.

Best practice Guidelines on the use of HVFAC technology in India have been written and are also available on the project website.

A two-page outline for practitioners on the use of HVFAC has been prepared and translated in 5 different languages. By 2005, resolve technical issues dealing with the use of HVFAC in the Indian context. Completed Technology adaptation studies have been completed by three research organizations in India.  Also, work has been carried out by CANMET staff in collaboration with a local contractor (HCC) to optimize mix designs for HVFAC in India. The results of all of the above work have been included in reports that are posted on the project website. Also, technical issues related to the implementation of the HVFAC in India have been encountered and resolved as part of the various demo projects performed in the study.
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