ARCHIVED - Sustainable Development

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Sustainable Development Strategy, 1997-2001
Safeguarding our Assets, Securing our Future

Message From the Minister

"Sustainable development means integrating social, economic, and environmental goals. It is a matter of sharing ecological resources fairly within society and between generations. It is also a matter of using natural, human, and economic resources responsibly and efficiently."

Securing our Future Together, 1997

Picture of Ralph Goodale

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is proud to be the first federal department to have sustainable development defined in its legislation and written into its mandate. With this new Sustainable Development Strategy, NRCan is determined to continue to seek practical ways to promote the sustainable development of Canada's natural resources.

Public consultations conducted during the development of this strategy revealed that Canadians of all ages and from all walks of life, representing a diversity of values and viewpoints, increasingly recognize our collective responsibilities and the enormous possibilities that sustainable development presents.

There is a growing conviction among Canadians that we must integrate environmental thinking into all aspects of development decisions in order to diminish adverse environmental impacts of resource development and use, and to ensure Canada's natural resources can continue to provide economic and social benefits to present and future generations.

There are no quick or easy answers to this complex challenge. However, there is a growing need to work together to ensure ongoing economic growth and more equitable distribution of its benefits, the protection of human health and the conservation of ournatural heritage.

In the next century, Canada must become the world's "smartest" resource developer: the most high tech; the most environmentally friendly, the most productive. Innovation will be required if we are to be global leaders in introducing green technologies, adopting alternative and renewable resources, creating environmentally-sound and value-added industries, and increasing productivity to improve our international competitiveness while respecting our global environmental obligations.

Canadians clearly want a strong economy that includes resource development as long as that development respects the land and the people. We have a collective duty to strike the right balance in managing, wisely using and protecting Canada's natural resources.

We have both the opportunity and responsibility to make the right choices that will benefit Canadians for generations to come. NRCan is committed to ongoing public consultations, and to greater coordination of sustainable development policies and practices among governments, to achieve those goals. I am confident that, with all stakeholders working together, we will find lasting solutions.

Ralph Goodale