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Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)’s mandate to responsibly develop and use Canada’s resources by integrating economic, environmental and social factors into resource development decision making presents a real challenge. It is also an opportunity to enrich the quality of life of Canadians today and for future generations.
The Department of Natural Resources Act states that “in exercising the powers and performing the duties and functions assigned to the Minister … the Minister shall have regard to the sustainable development of Canada’s natural resources and the integrated management thereof.”
Natural Resources Canada has articulated a vision of a sustainable future that reflects this mandate – a vision well on its way to realization as we make measurable progress in advancing the Department’s sustainable development goals, first articulated in 1997 in Sustainable Development Strategy: Safeguarding our Assets, Securing our Future.
The commitments in Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS) – Now and for the Future continue to move this agenda towards a future in which the wise use of our natural resources enables us to protect the health of Canadians, the environment and landmass, while continuing to efficiently meet human needs for energy, forest and mineral-based products, both now and for the future.
SDS – Now and for the Future is the result of extensive consultations with Departmental staff, senior managers and stakeholders who were asked to review and respond to The Path Forward to Sustainable Development Strategy 2000, a discussion paper that identified the areas where NRCan can make a meaningful difference. The paper reflected the latest thinking on sustainable development priorities as well as the lessons learned since the initial strategy’s launch in the late 1990s.
The discussion paper itself was the product of four public input processes – a progress report and questionnaire; Northern Sustainable Development Strategy consultations; meetings with representative stakeholder groups; as well as a Leaders’ Forum on Sustainable Development.
Canadians’ ideas and suggestions for improvement have been incorporated into the current strategy, which has been strengthened by their enthusiasm and support.
SDS – Now and for the Future underscores that all Canadians have a role to play in sustainable development. Ultimately, sustainable development will result from our individual and collective efforts to find solutions to resource development challenges that are good for our communities, good for the economy and good for the environment.