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Sustainable Development Strategy
Making meaningful contributions to sustainable development requires consideration of the challenges, prioritizing actions to respond, and periodic assessment to ensure relevancy. NRCan’s sustainable development strategies have provided the opportunity for the Department to do this, first with its 1997 Strategy, and then in 2001. The process of developing Moving Forward has resulted in a new focus for the advancement of sustainable development related to Canada’s natural resources.
The first efforts of an organization to see itself through the lens of sustainable development often involve delving into every corner of its operations and areas of responsibility. Attempting to be thorough can yield significant benefits: revealing the paths where progress is under way and creating a substantial inventory of potential areas for improvement. However, in the Department’s assessment of its two previous sustainable development strategies, it was noted that the documents were not yet fulfilling their potential to influence change towards sustainable development. To fulfill its purpose as an effective strategic planning document and to ‘raise the bar’ for sustainable development, Moving Forward focuses on the significant and essential outcomes the Department wants to achieve.
Moving Forward is based on the foundation of earlier strategies. It articulates the Department’s contribution to sustainable development in Canada and internationally. However, this Strategy does not attempt to encompass all the sustainable development issues of concern to NRCan, nor all of its relevant activities. Significant effort has gone into identifying the most crucial areas, central to the Department’s mandate, where there is both a need and an opportunity to make measurable progress towards the Department’s broad sustainable development goals.
Through the consultation process that has informed this Strategy (see Appendix 2), and refined by discussions among senior officials, the focus for Moving Forward was narrowed to the four key areas where the activities of the Department can spur or create measurable results on the ground. While there are fewer actions identified than in previous strategies, they are the ones that will address the issues identified through the consultation process, have the greatest impact, and do the most to move the Department closer to its vision for the future.
Moving Forward is the next step in the evolution of NRCan’s approach to sustainable development. It focuses on key results that are considered by NRCan, its clients and partners, to be the most significant and essential to the natural resource sectors.