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TABLE 8: Sustainable Development Strategy

In December 2006, the Minister of the Environment tabled the 2007-2009 Parks Canada Agency Sustainable Development Strategy in Parliament. The complete SDS document is accessible at:

Parks Canada is in the business of sustainable development. The mandate aligns well with the goals of sustainable development. The business of Parks Canada is the protection and presentation of significant examples of Canada’s history and culture and representative examples of Canada’s ecosystems and biodiversity.

The Agency mandate defines its strategic outcome; that is, the desired end product of all its activities. Parks Canada’s strategic outcome includes two important subsets of sustainable economic policy; Agency activities contribute to the attainment of sustainable economic growth and a clean and healthy environment.

The table below provides some detail on six of the key objectives of the Parks Canada SDS.

1. Parks Canada Agency or Collaborative Commitment/Effort from Current SDS:
  1.1 Parks Canada will create national parks and national marine conservation areas in unrepresented regions.
  1.2 Parks Canada will conduct ecological monitoring and reporting on the state of ecosystems in national parks and national marine conservation areas.
  1.3 Parks Canada will reduce its total annual output levels of greenhouse gasses (GHG) below the 2010 target of 53.4 kilotonnes.
  1.4 Parks Canada will designate and commemorate places, persons and events of national historic significance, particularly in under-represented priority areas.
  1.5 Parks Canada will develop learning opportunities that help bring about a culture of conservation through partnerships, increased understanding of key audiences, and the use of best practices in the areas of environmental education, place-based education and social marketing.
  1.6 Parks Canada will provide meaningful opportunities by facilitating experiential connections with Canada’s protected heritage areas.

2. Federal SD Goal including GGO goals 3. Performance Measure from Current SDS 4. Parks Canada Planning Highlights for 2008-09
2.1 Conserve and protect aquatic ecosystems (marine and freshwater) and biodiversity 3.1 This performance measure has been updated to reflect the current target of the Parks Canada Agency. It now read as follows:

- Increase the number of represented terrestrial natural regions from 25 in March 2003 to 30 of 39 by March 2010; increase the number of represented marine regions from two in March 2003 to four of 29 by March 2010.

The increasing complexity of national park establishment explains the changes made to this performance measure.
4.1 By 2010, Parks Canada plans to recommend to Parliament the formal legislated establishment of Gulf Islands National Park Reserve and Ukkusiksalik National Park. Work will continue on at least five national marine conservation areas proposals.
2.2 Conserve and protect aquatic ecosystems (marine and freshwater) and biodiversity 3.2 Aspects of the state of ecological integrity in each of Canada’s 42 national parks improved by March 2014. 4.2 Through active management or restoration initiatives, the Agency will work towards addressing the conservation issues that it can influence in Canada’s national parks. Priority ecological issues will be identified in Management Plans and the ecological integrity condition and trends will be reported in State of Park Reports. Active management projects will be initiated to improve aspects of ecological integrity. Parks Canada’s target is that 90% of national parks have at least one improved ecological integrity indicator by March 31, 2014.
2.3 Mitigate and reduce emissions that contribute to climate change 3.3 Parks Canada will report annually the percent reduction in GHG emissions across the department’s building inventory. 4.3 Parks Canada will continue its efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations by 5.2% from 1998-99 baseline level of 56.3 kilotonnes to a level below 53.4 kilotonnes by 2010-11.
2.4 Maintain and foster social well-being within communities 3.4 Designate, on average, 24 new places, persons and events per year, of which, on average, 33%, relate to at least one under-represented priority areas - Aboriginal history, ethno-cultural communities history and women’s history. 4.4 Parks Canada will continue to support the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and the Minister in designating and commemorating places, persons and events and is planning to meet the target in 2008-09.
2.5 Promote a high level of environmental quality in communities 3.5 Develop indicators, expectations and protocols for measuring public appreciation and understanding of Canadians and stakeholders by March 2007. 4.5 Parks Canada developed two performance indicators:

- Canadians appreciate the significance of the heritage places administered by Parks Canada.

- Canadians understand the importance of protecting and presenting the heritage places administered by Parks Canada.

Parks Canada will establish a baseline for these two indicators by March 2009.
2.6 Sustainable development and use of natural resources and Encourage vibrant, competitive local economies 3.6 Develop indicators, expectations and protocols to assess visitor satisfaction and connections with Canadian heritage places. 4.6 Parks Canada developed two performance indicators:

- Visitors at surveyed locations consider the place is meaningful to them.

- Visitors at surveyed locations are satisfied with their visit.

By March 2009, Parks Canada will establish a baseline for the first performance indicator.

Parks Canada established the following target for the second performance indicator:

- 85% of visitors at surveyed locations are satisfied, and 50% are very satisfied, with their visit.

Parks Canada plans on meeting the target in 2008-09

In addition, Parks Canada will develop and apply national standards and guidelines for services offered to Canadians.