Progress Report on Implementation of the Recommendations of the Panel on the Ecological Integrity of Canada's National Parks

Planning for Ecological Integrity

Sound planning guides the management of national parks. Planning establishes the broad vision and the objectives toward which management actions are oriented. Good planning ensures that broad legislative and policy requirements are addressed and respected in plans that also meet local requirements and circumstances. For national parks, the primary goal of planning is to ensure that there is a clearly defined direction for the maintenance or restoration of ecological integrity and, respecting this primary goal, to guide appropriate public use. Measures have been put in place so that Parks Canada management plans will achieve this goal, and that the interested public will be consulted in plan preparation.

"We will revise the Parks Canada Guide to Management Planning:

  • to clearly define ecological integrity as the core of national park management plans;
  • to require a 5-year State of the Park Report for each park; and
  • to provide for an Annual Management Plan Implementation Report." (Action Plan)

Progress to Date

  • The Parks Canada Guide to Management Planning has been revised to reinforce the primacy of ecological integrity and management plans are now being prepared accordingly. Both reports cited in the action above are now required.
  • As previously mentioned, the new Canada National Parks Act sets new standards for park management plans with respect to ecological integrity.

Next Steps

  • Preparation of management plans based on the new standards.

"We will review the appropriateness of visitor activities during the park management planning process with public consultation." (Action Plan)

Progress to Date

  • Clear direction related to visitor activities and human use management is included in the revised Parks Canada Guide to Management Planning; for example, plans must confirm the range of appropriate visitor activities to be offered and under what conditions, determine basic and essential facilities to be offered, and specify any limits necessary on development or use.

Next Steps

  • An updated framework for assessing the appropriateness of activities is being developed.
  • Proposed visitor activities which are new to national parks will be subject to national review.

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