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

Renewal of Parks Canada to Support the Ecological Integrity Mandate

Parks Canada is taking steps to align the organization more closely with the primary objective of protecting ecological integrity. In the short term, this involves providing staff with the training and tools to achieve this priority, clarifying accountabilities, ensuring that existing science informs decisions, and improving dialogue with staff. In the longer term, as funds become available, it will mean hiring additional Parks Canada scientists, planners and technicians. The goal is to ensure that ecological integrity is understood to be everyone's responsibility and the first priority in managing national parks.

"We will establish the position of Executive Director, Ecological Integrity. This will be a full member of the Parks Canada Executive Board; will be the national functional leader for ecological integrity across the organization; will recommend the national science strategy; and will make regular reports on ecological integrity to the Board." (Action Plan)

Progress to Date

  • The appointment of Nik Lopoukhine to the position of Executive Director, Ecological Integrity on June 27, 2000. Mr. Lopoukhine is an ecologist with extensive national and international experience.
  • A Project Manager, Ecological Integrity Implementation and a Chief, Ecosystem Science have also been hired.

"We will ensure that adequate scientific advice is provided in decision-making at all management levels in Parks Canada." (Action Plan)

Progress to Date

  • A National Parks Science Strategy Committee with representation from across the Agency has been established to determine long-term science requirements related to ecological integrity, including social science.
  • Steps are being taken by all Field Units to ensure that science and ecosystem issues are represented at the management table by ensuring a ecosystem or science manager is part of the management team; the intention is to ensure that decisions are ecologically sound.

Next Steps

  • Seek new resources to strengthen science capacity.

"We will reinforce the responsibilities and accountability of Parks Canada managers with respect to ecological integrity." (Action Plan)

Progress to Date

  • The senior managers' competency profile and Statements of Qualifications for positions have been strengthened to more clearly reflect ecological integrity responsibilities.
  • At the park level, an annual "public accountability" requirement with respect to implementation of the park management plan has been incorporated into the revised Parks Canada Guide to Management Planning.

Next Steps

  • Strengthening of ecological accountabilities in annual business plan reviews.

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