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

Chapter 13: The Need for Committed Investment
Panel Recommendation Considerations Action
(13-7) In keeping with the public trust to protect, conserve and interpret Canada's natural heritage, and to contribute towards the protection of global biodiversity as established in the Parks Canada Agency Act, we recommend that Parks Canada undertake pilot projects to adopt a revised definition of assets that would include the following elements ... Parks Canada currently monitors the status of its natural "assets" through the State of the Parks Report and this will be enhanced by the park-level State of the Park Reports that will be produced every five years as part of the park management planning process. Treating natural and "knowledge" assets in a manner similar to that used for built assets would be a progressive step similar to some of the environmental accounting policies being discussed within academic circles. Over the longer term, Parks Canada will study methodologies for valuing the full range of natural and "knowledge" assets and adopt a new understanding of assets accordingly.
(13-8) We recommend that Parks Canada require Field Units to include a specific examination of the implications of revenue forecasting and targets on maintenance and restoration of ecological integrity in their Implementation (Business) Plans. Parks Canada's Revenue Policy currently requires an assessment of the impact on ecological integrity of all new or enhanced revenue-generating services, price incentives and promotional initiatives. UNDERWAY. Parks Canada will continue to carefully apply existing policies and procedures to achieve the results sought. The appropriateness of current revenue-generating services is to be considered during the park management planning process. If the review reveals adverse impacts, the service is to be discontinued and the revenue target reduced accordingly.
(13-9) We recommend that Parks Canada enable management decisions in support of ecological integrity to be separated from revenue implications and to accomplish this, through clarifying and publicizing that the need to protect ecological integrity is included in the revenue policy interpretation of "extraordinary circumstances" under which relief from revenue targets can be obtained. Parks Canada's Revenue Policy has always provided for relief from revenue shortfalls due to exceptional circumstances, including ecological integrity considerations. UNDER WAY. Parks Canada will amend its Revenue Policy to provide a more explicit example of an exceptional circumstance that would warrant relief from a revenue shortfall due to an ecological integrity issue. Additional briefings on the Revenue Policy covering this issue, and others, will be provided to Field Units.
(13-10) We recommend that Parks Canada establish a consistent set of rules to be used in full cost accounting for all projects or activities with full cost recovery objectives. Parks Canada has implemented a new financial system, has undertaken an extensive asset review and is in the process of implementing accrual accounting. These steps will make the implementation of cost accounting significantly easier. UNDER WAY. Guidelines for full costing have been developed by Treasury Board for use in all federal departments and agencies. Parks Canada's financial and information systems have been upgraded and will be able to provide costing information in the future. The services and activities which are to be fully cost recovered will be included in Parks Canada's cost accounting instructions. Parks Canada will improve its training of staff in their application.

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