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

Chapter 3. Planning for Ecological Integrity
Panel Recommendation Considerations Action
(3-9) We recommend that Parks Canada develop national guidelines and associated training for planners and senior managers to successfully protect and integrate the primary objective of Parks Canada's mandate into public involvement processes, that meet the following criteria ...   UNDER WAY. The revised Parks Canada Guide to Management Planning for the first time sets out 14 key elements of effective consultation and program design. Training programs on this topic are intended for the future.
(3-10) We recommend that Parks Canada revise the present zoning system and methods for zoning in order to help designate, through planning, areas within parks based principally on their significance for maintaining or restoring ecological integrity and on their ecological sensitivity.   UNDER WAY. The revised Parks Canada Guide to Management Planning emphasizes that ecological integrity factors will be the most important consideration in zoning. Refinements will be implemented progressively.
(3-11) We recommend that within six months, there be an Order-in-Council to convert existing wilderness zones (Zone 2 areas) in national parks into legally designated wilderness as provided by the National Parks Act. The broad intent of this recommendation – to accelerate the declaration of wilderness areas – will be met by placing increased emphasis on declaring the wilderness areas of national parks on an individual basis, following extensive consultation during management planning. See 3-12 below. UNDERWAY. Wilderness areas have been declared in the four contiguous mountain parks. An Action Plan for the Declaration of Wilderness Areas in National Parks has been developed to guide the designation of wilderness areas in most other national parks as management plans are either prepared for the first time or revised.
(3-12) We recommend that the Minister seek, through Bill C-70 or its successors, to amend Section 14 of the National Parks Act to empower the Minister to make the necessary wilderness regulations rather than requiring an Order-in-Council through Cabinet Committee. We further recommend that an Order-in-Council be required to remove any wilderness designated through these regulations. Suggested wording for Bill C-70 is in Appendix C. The policy of the federal government is that regulation-making powers should be vested in the Governor in Council. The new Canada National Parks Act includes a provision that will speed the declaration of wilderness through setting a time restriction. This has been implemented to the extent possible. The new Canada National Parks Act directs that "Where a new or amended management plan sets out an area of a park for declaration as a wilderness area, the Minister shall recommend such declaration to the Governor in Council within one year after the plan or amendment is tabled under section 11."
(3-13) We recommend that Parks Canada fold the strategic components of Ecosystem Conservation Plans, with Ecological Integrity Statements, from this tier into revised Park Management Plans (Recommendation 3-3) at the strategic tier and discontinue the use of Ecosystem Conservation Plans and Ecological Integrity Statements as separate documents.   DONE. The revised Parks Canada Guide to Management Planning requires consolidation of the Ecological Integrity Statement and the strategic elements of the Ecosystem Conservation Plan into the management plan, as recommended by the Panel.

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