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

Chapter 8: National Parks in the Canadian Protected Areas Network
Panel Recommendation Considerations Action
(8-6) We recommend that Parks Canada increase the resources available to conduct biophysical inventories and greater park ecosystem analyses, to ensure that proposed park boundaries are based on the best available conservation science (Recommendations 6-2 and 13-2).   UNDER WAY - FUNDING. Increasing the resources devoted to biophysical inventories and greater park ecosystem analyses are subject to the availability of new funding for system completion.
(8-7) We recommend that Parks Canada appoint conservation scientists to new park establishment negotiating teams in order to help provide convincing arguments for boundaries based on ecological integrity criteria. Ensure that park planners and conservation scientists who participated in the park establishment phases are available to take part in new park management planning efforts (Recommendation 3-3). Parks Canada policy clearly articulates a range of ecological criteria that, when applied, can produce candidate national park boundaries that meet ecological integrity objectives, land use allocations and practises notwithstanding. The input of conservation scientists is required well before new park negotiations are underway, particularly during the feasibility study phase. Park establishment staff have always been available to new park management planning efforts. UNDER WAY. Parks Canada will seek the best possible conservation science advice regarding ecologically sound park boundaries from scientists and park planning experts. Collaboration between the Parks Establishment Branch and the Ecological Integrity Branch will continue to improve to ensure the best park boundaries are identified. Expertise and information used in the park establishment process will continue to be readily available during the initial management planning exercise. Parks Canada now increasingly involves its field unit staff in the park establishment process to ensure that proposed park boundaries and agreements address later requirements for park administration and management.
(8-8) We recommend that Parks Canada reach agreement with the provinces, territories and other federal departments to use their legislative powers to withdraw candidate national park sites from development as early as possible to preserve their ecological integrity during the planning process. For example, with respect to the boreal forest, urge the responsible governments not to issue timber or other development permits in candidate park sites on federal lands (as recommended by the Senate Subcommittee on the Boreal Forest in Competing Realities: The Boreal Forest at Risk, 1999). It is current Parks Canada policy to consider, in cooperation with agencies having jurisdiction over land and resource use, ways to prevent the loss of ecological values during the feasibility assessment process. The goal is to achieve interim protection when a joint feasibility study is launched. UNDERWAY. Parks Canada will continue to pursue interim protection for proposed parks, in consultation and negotiation with its partners. For example, in July 2000, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador provided interim protection to the lands proposed for the Torngat Mountains national park reserve.

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