Implementation of the Convention
Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target
Measures have been taken on several fronts in order to achieve the 2010 biodiversity target in Canada. These include the federal Species at Risk Act, proclaimed in 2003, and a number of other provincial legislations protecting endangered species and their habitat. Of the 314 endangered, threatened and extirpated species on the November 2004 COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) list, 180 recovery plans or strategies have been initiated. Canada is also working with the US through the Framework for Cooperation in the Protection and Recovery of Wild Species at Risk to ensure the captive breeding and re-introduction of certain endangered species (ex. whooping cranes, karner blue butterfly, black-footed ferrets, etc.) common to both countries. Another initiative to address species recovery is the RENEW program, which involves federal, provincial and territorial governments in addition to several other groups and organisations. This program has been instrumental in establishing captive breeding and reintroduction programs for endangered species native to Canada, the majority of which are conducted by Canadian zoos. Concerning the conservation of genetic diversity, initiatives include the Plant Germplasm System and the Plant Gene Resources of Canada.
<br><br>In 2000, the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) launched an initiative to develop indicators linking economic activity to its long-term effects on the environment. The initiative will attempt to track stocks of key types of capital, including natural capital. The six indicators released in 2003 are: forest cover, freshwater quality, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, extent of wetlands, and educational attainment. Specific federal and provincial departments are also developing biodiversity indicators related to their mandates. The main tool for the promotion of sustainable use of biodiversity continues to be the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy released in 1995, but emphasis is now being placed on the implementation of the draft Addis Ababa principles and guidelines through their integration and mainstreaming into national legislation, regulations, plans and programmes.
<br><br>In response to growing recognition of the threat of invasive alien species, the Canadian governments adopted the Invasive Alien Species strategy in 2004 to establish a coordinated policy and management framework that minimizes the risk of invasive alien species to the economy, environment, and society. Canada has also adopted other management tools for combating the introduction of non-native species to the aquatic environment, such as the Guidelines for the Control of Ballast Water Discharge from Ships in Waters under Canadian Jurisdiction.
Initiatives in Protected Areas
Canada has several systems of protected areas developed and managed by various levels of government. The status and completion of the various protected area systems varies amongst the different jurisdictions. The Québec government, for example, has set a target of designating 8% of its area under protected status by 2008. In 2002, Quebec adopted a Natural Heritage Conservation Act to facilitate the establishment of a network of protected areas representative of biodiversity and has since created 24 Biodiversity Reserves, 4 Aquatic Reserves, 8 Ecological Reserves, one National Park and 60 Exceptional Forest Ecosystems.<br><br> In total, Canada’s parks agencies have added approximately 24 million hectares to the various systems of protected areas since 1992 – an area the size of the United Kingdom. Interim protection is in place for another 51,300 square kilometres of land that will become four new parks once final agreements are in place. In 2002, the Government of Canada announced a 5-year Action Plan to establish 10 new national parks and 5 new national marine conservation areas, to enlarge selected existing national parks, and to enhance management of existing national parks. Canadian industry, non-government organizations, aboriginal groups, and private citizens have also contributed to the establishment of new protected areas. A national framework for action on protected areas is being developed to facilitate a coordinated approach to protected areas planning amongst Canada’s governments and with other key national non-government interests.
Initiatives for Article 8(j)
Initiatives concerning the conservation and use of traditional knowledge include the Northwest Territories’ Policy on Traditional Knowledge, the Nunavut Inuit Land Use and Ecological Knowledge Database, and the Inuit Knowledge of Bowhead Study. Among other things, traditional knowledge is used to assist in land claims negotiations, to understand and develop conservation measures for species of significance to the aboriginal population (ex. caribou), and to determine the potential impacts of major development projects on the local population and ecosystems (ex. the impact of large scale hydro development in James Bay). The establishment of co-management boards as a result of land claims agreements has played a major role in developing and getting recognition for traditional knowledge. Co-management regimes now relate to wildlife, lands, waters, environmental impact assessment and planning. Under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), aboriginal knowledge is being applied to the species assessment process and to the development of species management plans. <br><br>The Canadian Indigenous Biodiversity Network (CIBN) was established by Canadian Indigenous Peoples as a mechanism to exchange information, experiences and increase collaboration among Indigenous groups working on the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity and related issues. The Biodiversity Convention Office (BCO) of Environment Canada hosts an Indigenous Communications Officer, which provides support to the CIBN. In addition, BCO has actively sought the views and participation of Indigenous groups since the early negotiations of the CBD through direct solicitation to national organizations for expert opinions, and support for Indigenous participation on Canadian delegations and as independent delegates to CBD or CBD-related meetings.<br />