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Environment Canada

Environment Canada

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Environment Canada

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  1. Reporting the Latest Trends in Canada’s Environment at CSIN 2010The Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) Environment Canada

  2. Background on CESI…. • In May 2003, the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy recommended that the federal government establish a key set of easily understood environmental and sustainable development indicators. • In response, in 2005, the government began publishing the annual Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) Initiative. • CESI is produced by Environment Canada in partnership with Health Canada and Statistics Canada, and is supported by provincial and territorial contributions. • CESI provides a national environmental indicators system of authoritative, best-available information in relation to key issues of high importance to Canadians:  • Air Quality • Water Quality • Greenhouse Gas Emissions • to be added for 2009 – Nature - Protected Areas

  3. CESI meets the following federal objectives: • The commitment in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (1999) • Requires the minister publish “a periodic report on the state of the Canadian environment” [44(1)(f)ii] • The commitment of the Department of Environment Act • Reporting on the environment • The Federal Sustainable Development Act • Highlights Government of Canada’s environmental priorities and legislative agenda

  4. Key roles of environmental indicators • Providing reliable, long-term trend information to track progress. • Highlighting trends in a transparent and accountable manner to Canadians based on sound, consistent and scientifically-accepted methodologies. • Enabling decision-makers to understand socio-economic links to the environment, allowing them to better focus efforts and make informed decisions about programs, policies and services. • CESI indicators are showing up in important policy and program reporting.

  5. CESI 2005-2007: Published annual print and web-based reports Improved trends based reporting (i.e. 15 years of trend data on national ground-level ozone) Upgraded air monitoring instrumentation, developed quality assessment of water data and air–health indicator methodology Updated 4 Statistics Canada surveys to improve integration of key pressures and drivers Nurtured provincial partnerships CESI 2008: Eliminated print reporting Indicator information written in a less technical manner for Canadians Improved web-based delivery consistent with on-line reality Improved web functionality with drill down to indicator information at local, regional levels on a map New information on international comparisons and individual actions Key accomplishments over the past 4 CESI reporting years

  6. CESI indicators can provide a range of information on an annual basis… • National indicator results for air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, water quality and protected areas. • Compares indicators for provinces, regions and ecological areas. • Compares Canadian progress on the world stage. • Provides information about the pressures on the indicators. • Shows related environmental, health and economic impacts. • Includes What can I do?section. • Contains a Data, Sources and Methods section. • Allows downloading of data used to create the indicators.

  7. Air quality: National perspective showing long range trends Nationally, the ground-level ozone exposure indicator showed an increase of approximately 13% from 1990 to 2007.   No trend was detected in the PM2.5 exposure indicator from 2000 to 2007.

  8. Greenhouse gas emissions: Integration with economic indicators • Between 1990 and 2007 the level of emissions per unit of GDP fell by 21% in Canada. They fell to approximately 0.57 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2007 compared to their peak in 1992 at 0.74 tonnes. • This means that there was more economic activity in 2007 for each tonne of GHGs emitted compared to 1992.

  9. Methodology Improvements to WQI • A core network of river stations was used to calculate the national and regional histograms: • Reduces bias of having a large number of stations in the Windsor-Quebec City corridor; • Focuses the indicator on the river basin regions under direct pressure from human activities; • Allowed us to eliminate issues of unequal geographic coverage of monitoring sites in northern and southern Canada. • Stations have been classified according to the extent and nature of human activities occurring within their drainage areas. • This organization allows further analysis and quantification of the potential pressures human activity is exerting on water quality across Canada.

  10. Water quality: Information by monitoring station and in your region

  11. Protected Areas: How does Canada compare? Note: Includes marine and land area. Results for Canada are shown here using international data sources, in order to be consistent with other international comparisons. Selected countries are the G8, Australia (the population, population density, and territorial extent of which is similar to Canada) and Sweden (which has a similar climate). Source: Nationally designated protected areas data extracted from World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA), a joint project of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), hosted and managed by UNEP–World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP–WCMC), January 31, 2008. Please contact for more information.

  12. Key target audiences of CESI and engagement strategy

  13. CESI will: continue to track and report on priority environmental sustainability issues to Canadians improve delivery through an interactive and visually appealing web site improve engagement tools such as links to common social networking web sites continue development/implementation of the CESI quality assurance framework track use and perform ongoing program evaluations CESI 2009 and priorities beyond

  14. How can we improve CESI and the protected areas indicator…. • Environment Canada's CESI program encourages you to link to the CESI website:; • Share your thoughts on how CESI might evolve to better meet your needs. Please contact: • Contact: Darlene Thibault Director, Information and Indicators Division email:

  15. Questions for the Breakout Session

  16. Workbook QuestionsBreakout Session 1: CESI 1) Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the GDP Does public response change when environmental issues are presented alongside economic tools that they understand? How do we bridge the gap between existing indicators and meaningful information for Canadians? For example, how can we link greenhouse gas emissions indicators with socio-economic data so that it is meaningful to the public?

  17. Workbook QuestionsBreakout Session 1: CESI 2) Representing the State of the Canadian Environment To what extent is CESI fully representative of environmental sustainability issues in Canada? What other key indicators would CESI adopt to provide a more comprehensive environmental outlook? Compile a list of the top five priority indicators; in your opinion, which onewould you recommend?

  18. Workbook QuestionsBreakout Session 1: CESI 3) CESI Priorities -easy access to indicator data -implications of the indicators (interpretation, context and supplementary indicators) -reporting on site-level (local) and regional data and indicators -interactive tools (maps, data charts, etc) -transparency through clear and detailed documentation on methods and sources -international comparisons Of these roles and goals, which ones should be priorities? Should we work on all of them equally?

  19. Workbook QuestionsBreakout Session 1: CESI 4) CESI Use How can we improve CESI recognition and use? Some aspects we are currently working on are scientific credibility and transparency to encourage confidence, and an engagement strategy to better understand user needs. What steps could CESI take to broaden awareness of environmental indicators?