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The role of governmental institutions

The role of governmental institutions

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The role of governmental institutions

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  1. The role of governmental institutions Charting Sustainable Development in Canada François Bregha October 18, 2007

  2. Looking back 1987 - 2007 • Background conditions • New institutions • New instruments • Is it enough?

  3. 1. Background conditions • Changes in Government • Public opinion • Program review • Competing priorities • Federal-provincial relations • Environment Canada • Economic departments

  4. 2. New institutions • National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy • International Institute for Sustainable Development • Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development • Sustainable Development Technology Canada

  5. 3. Instruments External focus: New statutes: • Canadian Environmental Protection Act • Canadian Environmental Assessment Act • Species at Risk Act Non-regulatory instruments • Encouragement of voluntary measures • Little use of economic instruments

  6. 3. Instruments Internal focus: • Strategic environmental assessment • 1990 • 1999 Cabinet Directive • 2004 amendment • Leadership by Example • 1992 Code of Environmental Stewardship • 1995: Directions on Greening Government Operations • 1999: Sustainable Development in Government Operations • 2001: Federal House in Order • 2005: Office of Green Government Operations

  7. 3. Instruments Instruments with dual purpose • Sustainable development strategies: • Every three years • Most federal departments • Purpose (GGG): sustain natural resources, protect health of Canadians and ecosystems; meet international obligations; promote equity, improve quality of life • Environmental information • Environmental indicators • State of the environment reporting • Pollutant release information

  8. 4. Is it enough? • Achievements: • Greatly strengthened regulatory and policy framework • New institutions with real capacity to do research, analysis, public engagement, public reporting • Substantive progress in various areas: ecosystem initiatives, air quality, land conservation, toxics management, etc.

  9. 4. Is it enough? • Overall environmental performance lags OECD leaders, e.g.,: • Emissions to air • Protected areas • Fundamental institutional barriers remain: • Misleading economic signals • Poor interdepartmental coordination • Inadequate planning • Lack of consensus on objectives • Incomplete information base