The role of governmental institutions
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The role of governmental institutions. Charting Sustainable Development in Canada . Fran çois Bregha. October 18, 2007. Looking back 1987 - 2007 . Background conditions New institutions New instruments Is it enough?. 1. Background conditions. Changes in Government Public opinion

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The role of governmental institutions

The role of governmental institutions

Charting Sustainable Development in Canada

François Bregha

October 18, 2007


Looking back 1987 2007

Looking back 1987 - 2007

  • Background conditions

  • New institutions

  • New instruments

  • Is it enough?


1 background conditions

1. Background conditions

  • Changes in Government

  • Public opinion

  • Program review

  • Competing priorities

  • Federal-provincial relations

  • Environment Canada

  • Economic departments


2 new institutions

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


3 instruments

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


3 instruments1

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


3 instruments2

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


4 is it enough

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.


4 is it enough1

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


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