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Sustainable Development Strategy 2007 - 2009

The Parks Canada Agency

Parks Canada’s official mandate states that:

On behalf of the people of Canada, we protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage, and foster public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment in ways that ensure the ecological and commemorative integrity of these places for present and future generations.

Parks Canada’s mandate aligns well with the goals of sustainable development. The business of Parks Canada is the protection and presentation of significant examples of Canada’s history and culture and representative examples of Canada’s ecosystems and biodiversity.

The Agency mandate defines and is identical to its strategic outcome; that is, the desired end product of all its activities. Parks Canada’s strategic outcome includes two important subsets of sustainable economy policy, Agency activities contribute to the attainment of sustainable economic growth and a clean and healthy environment.

The Agency is dedicated to three overarching commitments: to protect, to present and to celebrate those treasures that are entrusted to its stewardship. These commitments are integral to the meaning of sustainable development – you cannot sustain without protection, you cannot sustain without presentation and you cannot sustain without celebration.

The Parks Canada Agency delivers its mandate through a program activity architecture (PAA) composed of six main program activities The PAA is the structure used by the Agency to present its Corporate Plan and report to Parliament and to Canadians.

The core programs of the Agency are outlined in the first four program activities: Establish Heritage Places, Conserve Heritage Resources, Promote Public Appreciation and Understanding, and Enhance Visitor Experience.

Establish Heritage Places

The establishment of heritage places covers systems planning; negotiating with stakeholders for inclusion in the national systems; obtaining ministerial approvals and establishing national historic sites, national parks, national marine conservation areas and other heritage places.

Conserve Heritage Resources

Activities to conserve heritage resources include the maintenance and improvement of commemorative integrity at national historic sites managed or influenced by Parks Canada; the protection and management of cultural resources which are under the administration of Parks Canada, but not associated with national historic sites; the maintenance or improvement of ecological integrity in national parks and the protection and conservation of national marine conservation areas in a sustainable manner.

Promote Public Appreciation and Understanding

Promotion of public appreciation and understanding involves programs and activities that are aimed at reaching Canadians in the communities where theylive, work and learn,and inviting them to become more involved in the protection and the discovery of the nation’s cultural and natural heritage.

Enhance Visitor Experience

Opportunities for enhanced visitor experiences are provided by Parks Canada and its partners by setting the stage for visitors to enjoy meaningful, high-quality experiences through the provision of information, infrastructure and facilities; and through programs, services and personnel that respond to visitor needs and expectations.

These core programs are linked by many interconnected priorities and expected results, constitute the platform on which Parks Canada defines its contribution to federal sustainable development goals. Additional detail about the core programs of the Agency is contained in the Agency Corporate Plan (see: e.asp )