Progress Report on Implementation of the Recommendations of the Panel on the Ecological Integrity of Canada's National Parks

What the Panel Said About a Long-Term Strategy for Ecological Integrity

One of the Panel's main messages was that Parks Canada does not have the critical science capacity to manage for ecological integrity. The Panel recommends major new investments, totalling $328.3 million over five years and $85.5 million per year thereafter to address internal needs and work with external researchers, adjacent park communities, business interests and other residents of greater ecosystems in which national parks are located (Table 1).

Table 1: Funding Recommended by the Panel
$ Millions 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 Total
Science and Planning            
Science Capacity 10 18 24 28 28 108
Staff Education 0.7 1.3 2 2 2 8
External Research Support 1.3 2.7 3.5 3.5 3.5 14.5
Conservation Data Centres 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 2.5
Emerging Issues Research 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1 3.8
Monitoring & Rehabilitating
Ecological Integrity Monitoring 0.8 1.6 2.4 3.2 3.9 11.9
Atmospheric Monitoring 1.2 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 3.6
Site Restoration 1 3 5 5 5 19
Fire Restoration 1.2 2.4 3.6 4.8 6 18
Building Partnerships
Aboriginal Peoples 1 3 5 5 5 19
Regional Integration 10 15 20 20 20 85
Communicating to Canadians
Interpretation and Outreach 2.5 5 7.5 10 10 35
Total 30.6 53.7 74.9 83.6 85.5 328.3

According to the Panel, the greatest challenge for Parks Canada will be to reorient its corporate culture to one that is more strongly focused on conservation. The Panel recommended that before any new funds are allocated, Parks Canada must improve its management of and accountability for ecological integrity by:

check markestablishing a senior executive responsible for ecological integrity as a full member of Parks Canada's Executive Board;
check markdeveloping a Charter with ecological integrity as a core value;
check markdeveloping an ecological integrity orientation program for all staff;
check markrevising park management planning guidelines to establish ecological integrity as the central element;
check markgazetting wilderness zones in two national parks and announcing that the same will be done in all national parks within five years;
check markrevising guidelines to reorient marketing;
check markrevising the coding in the financial reporting system to track ecological integrity expenditures; and
check markpreparing a long-term strategy for ecological integrity.

These actions or preconditions have been met. It is now time to focus on the longer range picture.


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