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

Chapter 3. Planning for Ecological Integrity
Panel Recommendation Considerations Action
3-5) We recommend that Parks Canada establish formal, mandatory monitoring and evaluation processes (Recommendation 6-8) at the scale of individual parks prior to each new cycle of park management planning, by requiring a report from each park about the state of ecological integrity in the park and the surrounding greater ecosystem, to ... Reports produced by two parks — Fundy and Waterton Lakes — currently serve as examples. UNDERWAY. The revised Parks Canada Guide to Management Planning directs that a five-year State of the Park Report be prepared for each park, focused on the state of the park ecosystems and the effectiveness of management actions. This report will provide a basis for subsequent management planning.
(3-6) We recommend increased funding for renewing a planning core within Parks Canada (Recommendations 4-1 and 13-2) that is ... While there has been some hiring with respect to the planning function, real progress toward implementation of this recommendation awaits the availability of new funding. UNDER WAY - FUNDING. New funds are being sought to hire staff for renewal of the planning core through the implementation strategy that has been prepared for government consideration as part of the normal budget process.
3-7) We recommend that Parks Canada phase out separate Ecological Integrity Statements and Ecosystem Conservation Plans when they become integral to new, revised Park Management Plans (Recommendation 3-3). By this action, maintenance of ecological integrity will become the fundamental goal of park management planning, and the strategic plan will be linked explicitly to policy. Sub-recommendations refer in addition to the need to include the long-term ecological vision for the park in the plan, as well as to indicate the park's present ecological state and set out a comprehensive group of indicators and performance targets. UNDERWAY. The revised Parks Canada Guide to Management Planning makes it clear that ecological integrity is the core element permeating the management plan, and is the first priority. As well, the new Canada National Parks Act sets new standards for park management plans with respect to ecological integrity. See also actions for 3-1, 3-2 and 3-3.
3-8) We recommend that Parks Canada provide guidelines on how to develop adequate objectives and indicators for individual parks, which will permit an effective evaluation of progress toward the vision and goals of the Park Management Plan. Conservation scientists should be part of the team that prepares the Park Management Plan. Clearly-defined and measurable objectives will assure the quality of the plan as an accountability tool and the implementation of an adaptive management approach. Formulation of objectives should take long-term outcomes into account to assess progress toward the park vision, and outline medium-term targets to implement specific actions.   UNDER WAY. The new Canada National Parks Act requires the preparation of a management plan for each national park containing a set of ecological integrity objectives and indicators, and provisions for performance evaluation. The revised Parks Canada Guide to Management Planning directs that objectives and indicators be developed that will permit evaluation of progress. It also indicates that a conservation biologist should be part of the planning team.

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