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


Chapter 4. Building Capacity for Learning and Education
Panel Recommendation Considerations Action
(4-1) We recommend that Parks Canada significantly upgrade internal learning capacity, including the natural sciences and social sciences, planning, interpretation, environmental assessment, and the capacity to effectively build regional liaisons. This upgrade will require an investment similar to the magnitude of the national park allocation of the Green Plan. Parks Canada cannot hope to understand and manage for ecological integrity with current level of investment in science expertise. Upgraded internal science capacity is required at all levels — the National Office, regional Service Centres and park level. The Panel estimates the cost of this significant upgrade in science capacity to be $28 million per year in additional funding (Chapter 13). In the Panel's opinion, improving Parks Canada's science capacity is a critical step. Methodological issues such as monitoring, data management and research will automatically improve once science capacity is upgraded. (These issues are discussed further in Chapter 6.)

The Panel recommended an ideal, minimum complement of science and technology (S&T) workers for Service Centres, the national office and parks, the latter according to their geographic size and the complexity of their issues. Allowing for typical costs associated with S&T salaries, benefits, administrative overheads and operating expenditures, Parks Canada calculates that the Panel's estimates are low; an additional $6 million per year will be required by year five, for a total of $34 million per year.

The proposed increased S&T capacity would be engaged in the delivery of many of the other Panel recommendations. It would also provide Parks Canada with the capacity to join Environment Canada and other science departments as full partners of cooperative projects such as UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and model forests. This enhanced capacity would also result in more timely and comprehensive advice in establishing the federal family of protected areas and their role as contributors to large scale ecosystem based proposals.

UNDER WAY - FUNDING. Parks Canada has addressed the Panel's recommendations for upgrading capacity in the natural and social sciences in the implementation strategy that has been prepared for government consideration as part of the normal budget process. The extent and timing of upgrading capacity are subject to the availability of new funding.
(4-2) We recommend that Parks Canada manage and upgrade its science capacity by ... The Panel recommended a multi-faceted strategy for the application of an enhanced S&T capacity to park management. These include establishing regional and national science advisory boards, strengthening Service Centres, and an educational development program for staff. UNDER WAY - FUNDING. Measures to upgrade Parks Canada's science capacity are included in the implementation strategy that has been prepared for government consideration as part of the normal budget process. The extent and timing of upgrading capacity are subject to the availability of new funding.


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