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
(4-3) We recommend that Parks Canada significantly increase formal contact with Canadian universities by establishing a system of 10 co-operative study units specializing in ecosystem science and protected area management (estimated cost $3 million per year, see Chapter 13). Parks Canada has agreements with several universities and has explored different cooperative approaches appropriate to limited budgets. Additional initiatives in this area would need to build upon and respect these existing agreements. The Panel's model for cooperative study units is based on the American Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units, in which universities and academic consortia bid for funds in a competitive and peer-reviewed process. Parks Canada will need a strong, independent review capacity to manage such a process. UNDER WAY - FUNDING. The creation of cooperative study units has been addressed in the implementation strategy that has been prepared for government consideration as part of the normal budget process, recognizing the desire to form science partnerships with academia, government and Aboriginal groups. The extent and timing of establishing the cooperative study units recommended are subject to the availability of new funding.
(4-4) We recommend that Parks Canada facilitate contact with the larger university and education community by ... Across the system of national parks, individual parks have developed a variety of effective relationships with universities and colleges on a case-by-case basis. These relationships have evolved to suit the needs of all parties, given available resources and specific project requirements. Additional initiatives in this area must build upon these existing relationships. UNDER WAY - FUNDING. Initiatives to enhance contact with the larger academic community have been addressed in the implementation strategy that has been prepared for government consideration as part of the normal budget process. The extent and timing of implementation of these initiatives are subject to the availability of new funding.
(4-5) We recommend that Parks Canada re-establish and/or revitalize memoranda of understanding or research agreements with government research agencies to expand research capacity and ensure that joint projects receive stable funding. Within its limited financial and human resource capacity, Parks Canada works with numerous federal and provincial departments and agencies in the context of conservation data centres, species at risk, model forests, ecological inventories and monitoring, air and water monitoring, geomatics data sharing, paleontological research, marine fish and mammal studies and management, and many other disciplines. Additional initiatives in this area must build upon these existing relationships. UNDER WAY - FUNDING. Parks Canada is working to re-establish memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with other government science agencies and departments as appropriate to its mandate. The first such MOU, with the Canadian Forest Service, has been negotiated and preliminary discussions have been held with Environment Canada. The extent of additional resources for such partnerships is subject to the availability of new funding.
(4-6) We recommend that Parks Canada establish partnership agreements with interested Aboriginal peoples, enabling national parks to co-operate with Aboriginal peoples to increase knowledge and understanding of ecological integrity in national parks and historic sites. This type of cooperation is in place in most new park agreements and with some local and regional First Nations organizations. UNDER WAY - FUNDING. Enhanced initiatives in this area 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 implementation of these initiatives are subject to the availability of new funding.
(4-7) We recommend that Parks Canada work with partners in provincial, territorial, and municipal park systems, universities, non-governmental organizations and the private sector to collectively fund the systematic establishment of regional science advisory committees, and to participate in annual "Parks Research Forum" series across Canada, based on the Ontario model. Parks Canada endorses these ways to enhance the flow of science advice and results between it and the broader science community. Several national parks (e.g. Glacier, Kouchibouguac, Elk Island, Kejimkujik) already have science advisory committees and have held science fora. UNDER WAY - FUNDING. This has been addressed in the implementation strategy that has been prepared for government consideration as part of the normal budget process. The extent and timing of implementation are subject to the availability of new funding.


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