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Cumulative Effects Management: Why We All Need to be Involved

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Presentation on theme: "Cumulative Effects Management: Why We All Need to be Involved"— Presentation transcript:

1 Cumulative Effects Management: Why We All Need to be Involved
Heather Sinton Regional Science and Planning Manager Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development

2 Overview This presentation will cover:
Why we need a Cumulative Effects Management System (CEMS) CEMS and the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan Water and air management frameworks to support a CEMS approach What you can do to help

3 Natural Environment = Land + Air + Water + Biodiversity
The Cumulative Effects Management System considers the sum of all human activities and natural environmental quality Natural Environment = Land + Air + Water + Biodiversity Writing-On-Stone and the Milk River

4 Cumulative Effects is about place and how we interact with this place – Southern Alberta – where we live. Cumulative Effects is about place and how we interact with this place – Southern Alberta – where we live. We recognize that there have been many changes to our landscapes over the millenia of human presence. First Nations have been managing the environment of southern Alberta for thousands of years. (Vimy, Waterton)

5 We recognize that we cannot continue to manage the landscape in the same way we did in the past.
Changes to the landscape have increased over the last hundred years, and we recognize that we cannot continue to manage the landscape in the same way we did in the past. This is a special place for all of us, and we value what nature has provided us. Chief Mountain

6 We all care about the sustainability of these places and want plentiful clean water, clean air, and productive lands. We want to protect the plants and animals that are integral to the function of these landscapes. We are moving to a CEMS approach BECAUSE we care about the sustainability of these places.

7 We want to have clean water and clean air for generations to come, and a CEMS approach will help us achieve that. We want to have clean water and clean air for generations to come, and a CEMS approach will help us achieve that.

8 CEMS and the Land-use Framework
Seven Strategies under the LUF Develop seven regional land-use plans Create a Land-use Secretariat and Regional Advisory Council for each region Cumulative effects management to manage impact of development on land, water and air Develop a strategy for conservation and stewardship on private and public lands Promote efficient use of land Establish an information, monitoring & knowledge system Inclusion of aboriginal peoples in land-use planning CEMS is a critical strategy under the Land-use Framework, and is its implementation is a priority of Alberta Environment, as stated in the Minister’s mandate letter of February 2010. The Alberta Land Stewardship Act, passed into law in October 2009, enables this transition to land-use planning and provides new tools to ensure ongoing stewardship and sustainability. CEMS and Land-use plans integrate the three pillars: social, economic and environmental.

9 Why CEMS and Why Now? CEMS is the GOA’s governance response to the challenge posed by cumulative effects. It requires society to make conscious, place-based choices about environmental quality. In other words, environment is no longer an externality in decision making about social and economic agendas, but something that is addressed proactively and up front. That does not mean that environment ‘trumps’, merely that it is explicitly considered. For those of us in the environmental, natural resources and land use management business this is transformative because for the first time, it enables intensity of use to be managed and a given level of environmental quality assured. But from a broader societal and economic perspective, CEMS also has a suite of transformative positive implications… 9

10 We need a plan to manage growth pressures
Managing Growth We need a plan to manage growth pressures Volatility in world markets and the importance of the resource sector to the Alberta economy means that the province undergoes periodic boom and bust cycles. Over time however, the long term trend has been one of dramatic growth. Growth pressures place stresses and demands on government services. Responding to these concerns became a priority for the new Stelmach government to demonstrate leadership. CEMS will allow the GoA to demonstrate that it now has a ‘plan to manage growth pressures’.

11 Cumulative Effects System Fundamentals
Outcomes based: clearly defined end states Place based: at different scales Performance management based: adaptive Collaborative: shared stewardship Comprehensive implementation: regulatory and non-regulatory Overall goal: Alberta has an outcomes based environmental management system that effectively manages cumulative effects Outcomes based: clearly defined environmental end states Place based: geographically specific areas at different scales in the province Performance management based: adaptive and generative environmental management system Collaborative: built on a culture of shared stewardship, using a shared knowledge base Comprehensive implementation: uses both regulatory and non-regulatory approaches

12 (quantity and quality)
Climate Change GHG SOX - NOX emissions AIR Air Quality Acid deposition CEMS Complex Multi media Interactive LAND Surface water quality Social Indicators Cost/benefit Land Use Change WATER Socio-Economic Surface water quantity Terrestrial & Biodiversity indicators Biodiversity Aquatic habitat indicators Groundwater (quantity and quality)

13 Integrating Management Across Sectors
Environmental Management System Municipalities Agriculture Forestry Transportation Industry Energy Cumulative effects management is, then, intended to provide Albertans with the assurance that the environment will be managed holistically, according to society’s expressed choices, and that the government will ensure that the environmental management system is integrated across ministries.

14 Cumulative Effects Management System
DELIVER OUTCOMES Authorizations, Compliance Assurance, Monitoring, Data Management, Emergency Services, Programs, Decisions, Partnerships STRATEGIC DIRECTION Legislation GoA and Ministry business plans Integrated Provincial Level Strategic Policies (e.g. Water For Life, Climate Change Strategy, Provincial Energy Strategy, Oil Sands Strategic Plan, etc.) DEVELOP & REFINE OUTCOMES & STRATEGIES Regional Planning, including Regional Strategic Assessment Operational Policy Management Frameworks EVALUATE & REPORT PERFORMANCE Environmental indicators and their implications Effectiveness of strategies and their delivery Performance Management

15 Our Collective Goal: A Sustainable Future

16 Provincial Policy & Legislation Operational Decisions
Levels of Planning Provincial Provincial Policy & Legislation Regional Regional Strategies Major Project Reviews Sub-regional Plans Municipal Plans Sub-Regional & Operational DIFFERENT SCALES FOR DIFFERENT PURPOSES. There is no one level of planning that can do everything. Policy, planning and other decisions roughly fit into a hierarchical structure. At the top of this framework are things that apply province-wide—legislation and provincial policy, including the “commitment document” itself. This level defines big-picture goals and desired outcomes.. In the middle are “regional plans,” which will form a bridge between provincial policy, which has a hard time addressing regional diversity, and operational, project planning, which needs a big-picture context. The LUF places considerable emphasis on regional plans – they are a critical connect between the provincial level of analysis and operational decision making.–the primary job of the regional plan is to provide a common context for sub-regional scale landscapes (the region itself is too large to provide common, border to border direction on outcomes). A variety of sub regional and operational plans provide direction for the on-the-ground outcomes and development. Operational Decisions

17 Role of Partnerships AESRD works with partners in the region to develop and achieve outcomes for air, land and water These partners are assisted by GOA to develop management plans and are involved in creating management frameworks Partners can help to educate the public about environmental stewardship An effective way for First Nations to participate in the development and implementation of plans in the region is to become involved with the partnerships. These include the WPACs (Bow River Basin Council, Oldman Watershed Council, Milk River Watershed Council of Canada and the Southeast Alberta Watershed Alliance) and the Airshed Zones (Parkland, Calgary Region Airshed Zone and Palliser Airshed). Alberta Environment has also encouraged First Nations participation in WPACs to ensure their perspective is included as planning is happening. As neighbours, we want to work together in these partnerships. Monique Dietrich went to every First Nation re: BRBC Stephanie Palechuk, ED of the Oldman Watershed Council, presented to a community meeting on the Blood Tribe. Heather has spoken to Siksika about PM/Ozone.

18 Management Frameworks
These include: Outcomes and objectives Performance Management System Limits and trigger levels Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Management Strategies and Actions Outcome definition:   The desired condition for a given issue; what should be accomplished. An outcome applies the vision statement to a specific subject and guides policy development. Outcomes remain qualitative. OBJECTIVES From ToR: Regional environmental thresholds and frameworks to sustain airshed and watershed integrity Objective definition:  A specific result that achieves or represents progress towards an outcome. Objectives may be quantified by targets and/or thresholds for measureable performance indicators. Strategy definition:    A course or method of action to achieve an outcome or objective. Strategies are adopted by government agencies, institutions, or groups to guide and usually determine present and future decisions.

19 Environmental Management Frameworks: Air e.g., Pm/Ozone
Working with the Calgary Region Airshed Zone, Alberta Environment has also helped develop a PM/Ozone management plan.

20 Are we there yet? “We’ve only just begun”
Cumulative effects management will need to consider the effects of development on all media in a place We all need to work together to build and implement the system

21 What can YOU do? Get involved in a partnership like CRAZ that is developing air quality management plans in response to air quality concerns Take personal responsibility for being a good steward of the environment Educate and influence the people around you So in this symbiotic relationship CEMS lies at the very heart of LUF.

22 Alberta has extraordinary assets and challenges on all fronts
Alberta has extraordinary assets and challenges on all fronts. CEMS is central to the GOA’s plan to manage growth. There are real technical and resourcing issues to overcome. But the real test is cultural and institutional. Can we raise our game? We are fortunate to live in a place that has both material prosperity and a decent environment. Our landscapes bear the marks of our society’s activities, but retain extraordinary environmental attributes. Our society and our economy have grown and transformed out of all recognition in the 20th Century. Currently, the environmental outcomes we see on our landscapes are the incidental, collateral consequence of a societal consciousness that’s focused elsewhere … on us and the resources we’re busily developing to meet our desires. Environmental stresses and problems are not a conscious objective, but a mere by product of what we are up to. The great shift we have to make in the 21st century, to allow our continued societal and economic development whilst also ensuring continuing decent environmental quality is simply to pay attention – to put the environment in the cross-hairs of our focus and not treat it as an externality. CEMS is a vehicle that allows us to become aware of the risks and consequences of what it is we might want to do on the environment and then decide on a realistic place based environmental bottom line, with full context awareness what our priorities are. We need, in all of our communities and all of our places, to define a vision of what we want for ourselves and our kids, and then to manage our activities on the landscape to ensure we achieve it. 22

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