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1 Environment Canada: Environmental Indicator Reporting Environment Canada Paula Brand Director, Strategic Alignment Division April 8,2008.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Environment Canada: Environmental Indicator Reporting Environment Canada Paula Brand Director, Strategic Alignment Division April 8,2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Environment Canada: Environmental Indicator Reporting Environment Canada Paula Brand Director, Strategic Alignment Division April 8,2008

2 2 Presentation outline Background / diagnostique –User needs research Integrating indicators to next generation State of Environment reporting Key elements –Key indicators –Web-based delivery

3 3 Reporting as a basis for demonstrating accountability to Canadians Reporting to Canadians on the state of their environment is a federal role Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) provides the legislative basis for State of Environment reporting –Requires the Minister publish, arrange for the publication of or distribute through an information clearinghouse… a periodic report on the state of the Canadian environment [44(1)(f)ii]. Supported by broad Ministerial responsibilities outlined in the Department of Environment Act – the Minister shall, initiate, recommend and undertake programs, and coordinate programs of the Government of Canada that are designed… to provide to Canadians environmental information in the public interest [5(a)(iii)]

4 4 Numerous SoE reporting efforts have had varied results Iterations of SoE reporting efforts: –1986, 1991 & 1996: large reports focussed on amassing considerable amounts of scientific information –1991: Report on Canadas Progress Towards a National Set of Environmental Indicators –1993-1996: SoE Fact Sheets –1992-2001: SoE Indicator Bulletins –1997-2002: 5 NR Department MOU for Federal SoE reporting (i.e.: Nutrients in the Canadian Environment, Ecological Assessment of the Boreal Shield) –1997-2005: Thematic and regional reports –2001: Tracking key environmental issues –2003: Environmental Signals: National Environmental Indicator Series –2005, 2006, 2007: Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators Initiative Shifting and unsustained reporting efforts over the past 20 years have failed to: –inform Canadians –provide consistent information over time

5 5 Environmental Reporting in Canada: Reporting in transition Moving towards using indicators for more integrated sustainable development reporting, performance reporting for decision-makers From –Comprehensive State of the Environment reports for broad public use –Environmental indicators for public awareness To –Sustainable development indicators, performance reporting, socio-economic modules (e.g., Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators) for policy analysts, managers as a key user group, and for Canadians –Focus on information systems, analysis capacity and user needs

6 6 Environmental Signals: indicators in 15 issue areas Air quality* Climate change* Acid rain Stratospheric ozone Severe weather and disasters Energy Transportation Freshwater* Biodiversity Soil quality Agricultural landscapes Forested landscapes Watersheds Toxic substances Municipal solid waste

7 7 Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators Indicators to measure environmental performance in relation to economic performance and human health that can sure to supplement traditional health and economic measures Focus on 3 indicators, annual reporting –Air quality –Greenhouse gas emissions –Freshwater quality Environmental-economic connections Web-based information system - drill down Audience: policy analysts and public, can serve a variety of communities, requires a product suite

8 8 Air and GHG Results

9 9

10 10 CEPA review recommendations address frequency and delivery of SoE reporting CEPA consultations –Highlighted the need for easily understandable, reliable and relevant information... to track results... warn of potential new threats and... help shape environmental and health protection policies and practices Parliamentary Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development –Recommends that the government publish biennially, in electronic and hard copy formats, a comprehensive state of the environment report to provide timely, accurate and accessible environmental information, integrated with socioeconomic factors, to improve decision-making and support progress towards sustainability Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources –Recommends that CEPA 1999 be amended to require the Government of Canada to publish a comprehensive State of the Environment Report no less frequently than every ten years

11 11 Communicating Canadas environmental performance story Previous SoE reporting efforts were communicated from a science perspective making it complicated for Canadians In the absence of a strong federal story, Canadas performance story is being told by others: –Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) –United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) –Suzuki Foundation

12 12 Public opinion research provides insight for demand-driven reporting Clear demand for authoritative, timely, credible, consistent information Unanimous support for the currently reported issues (air, water, climate change), no consensus on the next priority Preference for depth of information on priority topics versus coverage of a greater breadth of topics Information needed for public: real-world impacts, international comparability, what do the statistics mean Focus Group Participants Key Questions: what are the concrete impacts of these trends? is the situation getting better or worse? what is being done? what can be done to address these issues?

13 13 What we heard on the importance of international comparison Very important to see how Canada compares to other countries –Adopting best practices / cooperation –Establishing benchmarks / standards –National pride –Credibility, accountability –Interconnectedness Its a global issue National pride

14 14 Public opinion research identified other common findings Overwhelming support for trends over time Desire for more up to date information (< 2 yrs) Demand for local and place-based information Target audiences (Canadians, stakeholders) more receptive to web delivery –Information access is by media, web search, Wikipedia While improvements were suggested, all agreed an initiative like CESI is important Public opinion feedback on current CESI initiative: very important, absolutely important, extremely important, essential

15 15 Technology exists for an effective new approach Advances in information technologies are revolutionizing the way people interact with information Customer satisfaction increases significantly when government services are accessed through the web Parliamentary committee recognized need for a modernized SoE reporting approach –…should be reinstated in manner suitable to todays technology that gives access to the data as well as analysis. Web is the most effective means to respond to public expectations –More frequent reporting cycles, access to underlying detail, local scale information

16 16 Next generation SoE reporting Focus on issues of importance to Canadians and GoC agenda ( Climate change, air, water, protected areas) Demand driven and policy-based Trend-based information Easily understood Dashboard approach Access to local and regional level information Customizable and searchable VISION Key Indicators Web-based delivery

17 17 SoE reporting driven from an audience-based perspective Inventory And Monitoring Data and Statistics People with Topic or Issue Interests Is problem X common? How are conditions changing? Managers And Policy Analysts Is Program Z doing its job? Core Indicators Generally Informed Public How are we doing overall? What does it mean to me? Scientist / Individuals Public Policy, Planning And Management Metrics Key indicators CESI National Inventory Report What are current conditions and trends at Area C VISION DPR

18 18 Key indicators: Attributes based on public audience perspective Inventory And Monitoring Data and Statistics Core Indicators Attributes of Key Indicators - Easily understood - Health related - Performance toward a target - Trends (are things getting better / worse?) - Comparable internationally Policy, Planning And Management Metrics Key Indicators Science Program Reporting - Assessments, technical, science-based - Examples: GHG Inventory, State of the Air, Ecosystem Status & Trends, CCME Water Task Group INDICATORS Attributes of Core Indicators - Authoritative measures - Status and trends - Basis for comparison

19 19 Key indicators: Criteria for selection User relevance –Simple, understandable and easy to interpret by target audience Policy relevance –Monitor key outcomes of environmental policy and legislation, and inform on familiar issues to the public Analytical validity –Accurate whether based on scientific, community or traditional knowledge. Data are credible and robust and the methodologies have integrity Measurability –Long term, derived from information collected in a comparable manner from year to year. Information will be available in the future and show reliability over time Cost effectiveness –Require limited numbers of parameters to be established and simple to monitor, regular monitoring is in place INDICATORS

20 20 *Strategic Outcomes from RPP 2007/08 Key indicators: alignment with departmental priorities and reporting Strategic Outcome Policy ObjectiveTarget Core Indicators (authoritative information, basis for policy) Key Indicators (reporting to pubic) Canadians and their environment are protected from the effects of pollution and waste* Environmental Health 20% PM2.5 Population weighted, ambient levels of PM2.5 Air Health Indicator Population weighted ground level ozone Canada's natural capital is restored, conserved and enhanced* Air 55% S0x S0x emissions by source/total emissions Progress toward ambient air targets 40% N0x N0x emissions by source/total emissions 45% VOCEmissions of V0C by source Water Quality Water Quality Index Comparative WQI (relative differences between sites and over time) Quantity Stream flow conditions Water level index (normal, below, above normal) Climate Change GHG total -20% by 2020 Greenhouse gas emissionsGHG emissions relative to targets Biodiversity & Ecosystems Protected areas Percentage of protected area under government jurisdiction INDICATORS

21 21 Web-based delivery: SoE reporting based on a high profile web presence Shift from lengthy, descriptive reports to a dynamic online information source ensuring access to the most up-to-date information Window to My Environment with functionality including: –Customizable dashboard to environmental information –User ability to select indicators, functionality and scalability mapping, searching, viewing: my city, my indicator –Links to information at various scales local, provincial / territorial information –Address fundamental user needs question How are we doing and what can I do? WEB-BASED DELIVERY

22 22 Web-based Delivery: Mock home page

23 23 Web-based delivery: A user mock up WEB-BASED DELIVERY

24 24 CESI renewal provides the basis for next generation SoE reporting CESI provides the foundation of core indicators –Established consistent base of environmental quality information over last 4 yrs –Public and stakeholder support for CESI-like effort to provide key environmental information A transparent consultative process used to developed a path forward –User needs – Canadians, stakeholders, internal decision-makers –Diagnostique – best practices, lessons learned, international analysis, historical reviews, workshops, senior level consultations CESI 2008 report will begin transition to new SoE reporting vision –Providing more trends, access to site level information, better integration of socio-economic information –Enhanced web-based reporting

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