Canada-Nova Scotia Nature Agreement

This Agreement for the protection, conservation and recovery of biodiversity, including habitat, species at risk and migratory birds (“Agreement”) is made in duplicate as of _____________ (Date)

Between

His Majesty the King in Right of Canada,

as represented by the Minister of the Environment (“Environment and Climate Change Canada” or “ECCC”) and the Minister of the Environment for the purposes of the Parks Canada Agency (“Parks Canada Agency” or “PCA”) (collectively “Canada”)

and

His Majesty the King in Right of the Province of Nova Scotia,

as represented by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables (collectively “Nova Scotia”) (each a “Participant” and collectively the “Participants”)

Preamble

Whereas the Participants are committed to addressing the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change through the protection, conservation and recovery of biodiversity, habitat, species at risk and migratory birds in Nova Scotia;

and whereas the Participants believe that protecting nature for present and future generations requires cooperation, coordination, predictable and sustainable resourcing, and a shared responsibility by all levels of government, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, land trusts, private landowners, the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, and all Nova Scotians;

and whereas the Participants acknowledge the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia as the stewards of the lands and waters in Mi’kma’ki, including the Province now known as Nova Scotia, since time immemorial;

and whereas the Participants recognize that the spirit and intent of the Peace and Friendship treaties are the foundation for nation-to-nation relationships in Mi’kma’ki;

and whereas the Government of Canada is working in consultation and cooperation with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (“UNDRIP”) in Canada, pursuant to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (“UNDA”), S.C. 2021, c.14;

and whereas the Participants intend that this Agreement be interpreted in a manner consistent with existing Aboriginal and treaty rights, as recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982;

and whereas Canada is a signatory of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, which has adopted the Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework (“GBF”) that aims to: halt and reverse biodiversity loss to put nature on a path to recovery by 2030, support the sustainable use of biodiversity for the benefit of present and future generations by 2050, including through meeting 23 Targets by 2030, among which is protecting at least 30% of the world’s lands, inland waters, coastal and marine areas and undertaking biodiversity-inclusive management on all lands and waters, relying on action and cooperation by all levels of government, while respecting the rights, roles, and contributions of Indigenous peoples.

and whereas Nova Scotia has a legislated commitment to conserving at least 20% of the total land and water mass of the Province by 2030, pursuant to the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act (“EGCCRA”), and continues to support Canada in reaching its national conservation goals;

and whereas Canada has the goal to establish 10 new national parks by 2025, working with Indigenous peoples on co-management agreements for these national parks, and the goal to establish 15 new national urban parks by 2030 and advance Canada’s network of ecological corridors by 2025;

and whereas the National Park System Plan (1997) describes each of Canada's unique natural regions with an objective to protect a representative sample of each of these landscapes;

and whereas Nova Scotia has a responsibility for the administration and control of provincial Crown lands, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, the protection, designation, recovery and other relevant aspects of conservation of species at risk in the Province, including habitat protection, and the establishment and management of provincial parks and protected areas;

and whereas Canada has a responsibility for, among other things, migratory birds protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, S.C. 1994, c.22, wildlife areas under the Canada Wildlife Act, R.S.C. 1985, C.W-9, wildlife species located on federal lands, wildlife species listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act, S.C. 2002, c.29 (“SARA”), including the authority to address recovery, as well as the protection of listed wildlife species including the individuals, their residences and critical habitat on federal land and in certain circumstance on non-federal land, and national parks under the Canada National Parks Act, S.C.2000, c.32;

and whereas the Participants are signatories to the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk (1996), and have agreed to the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada (2018) (“Pan-Canadian Approach”), including acknowledging the priority sectors and threats identified therein;

and whereas the Participants have both agreed to the implementation of the pan-Canadian definitions for recognizing and reporting on protected areas and Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures (OECMs) in One with Nature.

and whereas Canada and Nova Scotia have existing agreements that commit Nova Scotia to conservation targets, including areas that remain to be protected under Target 1 Challenge (T1C) and Nature-Smart Climate Solutions Fund (NSCSF) agreements;

and whereas section 4 of the Department of the Environment Act, R.S.C., 1985, C.E-10, sets out the powers, duties and functions of the federal Minister of the Environment, including related to the preservation and enhancement of the environment, and renewable resources;

and whereas section 10 of SARA provides the competent minister with the authority to enter into administrative agreements with any other government in Canada;

and whereas paragraph 8(a) of the Parks Canada Agency Act, S.C. 1998, c. 31 allows the Parks Canada Agency to enter into agreements;

and whereas Sub section 6 of Chapter 376 of the Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1989, the Public Service Act, provides that: A member of the Executive Council may, subject to the approval of the Governor in Council, enter into an agreement with the Government of Canada, the government of a province, the government of a foreign state or subnational unit or an association of foreign states or subnational units, or agency thereof, or with any institution or person, or any of them, providing for a joint undertaking with the Government of Canada, with the government of a province, with the government of a foreign state or subnational unit or with an association of foreign states or subnational units, or any agency thereof, or with any institution or person, or any of them, of any project within the member’s mandate under this Act.

and whereas this Agreement does not supersede existing federal or provincial legislation and existing government-to-government agreements or fetter the discretion of statutory decision-makers, nor does it preclude new nature-related initiatives outside the scope of activities referenced in this Agreement;

and whereas this agreement is not legally binding on the Participants;

now therefore, the Participants commit to the following:

1 Definitions

1.1 Definitions

“Biodiversity” as defined in the Nova Scotia Biodiversity Act, means (i) living organisms from all sources, (ii) the ecological complexes of which living organisms are a part, including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems, and, (iii) the variability and interdependence among living organisms and ecological complexes. This includes genetic diversity, diversity within and between species and diversity of ecosystems and ecological processesFootnote 1;

"Biological diversity" means the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems;Footnote 2

"Core Habitat" as defined in the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act, means the specific areas of habitat essential for the long-term survival and recovery of endangered or threatened species and that are designated as core habitat;

“CPCAD” means the Canadian Protected and Conserved Areas Database. This database contains the most up to date spatial and attribute data on marine and terrestrial protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures in Canada. It is compiled and managed by ECCC, from data reported by jurisdictions including federal departments and agencies, provincial departments, municipal governments, land trust organizations, Indigenous organizations, and private corporations;

“Critical Habitat” as defined in the Canada Species at Risk Act, means the habitat that is necessary for the survival or recovery of a listed wildlife species and that is identified as the species’ critical habitat in a national recovery strategy or action plan for the species;

“Data” means reinterpretable representations of information in a formalized manner suitable for communication, interpretation, or processing, and includes but is not limited to data such as geospatial data, animal movement data, or data on the distribution, abundance or status of wildlife species including species at risk;

"Etuaptmumk" is the Mi’kmaq word for Two-Eyed Seeing which refers to learning to see from one eye with the strength of Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing and from the other eye with the strengths of western knowledge and learning to use both eyes together for the benefit of all;

“Ethical space” means a venue for collaboration and advice, sharing, and cross-validation (where one side validates the other’s decisions). The focus of ethical space is on creating a place for knowledge systems to interact with mutual respect, kindness, generosity, and other basic values and principles. In ethical space, all knowledge systems are equal and no single system has more weight or legitimacy than another, as appropriate;

"Indigenous-led Area-Based Conservation” (“ILABC”) means an initiative that supports Indigenous Peoples to lead or co-lead the establishment and recognition of protected areas or other effective area-based conservation mechanisms across Canada. It recognizes the importance of culture, language, socio-economic factors, transfer of knowledge between Elders and youth, and traditional land use as part of conservation efforts;

"Indigenous Knowledge” means the set of complex knowledge systems based on the worldviews of Indigenous peoples and being in relationship with the natural world, and reflects the unique cultures, languages, values, histories, governance and legal systems of Indigenous peoples. Indigenous Knowledge is place-based, cumulative and dynamic.

“Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas” (“IPCAs”) means lands and waters where Indigenous governments and Indigenous organizations have the primary role in protecting and conserving ecosystems through Indigenous laws, governance, and knowledge systemsFootnote 3, Footnote 4. Culture and language are fundamental to these areas. IPCAs may qualify as protected areas or other effective area-based conservation measures should they meet the pan-Canadian definitions;

“Interim Protected Area” means a clearly defined geographic space for which there is a clear public commitment and intent to complete formal establishment as a protected area as soon as possible and for which interim protection measures are in place that are deemed to be effective and appropriate by the relevant government and others with interest in, or rights to, the land;Footnote 5

“Key Biodiversity Areas” (“KBAs”) means areas that are identified using a standard set of criteria as important to the persistence of biodiversity;

“Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measure” (“OECM”) means a geographically defined area other than a protected area, which is governed and managed in ways that achieve long-term outcomes for the in-situ conservation of biodiversity, with associated ecosystem functions and services and where applicable with cultural, spiritual, socio-economic, and other locally relevant values;Footnote 6

“Protected Area” means, as defined by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (“IUCN”), a clearly defined geographical space, that is recognized, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values.Footnote 7 Protected areas have conservation as their primary objective;

“Protected and Conserved Areas” means protected areas and OECMs.

2 Purpose

2.1 The purpose of this Agreement is to establish the framework for cooperation between the Participants for measures and plans by the Participants for advancing an integrated approach to the protection, conservation and recovery of biodiversity, including habitat, species at risk and migratory birds, in the Province.

3 Objectives

3.1 The following are key objectives of this Agreement:

3.1.1 Support acceleration of conservation of at least 20% of the total land and water mass in the Province by 2030 as protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, including Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas, in a manner consistent with national reporting criteria, and Canada’s goal of protecting 30% of Canada’s lands and inland waters by 2030.

3.1.2 Work to support Canada’s domestic and international biodiversity commitments including through the implementation of the GBF.

3.1.3 Implement an integrated approach to strategically identify priority areas that maximize co-benefits for nature (e.g., species at risk, ecological connectivity, ecosystem function, biodiversity, carbon), and to improve biodiversity conservation outcomes.

3.1.4 Advance the conservation and recovery of species at risk and the protection of their habitats. Maximize conservation and protection outcomes to benefit biodiversity broadly, including migratory birds, ecosystems, and species of conservation concern.

3.1.5 Advance reconciliation by recognizing, elevating, and supporting Mi'kmaq leadership in conservation and care of nature, Indigenous Knowledge integration, and capacity building.

3.1.6 Share data that are relevant to the coordination and improved implementation of conservation and land-use planning efforts in a manner that is publicly accessible and open while respecting data sensitivities.

4 Principles

4.1 The following principles will guide the implementation of this Agreement:

4.1.1 Outcome-driven: Commitments result in tangible, measurable or demonstrable improvements to the conservation and recovery of biodiversity, species at risk and migratory birds, and their core and critical habitat, recognizing the interconnected environmental, social, economic and cultural co-benefits, including community health and well-being.

4.1.1.1 Clear goals, objectives and measurable results are essential to establish performance expectations, monitor progress and develop or maintain public trust.

4.1.1.2 Articulated conservation outcomes will include numerical or other objective performance standards and timelines wherever feasible. Where standards, guidelines or indicators are used, their relevance to the agreement's objectives will be periodically reviewed.

4.1.2 Knowledge- and science-informed: Evidence-based decision-making embraces Etuaptmumk and is informed by Indigenous Knowledge and science, along with community and local perspectives.

4.1.3 Incremental to baseline: Gains are above and beyond baseline activities, and do not displace or duplicate other financial contributions or activities supporting nature conservation.

4.1.4 Mutually beneficial: Outcomes contribute to federal and provincial priorities, and support Mi’kmaw priorities. Participants work together to ensure actions align with respective mandates, including land-use, development assessment, and related environmental management decision-making.

4.1.5 Efficiency: Building on existing agreements and commitments and seeking linkages or co-benefits with other priorities, including linking area-based conservation efforts to species conservation or climate change mitigation and adaptation, maximizes the efficiency of activities under this Agreement.

4.1.6 Supports reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples: Effective and timely collaboration, engagement, and consultation with Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia will be undertaken within ethical space in the spirit of equality, mutual respect, and adaptability, and in a manner consistent with the Made in Nova Scotia Process, the Terms of Reference for a Mi’kmaq-Nova Scotia-Canada Consultation Process, Aboriginal and treaty rights, and the UNDA.

4.1.7 Inclusive and equitable: Planning and decision-making processes respect, elevate and integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion-related considerations.

4.1.8 Respect for jurisdictional responsibilities: Division of powers and authorities are recognized while working collaboratively where there are shared responsibilities.

4.1.8.1 Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined to enable accountability, delivery on performance objectives and secure stakeholder confidence.

4.1.8.2 The establishment and accounting of protected areas and OECMs is based on the level of government that has jurisdiction over the lands and freshwater that are to be conserved.

4.1.9 Respect for existing processes: The Agreement is complementary to existing planning, development assessment and regulatory processes. The importance of maintaining the integrity and neutrality of regulatory processes and authorities of arm’s length boards and councils in recommendations and decision-making is recognized.

4.1.10 Transparency, accountability and communication: Outcomes are consistent with federal and provincial commitments and priorities that are transparent, measurable and time-bound. Participants are accountable for providing clear public reporting and sharing of research, knowledge, and data as appropriate.

4.1.11 Adaptive: Monitoring and evaluating actions and adjusting approaches or renewing commitments as necessary is critical for continual improvement, including recognizing implementation progress, addressing implementation challenges or gaps, and increasing ambition as progress is observed.

5 Commitments

5.1 Biodiversity Conservation Planning

5.1.1 The Participants will undertake actions to deliver on multiple benefits through conservation and protected areas planning, including ecological connectivity, ecological restoration, climate change adaptation and mitigation, watershed management, quality of life, and sustainable resource management.

5.1.2 Nova Scotia will assess and identify priority areas with high biodiversity values as part of achieving the Province’s goal of at least 20% protected areas by 2030.

5.1.2.1 Identify and delineate Key Biodiversity Areas in Nova Scotia, to inform conservation planning, support identification of priority areas for stewardship, conservation and protection planning.

5.1.3 PCA and Nova Scotia will undertake work to advance at least one project under the national ecological corridors program that aims to connect protected or conserved areas, or area of core habit, as a recognized ecological corridor.

5.1.4 The Participants will cooperate on the identification and implementation of nature-based solutions to conserve, sustainably manage, and restore ecosystems, including, but not limited to, data sharing and scientific research.

5.1.4.1 Nova Scotia will consider climate change adaptation and mitigation in conservation and land-use planning to promote landscapes that are resilient to change and support conservation in those landscapes with high potential to store carbon and conserve biodiversity and seek to maximize opportunities for areas to meet the pan-Canadian definitions of a protected area or OECM.

5.1.4.2 Nova Scotia will undertake ecosystem restoration, as identified in the Nova Scotia Climate Plan to reduce the effects of and adapt to climate change while also supporting biodiversity, including restoration of habitat for species at risk and migratory birds through the conservation, avoided conversion and enhanced management of ecosystems, and contributing to GBF target 2 addressing restoration.

5.1.5 The Participants will explore conservation financing approaches that may support the realization of outcomes identified in this agreement.

5.1.6 The Participants will seek to improve coordination among conservation partners through knowledge and data sharing to increase efficiency and seek to maximize the quantity and quality of conservation, identification of Key Biodiversity Areas, effective protection of species at risk, and areas of critical and core habitat.

5.2 Area-based conservation

5.2.1 Nova Scotia will seek to accelerate protected and conserved areas planning to meet the Province’s commitment of at least 20% by 2030.

5.2.2 Nova Scotia will develop an approach to identify areas of Provincial Crown lands to maximize biodiversity outcomes and protection in a manner that will contribute to provincial and national protected and conserved areas goals.

5.2.3 The Participants will support the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia in the identification, establishment, and recognition of IPCAs in a manner consistent with the collaborative approach outlined in “Advancing Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas in Mi’kma’ki / Nova Scotia - Collaborative Process for Lands Administered by the Province of Nova Scotia”, February 2022.

5.2.4 The Participants will work with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, land trusts, and other conservation partners to increase the scope and scale of private land conservation in the Province, by applying Pan-Canadian guidance on recognizing lands owned in fee-simple by land trusts as protected areas under private governance in CPCAD.

5.2.5 Nova Scotia will work with partners to advance efforts towards the establishment of a National Urban Park in Halifax Regional Municipality.

5.2.6 Nova Scotia will explore and apply alternative local and landscape-level tools to advance area-based conservation efforts, resulting in recognizing and reporting protected areas and OECMs.

5.2.7 The Participants will collaborate to:

5.2.7.1 Support protection of zones that link terrestrial and marine ecosystems and allow for nature to adapt to the impacts of climate change and discuss opportunities for intertidal areas.

5.2.7.2 Explore potential for protected area and OECM opportunities under all governance types, including cooperation with industrial and non-industrial sectors.

5.2.8 Nova Scotia will seek to increase the amount of protected and conserved areas within the Province reported to CPCAD by 82,500ha by March 31, 2026. This will be done by supporting private land conservation, advancing work to screen and fill gaps to support the reporting of existing and establishment of new conservation-oriented lands as protected areas or OECMs, and by legally protecting additional provincially administered lands.

5.2.9 Nova Scotia will ensure conservation areas are entered into CPCAD at the earliest possible opportunity, including interim protected areas and OECMs.

5.2.10 PCA and Nova Scotia agree to discussions around the potential advancement or expansion of Canada’s protected area system plans, including the National Parks System Plan, and to provide a timely response to promising opportunities that meet cultural or ecological objectives.

5.3 Species at risk and migratory birds

5.3.1 Nova Scotia will assess gaps in effective protection of species at risk critical and protection of core habitat for species at risk, in line with the outcomes identified in federal recovery strategies and provincial Recovery Action Plans.

5.3.2 Nova Scotia will advance species at risk recovery through the development and pilot of threats-based and/ or sector-based implementation plans, which will benefit multiple species at risk and sensitive ecosystems in a more efficient and cooperative way than current single-species approaches.

5.3.3 Nova Scotia will develop guidance, including best management practices, for implementation of species at risk conservation and protection actions to account for competing needs or activities among species or habitat on Crown land, and consider how it could be implemented on private land.

5.3.4 Nova Scotia will explore alternative local and landscape-level tools to advance species at risk recovery on private lands, including stewardship, education, and incentives.

5.3.5 Nova Scotia will develop guidance on the protection and conservation of migratory birds, and their habitat, which are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, and the Migratory Birds Regulations, 2022 and their habitat. Nova Scotia will promote the use of this guidance on Crown and private lands through permitting, environmental assessments and other provincial processes.

5.3.6 Nova Scotia will collaborate with Canada on the implementation of schedules of studies to complete the identification of critical habitat, as described in federal recovery strategies.

5.3.7 The Participants will ensure sensitivity of information is respected where required when providing or sharing data, for example to the public or parties outside of the Participants, and including data regarding location of sensitive species as identified by Participants

5.4 Supporting Mi’kmaw leadership in conservation and Care of Nature

5.4.1 The Participants agree to continue supporting Mi’kmaw conservation leadership in the Province by providing in-kind supports and funding through separate contribution agreements to support the implementation of this Agreement, and identifying other available funding streams.

5.4.2 Nova Scotia will engage with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia in planning initiatives to identify lands that contribute to the Province’s at least 20% by 2030 protection goal.

5.4.3 The Participants will collaborate with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia as private land conservation partners through the core organizations of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq (CMM), Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources (UINR), Eskasoni Fish and Wildlife Commission (EFWC), and Sespite’tmnej Kmitkinu Conservancy (SKC).

5.4.4 The Participants will collaborate in activities in support of recovery planning and actions, including planning, information sharing, implementation and monitoring, with directly affected Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia that have demonstrated leadership in species at risk recovery, as well as the expertise and ability to plan, implement and monitor on-the-ground measures to conserve and recover species at risk.

5.4.4.1 The Participants will collaborate with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia to identify capacity needs and opportunities to broaden Mi’kmaq participation or co-develop Mi’kmaq expertise in conservation and species at risk recovery.

5.4.5 The Participants will enable participation by the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia in species at risk recovery planning activities, which may take the shape of working groups, committees, and the development of more formal mechanisms, such as memoranda of understanding.

5.4.6 The Participants will enable participation by the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia in opportunities to protect and recover species at risk and their habitats through multi-species and ecosystem-based conservation actions.

5.4.7 The Participants commit to working with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia to enable the meaningful, accurate, and respectful consideration or inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge, according to the conditions for its consideration and within the context in which it was provided, in planning and decision making related to this Agreement.

5.4.7.1 The Participants will collaborate with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia to identify capacity needs and opportunities to support Indigenous Knowledge.

5.5 Data and information sharing

5.5.1 For the purpose of this Agreement, the Participants will share any data collected or produced during activities associated with this agreement with each other, without charge except as jointly decided to cover the costs of reproduction and delivery, and without a separate data sharing agreement. The participants may, at their discretion, share any relevant data that was collected prior to the agreement.

5.5.2 The Participants will make available any data under this Agreement open to the public as soon as available except for data that are subject to valid exceptions, such as ownership, security, conservation requirements, privacy, and confidentiality, as determined by the Participants based on their relevant legislation and open data policies.

5.5.3 In the event where the Participants, under the Agreement, share with each other Data that is identified as being confidential or sensitive, or that, by its nature, should be considered as confidential or sensitive, the Participants will keep such information confidential in the same manner as they would keep their own confidential information. Each participant will accept such data in confidence following the procedures outlined in their respective access to information acts and relevant internal policies (Access to Information Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. A-1, and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, S.N.S. 1993, c. 5).

5.5.4 The Participants understand that when Data are shared on a confidential basis:

5.5.4.1 The Data may not be shared with third parties or published without the written consent of the Participant who owns the Data.

5.5.4.2 A Participant who consents to share Data will set a timeframe during which the Data may be used, and a date by which all copies of the Data must be deleted.

5.5.4.3 If a Participant who shared Data consents to it being published by another Participant, the Participant who is publishing the Data will acknowledge the source of the data. In this case, the Participant who obtains consent does not need to delete copies of the Data in accordance with 5.5.4.2.

5.5.5 The Participants acknowledge that maintaining confidentiality is subject to court orders or any applicable laws, including without limitation the Access to Information Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. A-1 and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, S.N.S. 1993, c. 5.

5.5.6 The Participants understand that the determination of whether information is confidential or sensitive or should otherwise not be shared with another Participant or the public is subject to their respective internal policies about data sharing and legislation. For Canada, this includes the Directive on Open Government. The Participants understand that sharing data and use of data from another Participant does not constitute ownership of the Data. Any proprietary rights remain with the Participant who shared the data. The Participants understand that nothing in this Agreement is intended to be construed as granting or implying any rights to, or interest in, intellectual property as recognized by the law, including but not limited to, intellectual property rights protected through legislation.

5.5.7 None of the Participants make any warranties as to the accuracy of the Data. Each Participant may make changes, corrections, additions, or deletions to the Data without any expectation that the Participant sharing the data will update the other Participant(s).

6 Financial arrangements and support

6.1 This Agreement does not create an instrument to transfer funds. The Participants agree that a contribution agreement is required to transfer funds. A summary of approximate, proposed funding support for this agreement is in Schedule 1.

6.2 Recognizing the significant financial contributions required to protect, conserve and contribute to the recovery of biodiversity, including habitat, species at risk and migratory birds, the Participants will work together to identify needs, priorities and funding opportunities to implement measures to achieve the Purpose and Objectives identified in this Agreement.

6.3 The Participants will sign one or more contribution agreements to support the implementation of this Agreement. The Participants recognize that implementation of this Agreement is subject to their respective appropriations, priorities and budgetary constraints.

6.4 Subject to the terms of the separate contribution agreement(s), ECCC will sign one or more contribution agreements with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia to support the participation of the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia to achieve the Purpose and Objectives of this Agreement.

6.5 Subject to the terms of the separate contribution agreement(s), financial contributions associated with this Agreement are expected to expire on March 31, 2026. before which time the Participants will reassess progress and consider amended or new contribution agreement(s).

6.6 PCA will financially support the establishment process for any new national parks in the Province, as well as the ongoing planning, management and administration of any new national park area, or an ecological corridors project through a separate contribution agreement.

7 Monitoring and reporting

7.1 Nova Scotia will lead public reporting on progress implementing this Agreement in July of each year, starting in 2024.

7.1.1 Progress reporting will be prepared in plain language and will, at minimum report on outcomes achieved for any commitments scheduled for the Fiscal Year preceding the reporting date.

8 Governance

8.1 For the purposes of this Agreement, the Representatives from each jurisdiction are:

8.1.1 Canada: the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Canadian Wildlife Service, ECCC, and the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Protected Areas Establishment and Conservation Directorate, PCA, or the appointed delegate.

8.1.2 Nova Scotia: Executive Director of the [branch/sector], Environment and Climate Change, or the appointed delegate; and Executive Director of the [branch/sector], Natural Resources and Renewables, or the appointed delegate

8.2 The Representatives or delegates are responsible for reporting and advising on the actions of that Participant to be undertaken to implement this Agreement and to ensure communication, collaboration, and cooperation between the Participants in a timely manner. The Representatives or delegates from ECCC, Nova Scotia Natural Resources and Renewables (NRR), and Environment and Climate Change (ECC), will meet at least annually, with representatives from PCA, the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, and other partners, where appropriate, with additional technical meetings as necessary to review implementation of this Agreement.

8.3 The Representatives will identify primary and alternate contacts with respect to the implementation of this Agreement.

9 Dispute resolution

9.1 If a dispute arises out of, or in connection with this Agreement, including any question regarding its existence, interpretation, validity or termination, the Participants will attempt to resolve the dispute as follows:

9.1.1 The Representatives or their delegates will attempt to resolve the dispute through discussions; and,

9.1.2 If these discussions do not resolve the dispute, the Representatives and/or their delegates will refer the dispute to the Representative of each Participant.

10 Duration, amendment, termination and renewal

10.1 This Agreement will come into effect on the date of the last signature (“Effective Date”) and will remain in effect until March 31, 2030, unless terminated earlier by one of the Participants.

10.2 The Participants may amend this Agreement with the written mutual consent of each Participant prior to the expiry of this Agreement.

10.3 The Participants may extend the term of this Agreement with the written mutual consent of each Participant prior to the expiry of this Agreement.

10.4 Any Participant may terminate this Agreement by giving ninety (90) days written notice of termination to the other Participants.

11 Interpretation

11.1 This Agreement will be read as a whole and constitutes the entire agreement between the Participants and no oral or written representations on its subject matter are valid unless incorporated into this Agreement.

11.2 This Agreement does not create an instrument to transfer funds. The Participants agree that a contribution agreement is required to transfer funds.

11.3 This Agreement is not legally binding.

11.4 This Agreement does not create any new legal powers or duties, nor does it alter existing powers and duties, including those established by any federal or provincial legislation. The Participants do not relinquish any jurisdiction, right, power, privilege, prerogative or immunity by virtue of this Agreement.

11.5 The Agreement does not, in any manner, alter the Aboriginal or treaty rights of any Indigenous peoples.

11.6 The Participants acknowledge that this Agreement does not supersede existing government-to-government agreements.

12 Counterparts

This Agreement may be signed in several counterparts and each counterpart will constitute an original document. These counterparts taken together will constitute one and the same Agreement. The Participants agree that signed counterparts may be transmitted electronically and that such counterparts will be treated as originally signed instruments. Each Participant will provide the others with a copy of the original Agreement bearing actual original signatures within a reasonable period of time following signature of this Agreement, if requested.

13 Signatures

Signed, in English and French, each version being equally valid.

_______________________________ (signature)

_______________________________ (name)

_______________________________ (title)

On behalf of His Majesty the King in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, including for the purposes of the Parks Canada Agency

Government of Canada

Signed this_______day of_________, 2023.

_______________________________ (signature)

_______________________________ (name)

_______________________________ (title)

On behalf of His Majesty the King in Right of the Province of Nova Scotia, as represented by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Government of Nova Scotia

Signed this_____day of ---__________, 2023.

_______________________________ (signature)

_______________________________ (name)

_______________________________ (title)

On behalf of His Majesty the King in Right of the Province of Nova Scotia, as represented by the Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables

Government of Nova Scotia

Signed this_____day of __________, 2023.

Schedule 1

Schedule 1: Summary of approximate funding proposed for this Agreement by commitment area (described in section 5), over fiscal years 2023-24 through 2025-26.
Commitment area Total

1. Biodiversity Conservation Planning

$2,300,000

2. Area-based Conservation

$19,400,000

3. Species at Risk and Migratory Birds

$3,300,000

4. Mi’kmaw Leadership in Conservation and Care of Nature

$3,515,932

Total

$28,515,932

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