Operational Framework for Use of Conservation Allowances

This framework sets the parameters, based on existing legislated authorities, practice and policy, for how and when conservation allowances should be used or recommended by Environment Canada. Conservation allowances are the third step of the mitigation hierarchy, a three-step approach that first examines options to avoid and minimize environmental impacts. The framework applies where Environment Canada has a role related to the review or approval of proposed land- or resource-use activities, including those that occur on federal lands or waters, projects, or activities that are subject to federal legislation, actions that would affect Aboriginal and/or treaty rights, or when Environment Canada has environmental protection or conservation objectives that would be affected by the proposed activity. 

The use of conservation allowances by Environment Canada under this framework will be monitored and the results, including both demonstrated ecological success and other indicators (e.g. percent of proponents who successfully meet all the provisions of their allowance agreement) will be tracked. These allowances will be reviewed in the context of periodic evaluations of departmental programs and initiatives that employ them.

To support the framework, Environment Canada will develop implementation guidance for Environment Canada practitioners on the use of conservation allowances. This guidance would address the specific goals and objectives of legislation and policy, as well as specific issues related to the nature of the biological element (e.g. wetlands versus species at risk). 

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