Terrestrial Cumulative Effects Initiative
Summary of a strategic assessment of effects on the environment of the Terrestrial Cumulative Effects Initiative (TCEI).
The Terrestrial Cumulative Effects Initiative (TCEI) is an accommodation measure introduced in the Trans Mountain Expansion Project’s (TMX) Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report.
Indigenous groups have raised concerns about the cumulative environmental effects of development on the land, including the TMX’s further contribution to these cumulative effects. They identified specific concerns about the cumulative effects of TMX on the inland environment, including air quality, fish, fish habitat (e.g. Steelhead trout, Salmon), wildlife (e.g. spotted owl, grizzly bear, southern mountain caribou) and the contribution of climate change and other natural processes (e.g. wildfires) to those effects.
Indigenous groups are concerned that the cumulative effects of development projects will continue to increase, and will affect their traditional use of lands and resources. As such, they are looking to increase their participation in efforts to understand and manage cumulative effects of development.
The TCEI will focus on providing contribution funding for Indigenous groups to participate in accommodation measures that address cumulative effects, such as studies and governance structures. The initiative is likely to result in important positive environmental effects largely due to the funding for studies to generate more information on cumulative effects. It will also complement the 2016 and 2019 National Energy Board environmental assessment conditions and close a gap identified in the consultations with Indigenous groups.
The TCEI will enable Indigenous groups to establish priorities and enhance Indigenous knowledge related to the cumulative effects in a region. The TCEI will be used to support a wide range of studies and develop a common understanding of what is of value to Indigenous peoples.
The purpose of the initiative is to collaborate with affected Indigenous communities to co-develop a cumulative effects framework, enabling:
- gathering of data and information on the state of the environment, or valued components of the environment, within a region
- monitoring and analysis of how the environment, or components of the environment, change in response to development and natural processes
- to make the information gathered publicly available for evidence-based decision-making
The main potential outcomes of the TCEI are:
- improved understanding of concerns related to historic and potential land based cumulative effects, including the freshwater environment (e.g. watershed analysis and planning)
- meaningful two-way dialogue with Indigenous groups
The following Federal Sustainable Development Strategy goals are most directly affected and advanced by ECCC’s actions on TCEI:
- Pristine lakes and rivers: identifying stressors that contribute to cumulative effects in lakes and rivers will allow for a better understanding of the existing state of the environment, and monitoring to better understand what is affecting environmental components of concern to Indigenous peoples
- Sustainably managed lands and forests: identifying stressors that contribute to cumulative effects on land and forests will allow for a better understanding of the existing state of the environment, and monitoring to better understand what is affecting environmental components of concern to Indigenous peoples
- Healthy wildlife populations: undertaking cumulative effects studies focused on wildlife, for example, will build capacity with Indigenous groups by studying a particular wildlife species of importance to the community
The initiative also supports the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 6 Clean water and sanitation, SDG 14 Life below water and SDG 15 Life on land.
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