POLITICS

A list of some findings from the report of the commissioner of the environment

11/05/2013 03:06 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
OTTAWA - A list of findings from audits released Tuesday by the federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development:

— Canada has no plan for meeting international commitments under the 1992 UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Under the convention, Canada has 20 targets, including protecting 17 per cent of terrestrial and freshwater areas and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas. Currently, Canada protects 10 per cent and one per cent of these areas, respectively.

— Environment Canada has developed and applied models to put an economic value on biodiversity, providing much-needed information in decision-making.

— Environment Canada missed its 2010 deadline for completing 25 regional bird conservation strategies. Less than half are done, and those completed don't identify who should do the proposed actions, in what time frame.

— More than 70 per cent of national wildlife areas and 55 per cent of migratory bird sanctuaries do not meet their purpose as protected areas.

— Plans for 31 of 54 national wildlife areas pre-date the Species at Risk Act that came into force in 2003, and another eight areas have never had a management plan.

— Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Parks Canada have not met legal requirements for Species at Risk recovery plans. Only seven of 97 required plans are in place.

— Parks Canada has "developed a solid framework of policies, directives and guidelines" for ecological integrity but has failed to establish a scientifically credible monitoring and reporting system.

— Staffing for conservation at national parks has declined 23 per cent and scientific staff positions are down by more than a third.

— More than a third of national parks have experienced a deterioration in their ecosystems.

— Almost three-quarters of national parks lack an active plan to manage fire risk.