Environmental Stewardship Initiative
The Environmental Stewardship Initiative (ESI) is a new form of collaboration among the Province, First Nations and industry.
Through ESI, First Nations, industry, the Province and Government of Canada are creating opportunities for developing new environmental stewardship projects associated with natural resource and infrastructure development. These projects will be separate, and additional to, the regulatory requirements related to environmental issues associated with natural resource and infrastructure projects.
The goals of the ESI are to develop a new, collaborative approach to establishing environmental legacies and to generate high quality, accessible and trusted environmental information. The scope of the ESI includes four key areas:
- ecosystem assessment and monitoring
- ecosystem restoration and enhancement
- ecosystem research and knowledge exchange
- stewardship education and training
Since the launch of ESI in May 2014, in relation to natural gas development, the Province has been working with First Nations and industry to develop and implement the initiative.
Four Regional Stewardship Forums have been established in Skeena, Omineca, the Northeast and North Coast to identify and develop projects according to priorities in each area. A fifth working group – the Governance Working Group - is developing the ESI governance principles, decision-making and a long-term operating structure.
In addition to the ESI, the Province is working with First Nations on initiatives related to natural gas and natural resource development including skills training, employment, consultation and accommodation work in regulatory decision-making, and economic benefits-sharing.