Cumulative Effects Framework

British Columbia is committed to sustainable resource management. As resource demands grow, we must be able to measure the effects of all natural resource activities, large and small, on values that are important to the people of British Columbia.

Cumulative effects are changes to environmental, social and economic values caused by the combined effect of past, present and potential future human activities and natural processes.

Laws, regulations and policies around natural resource management usually focus on a specific sector – such as forestry, mining, or oil and gas. Formal environmental assessments consider cumulative effects when evaluating large projects; however, many proposals are small in size and do not require such assessments.

British Columbia’s answer to this potential problem is the cumulative effects framework. The cumulative effects framework is a set of policies, procedures and decision-support tools that helps identify and manage cumulative effects consistently and transparently across British Columbia's natural resource sector.

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