Phase 2 Engagement
Phase 2 Engagement between April and July 2016 was government's second formal engagement initiative to review and solicit feedback on the draft cumulative effects framework policy, draft value assessment procedures, and preliminary assessment results for Aquatic Ecosystems, Grizzly Bear, and Old Growth Forest.
The specific objectives of Phase 2 Engagement were to:
- Raise awareness of the revised draft cumulative effects framework policy and draft value summaries and protocols
- Ensure the revised draft cumulative effects framework policy had captured the meaning and intent of feedback received previously during Phase 1 Engagement
- Solicit review and comment on draft cumulative effects framework policy and draft value summaries and protocols
- Continue to improve the framework based on the obtained suggestions of external and internal stakeholders
The following documents and resources were posted on the cumulative effects framework website during the engagement period.
Part 1: Draft Policy for Assessing Cumulative Effects (PDF, 0.5 MB)
Part 2: Draft Policy for Cumulative Effects Management (PDF, 0.6 MB)
To support interpretation of these draft policy documents, a draft Grizzly Bear Value Summary (PDF, 1.2 MB) of the draft assessment procedures for grizzly bear, with examples of the interpretation of results, was also posted.
The discussion paper Towards the Development of Cumulative Effects Management Procedures for Cumulative Effect Values (PDF, 1.2 MB) was also provided and outlined a proposed approach for using cumulative effects assessment results to develop cumulative effects management responses.
Key Phase 2 Engagement Findings
Phase 2 Engagement initiatives resulted in the gathering of the following generalized feedback messages on the cumulative effects framework policy and overall framework.
Top ten feedback messages for the draft cumulative effects framework policy and overall framework
- Overall, the cumulative effects framework is a useful communication and information tool for decision-making in the natural resource sector
- Provide ongoing engagement with all interested stakeholders and ensure that interested First Nations are involved and supportive of the assessment and management process
- Align the cumulative effects framework with existing federal and provincial initiatives to ensure consistency in values, assessments, and coordination among government agencies
- Include socio-economic values and additional environmental values, and allow interested stakeholders to be involved in the values selection process
- Ensure the quality of assessment data by considering third-party data, regularly updating the data, and having data readily accessible to the public
- Perform future condition modeling that takes into account the effects of climate change
- Validate assessment results through peer-review and track outcomes and mitigation through regular monitoring and subsequent updates
- Improve the management class model to find the right balance in prescriptiveness to avoid unintended outcomes
- Clarify how cumulative effects framework policy and assessments will influence current government policy and decision-making in each of the natural resource sectors as well as over the lifespan of a project
- Provide adequate resourcing for engagement, training, data collection, regular assessment updates, and subsequent monitoring
And the following generalized feedback messages on value summaries and protocols.
Top ten feedback messages for value summaries and protocols
- Overall, there is broad support for the draft value assessments, the continuous improvement of the protocols, and their prompt completion and release
- Ensure assessment protocols achieve the right balance between complexity and simplicity
- Ensure consistent assessment approaches, reporting, roll-ups, and map products across values
- Ensure protocols focus on creating cumulative effects assessments and not threat assessments
- Consider having benchmarks that are reflective of a value baseline condition
- Clarify the scale of the assessments and attempt to have the scale consistent across values
- Clarify the use of supplemental indicators and ensure they do not double-count impacts
- Consider assessing future condition and future impacts on values, including climate change
- Ensure regional teams review assessment results to assure quality of data and interpretation
- Ensure that values are not unintentionally driven down to their lowest acceptable condition or objective by policy provisions
See a summary of all comments received on value summaries and protocols.
Main comments received by stakeholder group and audience:
- Natural resource sector stakeholders and associations
- First Nations
- Professionals and practitioners
- Environmental non-governmental organizations and academia
- Internal natural resource sector staff
Building a better framework through engagement
Phase 2 Engagement feedback and comments were gathered and reviewed. Comments identified various opportunities for improving draft cumulative effects framework policies and assessment protocols. Engagement feedback helped to inform, modify and improve the cumulative effects framework and are reflected in the interim policy.
Examples of how engagement feedback changed and affected the interim policy.
What we heard
Resulting changes to the interim policy
Ensure assessment results are validated and monitored.
New policy wording to ensure best information (including available monitoring information) will be used to validate assessment results.
Improve the management class model to balance the degree of prescriptiveness and avoid unintended outcomes.
New policy wording changing 'management classes' to 'management review classes' to signal an expectation to review and consider coordinated management responses, instead of automatically triggering a management response.
Ensure early on engagement and collaboration with First Nations and external stakeholders.
New policy wording to explore further First Nations and external stakeholder engagement when defining assessment protocols and when initiating and reviewing regional cumulative effects assessment management reports.
Apply a precautionary principle to the management class model.
New policy wording indicating management responses may include the intention to proactively manage the value to maintain it in good condition.
Align policy with Environmental Assessment Office environmental assessment process.
New policy guidance on how assessments should be considered during the provincial environmental assessment and application process for major projects.
Ensure the management of cumulative effects for values in the absence of assessments.
Revised policy wording provides direction on how to identify and manage cumulative effects when there are no assessments for a particular region or value.
Other general feedback and comments identified both broad and specific suggestions on how to improve the draft policy, protocols and assessments. Many of these will be incorporated into subsequent work plans to investigate how they might be able to be included in future policy and assessment versions.
The adaptive nature of the cumulative effects framework allows for continuous improvement of all cumulative effects framework products over time as we learn more through stakeholder engagement and enhance our knowledge implementing the framework.
Engagement underscores the importance of understanding and incorporating stakeholder ideas and perspectives, while still balancing the diverse interests of British Columbians and the natural resource sector.
Eleven meetings were held with key natural resource sector stakeholders:
- May 10, 2016 - Association of BC Forest Professionals
- May 17, 2016 - BC Business Council Environment Committee
- June 6, 2016 - Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, Canadian Association of Geophysical Contractors, and member companies of each organization
- June 14, 2016 - University of Northern BC Cumulative Effects Research Group
- June 16, 2016 - North Coast Environmental Stewardship Initiative
- June 17, 2016 - Marine Plan Partnership for the North Pacific Coast and North Coast Skeena First Nations Stewardship Society
- June 21, 2016 - Coast Operational Issues Forum
- June 23, 2016 - Provincial Forestry Forum
- July 6, 2016 - Council of Forest Industries and Coast Forest Products Association
- July 13 and August 10, 2016 - Mining Association of British Columbia and member companies and the Association for Mineral Exploration BC
Three workshops were held during the engagement period.
Workshop 1 was held on June 16, 2016 in Richmond and was designed to build cumulative effects framework knowledge and solicit policy and protocols feedback from the natural resource sector, including sector stakeholders, land managers, environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) and professional associations.
Workshop 2 was held on June 17, 2016 in Richmond and was designed to provide cumulative effects framework information and solicit comment on how it relates to conducting environmental impact assessments for environmental assessment practitioners.
Workshop 3 was held on June 27 and 28, 2016 in Vancouver and provided an opportunity for provincial technical and scientific experts from government, industry, ENGOs and academia to peer-review and critique the draft value summaries, protocols, and policy.
First Nations engagement
Letters of invitation to participate in the development and review of the draft cumulative effects framework policy and protocols were sent to provincial First Nations leadership committees (i.e., Union of BC Indian Chiefs, BC Assembly of First Nations, and First Nations Forestry Council) and email invitations were sent to various First Nations communities.
Internal staff engagement
A Live Meeting was held on June 23, 2016 with NRS internal staff to discuss draft cumulative effects framework policy and assessment protocol changes and provide staff an opportunity to comment and seek more information.
A total of seven Regional Management Team (RMT) and Cumulative Effects Management Committee (CEMC) meetings occurred, including:
- April 22, 2016 - Thompson Okanagan Region Cumulative Effects Management Committee
- May 10, 2016 - South Coast Regional Management Team
- May 31, 2016 - North East Regional Management Team (FLNRO) and Regional CE Management Committee
- June 14, 2016 - Omineca Regional Management Team (FLNRO) and Regional Managers Committee
- June 22, 2016 - Cariboo Region Managers Committee
- June 22, 2016 - Skeena Region Managers Committee
- July 12, 2016 - Kootenay Region Managers Committee