Big News for Ontario Wetlands
Advisory Panel releases report on the development of a wetland offsetting policy for Ontario
On May 7th, 2018 Considerations for the Development of a Wetland Offsetting Policy for Ontario: A Report of the Wetland Conservation Strategy Advisory Panel was submitted to the Honourable Nathalie Des Rosiers, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. The Panel was established in November 2017 to enable discussion among Indigenous communities and a wide variety of industry and non-government organizations, and provide recommendations to the Minister for consideration in the development of a wetland offsetting policy for Ontario. Consensus was achieved on a number of guiding principles and recommendations, each of which are grounded in the firm belief that wetlands are an integral part of Ontario’s landscape and that offsetting should only be considered when all aspects of a mitigation sequence – avoidance, minimization and mitigation – have been met.
The Panel’s advice is organized around six key themes that are seen as critical to the success of a wetland offsetting policy. These include:
- Conservation outcomes
- Implementation options
- Policy opportunities
- Monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management
- Indigenous engagement
- Communication, education and awareness
The Panel acknowledges that this report is the first step in the process to develop a wetland offsetting policy for Ontario and that further input from municipalities, conservation authorities, conservation organizations, private landowners, First Nation and Métis communities and stakeholders and partners is required.
The Panel is grateful for the opportunity to provide advice on the conservation of Ontario’s wetlands and is appreciative of the opportunity to be part of this important process.
Co-Chairs of the Wetland Conservation Strategy Advisory Panel