Canada: Federal Agencies Involved in Land Management and Natural Resources Conservation

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) determines the national status of wild Canadian species, subspecies, varieties or other designatable units that are suspected of being at risk of extinction or extirpation. COSEWIC uses a process based on science and Aboriginal or community knowledge to assess wildlife species at risk. All native mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, arthropods, mollusks, vascular plants, mosses and lichens are included in COSEWIC's current mandate.

Ministry of the Environment

The following agencies are found within the Ministry of the Environment.

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) provides Canadians with high-quality environmental assessments that contribute to informed decision making, in support of sustainable development. The Agency plays a leadership role in the review of major projects assessed as comprehensive studies and those referred to review panels.

Environment Canada

Directly and/or through partnership arrangements, Environment Canada establishes and manages National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries for the conservation of habitat to protect migratory birds, species at risk and other species of national interest. National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries can be established in either the terrestrial or marine environment.

Environment Canada also includes the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) which handles wildlife matters that are the responsibility of the federal government. These include the protection and management of migratory birds, nationally significant wildlife habitat, endangered species, control of international trade in endangered species, and research on wildlife issue of national importance.

Parks Canada

Parks Canada establishes and manages National Parks and National Marine Conservation Areas, which are intended to protect a representative sample of Canada's 39 terrestrial natural regions and 29 marine regions and to provide opportunities for public education and enjoyment.

Ministry of Natural Resources

The following agencies are found within the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Natural Resources Canada

In addition to other service, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is responsible for overseeing the management of Canada’s forests and timber industry. NRCan also manages issues related to climate change and is responsible for the federal government’s response plans regarding climate change and adaption.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada establishes Marine Protected Areas for a variety of purposes, including the conservation and protection of habitats for aquatic species at risk, and the conservation and protection of unique aquatic habitats as well as marine areas of high biodiversity or high biological productivity.