The Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) was formed in 1998 by federal, provincial and territorial Wildlife Ministers under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk in Canada. The Council is made up of federal, provincial and territorial ministers with responsibilities for wildlife species. This includes Canada's minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency.
The Council is responsible for national leadership and direction for preventing wild species from becoming at risk. It has specific responsibilities for overseeing the listing and recovery of species that are at risk nationally, and plays a role in resolving issues under the Accord. The Wildlife Ministers Council of Canada will continue to operate, and will provide a forum for the discussion of wildlife management issues across a broader spectrum.
Species assessments are made by the Council on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), an arm's length committee of wildlife experts. COSEWIC makes its list public and forwards it to CESCC along with a rationale for each designation on the list. The CESCC determines and coordinates the most effective response actions.
For the first time this year, the CESCC is considering response statements to the 15 species listed as endangered or threatened by COSEWIC at its annual meeting in May 2001. Response statements are a new step in the national recovery process developed under the Accord, and are designed to show the immediate action that governments propose to take to protect endangered and threatened species found within their jurisdiction. They include a description of immediate conservation and protection measures to be undertaken, and preliminary recovery information including the recovery approach. They also designate the lead jurisdiction for each species.
The CESCC is responsible for monitoring and reporting every five years on the status of all species in Canada, and for communicating the progress on programs to the public. The first such report (Wild Species 2000: The General Status of Species in Canada) was released in April 2001. The CESCC will also be responsible for ensuring that good stewardship of natural habitats is both recognized and promoted in efforts to protect species at risk. The Council is mandated to seek and consider advice and recommendations from stakeholder groups for the implementation of the Accord.