There is a long history of cooperation on species at risk among federal, provincial, and territorial governments. Through the designation of protected areas, implementation of international wildlife agreements and a commitment to biodiversity, governments have worked together on many nature issues.
In the spring of 1995, officials from Environment Canada, the provinces and territories held several public workshops across Canada to determine what should be included in a national approach to protecting species at risk. This led governments to develop the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk, which states that the goal of federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for wildlife is to prevent species in Canada from becoming extinct as a consequence of human activity.
In October 1996, Wildlife Ministers agreed in principle to the Accord and committed to a common approach to protecting species at risk that includes complementary legislation and programs.
In 1998, Aboriginal organizations, stakeholders, environmental organizations, communities and individuals took part in two national workshops sponsored by Wildlife Directors on draft plans for implementing the Accord.
The Accord lays out a number of commitments to protect species at risk. By its terms, governments recognize that intergovernmental cooperation is crucial to the conservation and protection of species at risk, that governments must play a leadership role, and that complementary federal and provincial/territorial legislation, regulations, policies and programs are essential to protecting species at risk.
In the past year, there have been a number of activities and developments that further the spirit of the Accord in federal-provincial/territorial cooperation on species at risk: