National Criteria for Ecological Sensitivity

Both the existing environmental values of the land and those that may result from conservation initiatives are included in the consideration of what is ecologically sensitive. The following national criteria currently apply:

  • areas identified, designated or protected by a local, provincial, territorial, national or international system or body as ecologically significant or ecologically important;
  • natural spaces of significance to the environment in which they are located;
  • sites that have significant current ecological value, or potential for enhanced ecological value, as a result of their proximity to other significant properties;
  • municipal or rural lands that are zoned or designated for biodiversity objectives;
  • natural buffers around environmentally sensitive areas such as water bodies, streams or wetlands; and
  • areas or sites that contribute to the maintenance of biodiversity or Canada's environmental heritage.