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Environment Canada's Science Strategy 2014-2019

Appendix I: Priorities for Environment Canada's Science for 2014-2019

Priorities for Environment Canada's Science: Federal priority issues, science goals, specific activities 
Federal Priority IssuesEnvironment Canada’s Science GoalsSpecific Activities
Reducing the impacts of contaminants and other environmental stressors on the natural environment
  • Understand and track the origin, fate and impact of critical contaminants in the environment (air, water, wildlife) and on Canadians to support policy, regulatory and guideline development, evaluation and enforcement
  • Understand and track the cumulative effects of environmental stressors, including climate change, on wildlife and ecosystems of national interest
  • Inform and advance the integrated management of Canada's aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems
  • Provide the science understanding necessary to conserve Canada’s habitat, biodiversity and ecosystem functions
  • Apply a systems approach to avoid transferring problems from one medium to another
  • Develop and use models for predictive capacity
  • Collect and integrate consistent emissions and ambient data on air pollutants of national interest to support development of emissions reductions strategies and air quality standards
  • Conduct research and monitoring and develop methods and tools to support the development of water pollution regulations, and water quality targets and guidelines for ecosystems of national interest
  • Identify key stressors and collect baseline and trend data for wildlife populations of national interest
  • Collect or access data related to habitat and protected areas of national interest
  • Conduct research and develop tools to support setting clear and achievable population objectives for species at risk and migratory birds of national interest
  • Develop models, conduct research, and collect and integrate consistent baseline and trend data on chemicals of national interest
  • Improve tools and approaches to understand contaminant and pollutant impacts on the Canadian environment
  • Improve air and water quality/quantity predictions in at-risk areas and for transboundary impacts
  • Integrate research on climatic changes (e.g., changes to temperature, water, precipitation) with other stressors
  • Conduct research on environmental processes, and develop tools to mitigate contamination of the atmosphere and aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems
  • Contribute to developing national environmental indicators
Providing early warnings about weather, climate and other environmental conditions
  • Support the development and operation of monitoring and modelling systems and tools in order to improve prediction and forecasting of weather, climate and other environmental systems, and to provide high quality, science-based tools and services to Canadians, policy-makers and targeted economic sectors
  • Develop, refine and apply tools and methodologies for high-resolution modelling to improve weather and air quality forecasting, nowcasting and climate prediction
  • Collect, assimilate and integrate consistent nationwide data on weather systems
  • Improve regional and national climate scenario analyses, including modelling weather and climate extremes
  • Improve access to water, climate and air quality information for partners and Canadians as part of open science initiatives
Climate change – mitigation, adaptation
  • Provide the foundational science to understand anticipated climate change to help Canadians plan and adapt to future change
  • Understand and track and predict the emissions and atmospheric processes that affect climate change to support the development and implementation of regulations, policies and enforcement
  • Understand and track and predict impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems to support adaptation and management
  • Collect, integrate and analyze data on greenhouse gas sources and sinks
  • Refine greenhouse gas inventories to support development of greenhouse gas targets
  • Perform foundational climate science to help inform on climate change vulnerabilities
  • Deliver enhanced climate services at relevant time and spatial scales to inform climate impact studies and adaptation planning
  • Perform research on species distributions
  • Conduct black carbon research and measurements and develop black carbon inventories
Strengthening environmental conservation and protection to support responsible resource development
  • Proactively understand, track and provide information on the environmental impacts (primary and cumulative) of selected resource development in order to minimize disturbance of ecosystems and wildlife, inform landscape and habitat management, and support environmental restoration where needed
  • Collect and integrate consistent baseline data in selected areas facing increased resource development, such as the North; undertake evaluations and report on results
  • Develop models and other tools to understand and predict the impacts of resource extraction on the environment
  • Collect and analyze consistent environmental monitoring data (air, water, land and biodiversity) to understand the potential cumulative environmental effects of resource development, including the oil sands industry
  • Improve data collection and monitoring techniques for emissions related to resource development
  • Enhance information collection on species and habitats of national interest to better support conservation and sustainable development
  • Enhance the ability to use earth observation and remote sensing in environmental monitoring
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