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Wetland mitigation and compensation: Canadian experience

Abstract

Since Canada’s accession to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 1981, the nation’s commitment to wetland conservation and management has increased significantly. This includes the adoption of one of the World’s first national wetland conservation policies by the Government of Canada, and the adoption of complementary policy and legislative initiatives by most of the 13 provincial and territorial jurisdictions. Numerous habitat ‘no net loss’ and environmental assessment policies, regulations and guidelines for incorporating mitigation processes into development decisions affecting wetland resources are used throughout Canada. The governments of Canada and six provinces have so far adopted wetland mitigation measures. These are in addition to comprehensive wetland fish and wildlife habitat initiatives, such as the species and habitat joint ventures delivered in Canada through the North American Waterfowl Management Plan by all jurisdictions and numerous non-government partners. This paper examines the current policies, regulations and programs, as well as past implementation experience with wetland mitigation and compensation in Canada.

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Acknowledgements

Comments on draft sections of this paper by Michael Dunn, Bryan Graham, Louise Kingsley, Jan Kirkby and Bob McLean (all of Environment Canada); Michael Hill (Ducks Unlimited Canada); Ian Rudland (Alberta Environment); Lee Swanson (New Brunswick Environment); Randy Milton (Nova Scotia Natural Resources); Randy Diblee (Prince Edward Island Environment); and Gerry Yetman (Newfoundland and Labrador Environment and Conservation) were most helpful.

Author information

Correspondence to Clayton D. A. Rubec.

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Rubec, C.D.A., Hanson, A.R. Wetland mitigation and compensation: Canadian experience. Wetlands Ecol Manage 17, 3–14 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-008-9078-6

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Keywords

  • Wetland conservation
  • Policy
  • Mitigation hierarchy
  • Canada