Canada is a signatory of the Convention on Biological Diversity. One of the key obligations for the Parties to the Convention is the preparation of a national biodiversity strategy. The Canadian Biodiversity Strategy, completed in 1995 after a two-year national multi-stakeholder consultation process, is a response to this obligation.
The Canadian Biodiversity Strategy is a decision-making framework that puts the Convention on Biological Diversity in a national context to ensure the long-term productivity, diversity and integrity of natural systems. The Strategy is a key building block in Canada's efforts to achieve sustainable development.
The primary responsibility for conserving biodiversity is shared among provincial, territorial and federal governments. It is the responsibility of each jurisdiction to determine how it will integrate the strategic directions contained in the Strategy into its own plans and initiatives. However, the Strategy emphasizes the importance of intergovernmental cooperation to create the policy, management and research conditions necessary to advance ecological management. Under the Strategy, governments are committed to report on progress made and actions that will be undertaken to meet the Strategy's goals and strategic directions.
In the spring of 1996, all provinces and territories and the federal government signed a National Statement of Commitment to conserve biodiversity and use biological resources in a sustainable manner. Several provinces have developed reports and action plans on how they are meeting these national biodiversity commitments.
A number of priorities have been established by intergovernmental working groups:
continued government support and leadership in implementing Canada's Stewardship Agenda;
approval of a draft Canadian Biodiversity Index (CBI).
approval to use the draft science agenda as a basis for priority setting and approval in principle to consider establishing a biodiversity science advisory mechanism.
formalization of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial coordinating mechanism for biological information management
The Convention on Biological Diversity has established a "Clearing-House Mechanism" to ensure all governments have ready access to the information and technologies needed for their work on biodiversity.