Policy Initiatives

In the PHJV, policy initiatives are activities undertaken by joint venture partners with the purpose of supporting government legislation, policies and programs that benefit wetlands and upland waterfowl habitat.

The PHJV Policy Committee encourages the development of programs and policies promoting the sustainable use of land, soil, and water resources across the Prairie Parkland Region and Western Boreal Forest.  This is accomplished by actively supporting the work of provincial NAWMP implementation teams, encouraging interagency collaboration, and enabling knowledge and information exchange between provinces.

Prairie Parklands

Across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, agricultural land use changes, wetland loss, and water management under conditions of flooding or drought, are major issues of current policy concern to the PHJV. The key determinants affecting wetlands and upland waterfowl habitat on the Canadian prairies relate to water management, land use, and resource development policies.

These matters fall almost exclusively within the jurisdictional authorities of the provincial governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. While the above-mentioned issues may be common to all three provinces, the status of public policy development and approach to deal with these issues is different in each jurisdiction. The Policy Committee’s creation of a network to facilitate communication between provinces, provides a forum of support to fill in policy gaps or knowledge gaps to drive policy.

Western Boreal Forest

PHJV partners are involved in several initiatives with an objective of influencing conservation policies across the WBF.  Developing wetland policies that, 1) recognize the importance of wetlands on the landscape, and 2) provide guidance on avoiding, restricting, or mitigating impacts to these features is critical to these initiatives.

The WBF region is principally provincial or territorial crown land with management of the land and its resources vested in trust to provincial and territorial governments, and some areas under management of federal and Indigenous governments. To be effective, conservation efforts must focus on developing strategic partnerships to influence policy and practices related to activities occurring on this land.

The PHJV’s key approaches to policy influence in the WBF for 2020-2025 include the following:

  • Inform, review, and influence government-led policies, legislation and regulations that have significant impacts on waterfowl habitat within and outside target areas;
  • Engage in government-led programs that flow out of existing legislation and regulations, which will result in land use decisions that align with PHJV waterfowl and other bird habitat conservation objectives;
  • Inform and influence specific government-led industry operating guidelines, codes of practices and standards; and
  • Work collaboratively with all levels of government to ensure effective implementation and monitoring of all policies and ensure that adaptive management policies and practices for sustainable development of natural resources objectives are in place. Accurate wetland inventories in all jurisdictions are needed.