Environmental Unit: Ensuring the Perspectives of the People We Serve Are Part of Decision Making

Jul 28, 2022
Shining The Spotlight Issue9 WEBSITE 11

Identifying Fish Habitat Restoration Priorities

The Environment Unit’s core mandate is to ensure that the perspectives of Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people are part of decision-making processes, legislation, policies, and programs that help to shape environmental policy outcomes in Canada from coast to coast to coast. In this regard the unit has been involved in a series of engagement sessions related to wave two of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ proposed approach for identifying fish habitat restoration priorities. The contributions of Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people will help the department develop a framework for Identifying these priorities

Planning for COP 15

During the month of July, the unit was engaged in two briefing sessions with representatives from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) on the outcomes of the fourth meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group OEWG-4 on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. OEWG was held in Nairobi, Kenya, June 21–26, 2022. ECCC is currently preparing for negotiations during OEWG-5, which will take place in Montreal in December 2022. The unit is involved in ongoing discussions with ECCC to ensure that Indigenous rights and gender considerations are adequately represented in targets 21 and 22 of the global biodiversity framework.

Navigable waters

Following the launch of our navigable waters website, the unit has collaborated with Transport Canada to ensure that NWAC could contribute to the proposed policy approaches for adding navigable waters to the Canada Navigable Waters Act and schedule. NWAC’s contribution will focus directly on ensuring that all decisions related to the Act consider adverse impacts on Aboriginal or treaty rights. Beginning in August, the Unit will engage Indigenous stakeholders through a national conversation to canvass ideas and make recommendations that could guide Transport Canada’s proposed policy approach to the Act.

Planning for COP 27

The United Nations Climate Change Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC, Conference of Parties, COP 27) will be hosted by Egypt, in Sharm el-Sheikh from November 7–18, 2022. NWAC has been invited to be a part of the Canadian delegation. We will send two representatives to COP 27 to ensure that the voices of Indigenous women, girls, and gender-diverse people are included in key Canadian decisions.

Regarding our role at COP 27, NWAC has already begun preliminary discussions with representatives from ECCC. Leading up to and in preparation for COP 27, NWAC will be involved in the Facilitative Working Group of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform from November 1–4, 2022.