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Minister's 2006 Round Table under the Species at Risk Act


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Minister’s 2006 Round Table

under the

Species at Risk Act

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 December 6 & 7, 2006

 Gatineau, Quebec

Summary of Proceedings



The first Minister’s round table under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) took place on December 6th and 7th 2006. The objective of the round table was to engage participants in a dialogue about improving the conservation of species and the protection and recovery of species at risk, including the role of SARA therein. The 110 participants at the round table represented a broad cross section of Canadian society and have provided recommendations for consideration by the Minister of the Environment.

Recognizing the large number and diversity of participants, and given the breadth and complexity of the themes addressed consensus was not achieved on the recommendations.

This report details the recommendations generated at the round table and reports them verbatim as they were delivered during discussions.  This report also summarizes the proceedings and includes: a brief introduction to, and the objectives and structure of the round table; an overview of the presentations and related discussions that occurred on Day 1 and Day 2; the recommendations that came out of the discussions; the next steps in the round table process; and a summary of key messages expressed by participants in the final plenary.  A list of the round table participants, the preliminary recommendations, summaries of the contextual comments from participants that were reported in plenary, and the results of the participants’ evaluation of the round table process are presented as appendices.

Introduction (Background and Context)

The Species at Risk Act (SARA) states that the Minister of the Environment must, at least once every two years, convene a round table of persons interested in matters respecting the protection of wildlife species at risk in Canada to advise the Minister on those matters. The first Minister’s round table under SARA was held December 6 & 7, 2006 in Gatineau, Quebec. The Act stipulates that the Minister must respond to written recommendations from the round table within 180 days after receiving them.

Recognizing that roles and responsibilities for species at risk conservation are widely distributed, the 110 participants at the round table represented a broad cross section of Canadian society. Participants included individuals affiliated with: federal, provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments; Aboriginal peoples and organizations; communities; industry and business groups (including renewable and non-renewable natural resource use and extraction groups); academia; public advocacy groups (including environmental and conservation groups); and, youth (see Appendix 1 for the list of participants).

The agenda for the round table, including its themes and structure, and a comprehensive discussion document were prepared by officials in Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Parks Canada Agency (the core federal departments). These documents were informed by discussions with provincial and territorial government personnel and with several individuals and organizations with an interest in wildlife conservation and protection.