It’s been one year since Environment and Water and Sustainable Resource Development merged into one ministry – and we’ve seen significant achievements during that short time.
Integrated Resource Management
We’re taking an integrated approach to managing our resources, which includes a number of initiatives:
- A province-wide environmental monitoring, evaluation, and reporting system;
- A new single regulator for oil and gas; and
- Completed regional plans under the provincial Land-use Framework;
We’ve taken unprecedented steps to enhance environmental monitoring across that province that is based on science and is open and transparent:
- Implementing the joint oil sands monitoring program with the federal government; and
- Creating an arms-length agency to oversee all environmental monitoring province-wide
- A one-stop approach for oil, gas, oil sands and coal projects will make it easier for Albertans and industry to navigate the regulation system while achieving our environmental outcomes;
- Improve efficiency and effectiveness; and
- Ensure Alberta remains an attractive place to do business while protecting the environment and respecting landowners.
The Lower Athabasca Regional Plan, approved in September 2012, is a legally-binding commitment to Albertans that government will:
- Set environmental limits for air and water, conserve lands and develop new environmental policies;
- Diversify our economy and bolster our forestry and agricultural sectors;
- Develop new year-round recreational areas
- Include aboriginal people in land-use planning in a way that respects their constitutionally protected rights.
The public will have an opportunity to provide their feedback on the draft South Saskatchewan Regional Plan this fall to ensure the final plan takes into account the feedback received from Albertans, the Regional Advisory Council and stakeholders.
We’re also making progress on other important initiatives.
Thousands of Albertans shared their feedback on four priority areas: healthy lakes, water use in hydraulic fracturing, water management and municipal drinking and wastewater systems during the recent Water Conversation. Their input will help ensure our future water policies meet our economic, environmental and social needs for generations to come.
We, together with the Federal Minister of Environment are currently reviewing and renewing a sector by sector approach to our Climate Change Strategy and are committed to achieving our climate change targets.
- To date, $312 million has been paid into a clean energy technology fund with more than $181 million already invested in 49 clean energy projects – including innovations in renewable and alternative energy.
We’re redefining forestry and remain committed to being Alberta’s greenest manufacturing industry by:
- Investing in innovation and new product development;
- Developing the Forest Products Roadmap strategy;
- Diversifying global markets;
- Maintaining healthy, sustainable forests; and
- Managing mountain pine beetle infestations.
I am proud of our team and the accomplishments we’ve made so far, and I look forward to achieving many more during the upcoming year.
– Diana McQueen, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development