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June 2005    
Here is the latest edition of CEGN Issues & Updates highlighting items of potential interest to CEGN members. In this issue:
  • 2005 RIO Report Card on Environmental Performance

  • Great Lakes Basin Water Management:  Revised Draft Annex Agreements

  • Focus on Corporate Social Responsibility

  • New resources on:
    • Advocacy funding;
    • Foundations supporting thoughtful real estate development;
    • Smart Growth Canada Network conference proceedings;
    • Illness costs of air pollution in Ontario;
    • Air pollution in the Great Lakes basin;
    • Impacts of gas development in Northern Canada;
    • Impact of the Mackenzie Gas Project on birds and bird habitat;
    • Regulation of the oil and gas industry in BC; and
    • Capacity challenges of NVOs in rural Ontario.

  • Upcoming events, and

  • CEGN member news

2005 RIO Report Card on Environmental Performance

The Sierra Club of Canada released its 13th annual Report on International Obligations (RIO) to measure progress on environment and development commitments by the federal and provincial governments.  The federal government was graded in eight areas as follows:  commitment to increase overseas development assistance to 0.7% of GDP (C+); commitment to reduce greenhouse gases (B-); federal commitment to biodiversity (D+); commitment to review and reform pesticides and toxics policies (F); commitment to environmental assessment (C+); Agenda 21 commitment to make trade and environment mutually supportive (F); commitment to the conservation and sustainable use of living marine resources (F); and forests (C).  At the provincial level, most governments were rated on two issues:  climate change and biodiversity.  PEI, Newfoundland/Labrador and Quebec received solid grades for all issues, while New Brunswick and Nova Scotia made progress in protecting biodiversity.  Two provinces – British Columbia and Alberta – received failing grades in all categories.  For each of the graded issues, the RIO report provides a useful capsule summary of government initiatives over the past year including the identification of key outstanding issues and concerns.  The full 66-page report is available at: http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/rio/index.html

Great Lakes Basin Water Management: Revised Draft Annex Agreements

On June 27, 2005 the Council of Great Lakes Governors released significantly revised draft agreements on the protection and management of Great Lakes Basin waters.  As reported in previous editions of Issues & Updates, the Great Lakes Charter Annex was signed in 2001 by Ontario and Quebec and the eight Great Lakes states to address concerns about water withdrawal and diversion from the Basin.  Last July (2004) the Council released draft agreements for implementing “Annex 2001”.  After an extended period of public comment and strong representations from Canadian negotiators (especially the Ontario government), the Council has released two significantly revised draft agreements.  (One agreement is a “compact” that would be binding on the U.S. states and the other is a non-binding good-faith agreement between the eight states and two provinces that would provide consistency across the border.)   Key environmental players have reacted positively to the new agreements as a “tremendous” improvement over the previous version – essentially changing the agreements from a system for permitting diversions, with exceptions, to a system for prohibiting diversions, with exceptions.  Specific improvements include, for example:
  • Prohibition of most water diversions from the Great Lakes, with a few strictly regulated exceptions;
  • Requirement of the states and provinces to implement substantial protections against damaging use of lake, stream and groundwater either inside or outside the basin;
  • Giving Ontario and Quebec a stronger voice by requiring regional review with consensus required for all applications over specific levels;
  • Formal recognition of the federal governments and the International Joint Commission under the Boundary Waters Treaty.

Despite their general approval of the new drafts, environmental groups caution that some concerns remain.  A key threat, for example, is the request of communities and counties straddling the basin to be included fully within the boundaries, this making them eligible for provision of Great Lakes drinking water.  In response, groups are asking that such applicants be required to provide scientific proof that their areas are connected by groundwater to the Great Lakes watershed.  While working to have these concerns addressed, some like CELA argue that, despite any shortcomings, it is essential to get a commitment on the draft agreements by this fall before political pressures derail the process.  The Council of Great Lakes Governors has set a 60-day consultation period from June 30th to August 29th.  Public meetings are currently being held in Ontario (July 5-14) and will be held in Quebec on July 26th and 28th. 

Further information on the Annex agreements is available from a variety of sources: Council of Great Lakes Governors; Canadian Environmental Law Association (see especially Why CELA is supporting new drafts of thee Great Lakes Charter Annex); Great Lakes United; Great Lakes Forever (includes a list of the public consultation meetings); Sierra Club of Canada; Program on Water Resources – University of Toronto (is holding a bilateral workshop on the agreements on July 29); Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources; Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs (Québec); and the

Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation.

Focus on Corporate Social Responsibility

With the Conference Board of Canada’s 2005 Corporate Responsibility Conference being held in mid-May, this past month has seen the release of a variety of new resources focusing on different aspects of CSR.  These include:
  • The State of CSR in Canada”  (Conference Board CEO Anne Golden’s speech, May 11, 2005) These remarks outline the Conference Board’s model of CSR in which the environment is a major focus – both as part of the business case for environmental stewardship, but also of the “sustainability case”  in terms of the survival of humanity.  Noting that this latter issue is “front and centre” at the Conference Board, Golden also describes their major research work, the Canada Project, which is focused on setting out comprehensive policy directions for Canada to pursue sustainable prosperity.  For a copy of Golden’s speech click here.
  • 2 > 1 Partnering for Innovation:  Driving Change Through Business/NGO Partnerships (Canadian Business for Social Responsibility, 2005) This report focuses on the “innovation partnership” defined by CBSR as a partnership designed to help business achieve its goals in a more socially and environmentally responsible manner.  It describes the characteristics, benefits and success factors of such partnerships.  Three case studies are included to illustrate these qualities – two of these are partnerships with an environment group:  (1) World Wildlife Fund  Canada and Tembec and (2) World Wildlife Fund Canada and NorskeCanada.  The 25-page report is available at: http://www.cbsr.ca/files/BNGOPartnerships.pdf
  • Common Ground: A Special Information Supplement for Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (Globe and Mail, June 27, 2005). The Council on Business and Social Responsibility (CBSR) launched its second CSR Canada information supplement in the Globe and Mail.  A PDF copy of the supplement is available at: http://www.cbsr.ca/files/CSRCanadaPartnerships-toGMFINAL.pdf
  • KPMG International Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2005 (KPMG, 2005) This report, which analyses trends in corporate responsibility reporting of the world’s largest corporations found that Canada’s corporate social responsibility reporting has improved significantly since 2002, now ranking third among the 16 nations surveyed (behind Japan and the U.K.) in terms of the percentage of companies that issue a stand alone CSR report.  For more information: http://www.kpmg.ca/en/news/pr20050615.html
  • Measuring Up: A Study on Corporate Sustainability Reporting in Canada (Certified General Accountants Association of Canada, June 2005)  In an interesting counterpoint to the previous item, this report also shows increasing levels of sustainability reporting, but finds that there are many inconsistencies in reporting, leading to credibility issues.  For further information:  http://www.cga-canada.org/web/ca_mdr_2005-06-07.htm
  • 50 Best Corporate Citizens (Corporate Knights, 2005)  Corporate Knights magazine recently released its list of the best 50 corporate citizens in Canada.  Available at: http://www.corporateknights.ca/best50/index.asp
  • Corporate Disclosure and Capital Markets – Demand and Supply of Financially Relevant Corporate Responsibility Information (NRTEE, 2004) and Comparative Study of U.K. and Canadian Pension Fund Transparency Practices (NRTEE, 2004) These two recently released background papers from the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy are available at:  http://www.nrtee-trnee.ca/eng/index_e.htm

New Resources  
  • Advocacy Funding:  The Philanthropy of Changing Minds (GrantCraft, 2005)  This guide presents the views and experience of a wide variety of grantmakers who have supported advocacy.  Topics addressed include why foundations support advocacy, approaches/components of their advocacy efforts, risks involved, and evaluating advocacy efforts.   While the section on what is permissible under the law is directly applicable only to the U.S., the report provides both a philosophical and practical overview that will also be of interest to Canadian funders.  Available at:  www.grantcraft.org/catalog/guides/advocacy/index.html
  • Foundations and Real Estate:  A Guide for Funders Interested in Building Better Communities (Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, 2004)  Noting that funders are exploring how they can support more thoughtful real estate development in their regions, this report presents 19 stories that demonstrate the strategic use of various types of real estate investment, including grantmaking, program-related investment, credit enhancement, market-rate portfolio investment and purchasing funder office space.  Available at: http://www.fundersnetwork.org/info-url_nocat2778/info-url_nocat_show.htm?doc_id=248705
  • Smart Growth Canada Network Conference Proceedings (SGCN, 2005) In March 2005 the SmartGrowth Canada Network hosted a national conference on creating an e-course capacity building strategy for implementing smart growth and sustainable principles in towns and cities.  The conference proceedings, including keynote addresses, are available online at:  http://www.smartgrowth.ca/previous_e3.html
  • The Illness Costs of Air Pollution: 2005-2026 Health & Economic Damage Estimates (Ontario Medical Association, June 2005) This report provides revised estimates of the health effects (premature death, hospital admissions, emergency room visits and minor illnesses) and economic costs (lost productivity, healthcare costs, pain and suffering, and loss of life) of air pollution in Ontario. Key findings include: about 5,800 premature deaths in Ontario in 2005 associated with exposure to air pollution; about 17,000 Ontarians admitted to hospitals in 2005 with health problems related to air pollution exposure; and combined healthcare and lost productivity costs in Ontario estimated to reach almost a billion dollars for 2005.  For more information:  http://www.oma.org/pcomm/pressrel/pr050614.htm
  • Great Lakes, Great Air Pollution (Environmental Defence and Canadian Environmental Law Association, June 2005) Based on data from the national Pollutant Release Inventory, this report analyses levels of air pollutants in the Great Lakes basin.  Available at: http://www.PollutionWatch.org
  • A Peak into the Future:  Potential Landscape Impacts of Gas Development in Northern Canada (By Peggy Holroyd & Hal Retzer, Pembina Institute, June 2005) This paper illustrates the potential physical footprint of gas development in three regions of the North: the Mackenzie Delta; Colville Hills; and Peel Plateau.  Based on current estimated gas reserves, the study used computer modeling to project the number of wells, pipelines, roads and seismic lines needed for extraction.  The study concludes that development in the North will increase significantly over a period of 10 to 20 years, resulting in an ultimate footprint similar to other mature gas fields in Western Canada’s Sedimentary Basin.  The 30-page report is available at: http://www.pembina.org/newsitem.asp?newsid=143&section= 
  • Migratory Birds and Important Bird Areas (Nature Canada, June 2005) This report is a technical review of the adequacy of the Mackenzie Gas Project environmental impact statement (EIS), prepared by pipeline proponents, in addressing birds and their habitat.  The report concludes that the EIS does not adequately address this issue, including a failure to document the effects of the project on five Important Bird Areas located partially or entirely in the project area. A copy of the 48-page report is available at: http://www.naturecanada.ca/newsroom/jun_23_05.html
  • This Land is Their Land: An Audit of the Regulation of the Oil and Gas Industry in BC (Sierra Legal Defence Fund, June 2005)  This report looks at five areas – landowner rights, strength and independence of the regulator, environmental protection, protection of First Nations’ rights, and management of revenues – and provides an analysis of BC’s progress in each area.  Also included is a comparison between BC, Alberta and Colorado.  A four-page summary and 81-page full report are available at: http://www.sierralegal.org/m_archive/pr05_06_23.html
  • The Rural Charitable Sector Research Initiative Phase II: The Capacity Challenges of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations in Rural Ontario (by Susan Stowe & Cathy Barr, Imagine Canada, 2005) Commissioned by the Foundation for Rural Living, and funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, this report summarizes research into the capacity challenges of rural nonprofit and voluntary organizations.  The 25-page report is available at: http://www.frl.on.ca/frl/docs/RCSI_Phase_II_Report_Final.pdf

Upcoming Events  
  • IWA Watershed Conference 2005:  10th International Specialist Conference on Watershed and River Basin Management (September 13-15, Calgary AB) Topics include:  water resources, impact of climate change on water resources, sustainable urban drainage, pollution sources and control, monitoring and modeling.  For more information click here.
  • Nurturing a Groundswell:  EGA 2005 Fall Retreat (September 24-28, New Paltz NY)  The program for the Environmental Grantmakers Association’s annual retreat is now available on its website at:  http://www.ega.org
  • Canada’s Oceans:  Research, Management & the Human Dimension (September 29-October 1, Ottawa ON)  The Ocean Management Resource Network’s 2005 national conference will gather ocean and coastal researchers, managers, and policy makers to focus on the use and management of Canada’s three oceans.  For more information:  http://www.omrn.ca/eng_conference2005.html
  • Creating Ripples:  Education, Environment and Culture (September 29 – October 2, Huntsville ON)  An international gathering of environmental, outdoor and global educators.  For more information: http://www.eecom.org/ripples2005
  • 3rd National Food Security Assembly (September 30 – October 2, Waterloo ON) Topics include:  global food security, healthy and safe foods, sustainable food systems, hunger and emergency food – plus the launch of the new national food security organization.  For more information:  http://www.region.waterloo.on.ca/ph under “Events”
  • Wilderness, Wildlands and People – A Partnership for the Planet:  8th World Wilderness Congress (September 30 – October 6, Anchorage AK) Initiated by The WILD Foundation , the World Wilderness Congress (WWC) is an international environmental forum held every three to four years.  This Congress will have a special focus on the wilderness, wildlands and marine resources of Alaska, Siberia, Canada and the North Pacific.  For more information: http://www.8wwc.org
  • It’s So Easy Funding Green:  The First National Green Building Conference for Funders (October 24-26, Cleveland OH) This first ever funder networking and learning conference will highlight how funders can support green building and green neighbourhood design through their grantmaking, investment portfolios, and commercial office choices.  For more information click here.

CEGN Member News  
  • The Laidlaw Foundation’s 2004 Annual report is now available on the foundation’s website at  http://www.laidlawfdn.org under "News".
  • The Ontario Trillium Foundation recently released Building Capacity, Granting for Impact, a report on its research on organizational capacity building.  The full 47-page report and an executive summary are available at:  http://www.trilliumfoundation.org/OTF-English/new/index.htm . Funders with questions or comments about the research are encouraged to contact Tracey Robertson, Project Leader, at Troberts@trilliumfoundation.org or 519-880-0660.