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Proposals BACKGROUND: Government has given parks and ecological reserves the highest level of protection through the Protected Areas of British Columbia Act. Accordingly, in this Ministry, we need to ensure that all developers are fully conversant with this legislated protection to avoid the generation of proposals that may affect designated protected areas. With the high level of legislative protection for designated parks and ecological reserves, development proposals normally cannot and should not be considered. However there may be exceptional circumstances where the public interest may warrant government considering the possibility of modifying boundaries. Given this there is a need for Ministry policy principles and a defined process that will maintain the integrity of protected areas while, in exceptional circumstances, allowing for the possibility of boundary review. POLICY: The following policy principles will guide any such review: 1. The long term protection of protected areas in Be and the integrity of their associated ecological, recreational and cultural values remains paramount. 2. Given the legislative protection afforded protected areas, there will be few circumstances where boundary modifications will be considered. Therefore, all development proponents will be advised to avoid protected areas. 3. In exceptional circumstances there may be overarching public interest reasons to consider proposals to modify protected area boundaries. Evaluation of all such proposals must adhere to the following requirements: • demonstration of compelling provincial social and environmental benefit that exceeds preserving the integrity of the existing boundary; • demonstration that the full range of possible options to avoid the protected area have been considered and exhausted; • demonstration that the development proposal and mitigation measures will have the least possible impact on protected area integrity and attributes; and • identification of compensation measures that would result in no-net-Ioss to protected area values.
-24. The process for evaluating proposals that could lead to recommendations to modify protected area boundaries will only be advanced after a full public review conducted by a neutral agency. This process will be applied consistently and requires: • comprehensive proponent-funded studies and technical evaluation as required; • appropriate open and thorough proponent-funded public and First Nations consultation; • adequate time to undertake evaluation and consultation; and • appropriate integration with government's normal environmental assessment or development review processes. IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICY DIRECTIVE~
This policy directive is to be applied to all new private or public sector development proposals that would require changing the legal boundaries of protected areas. Obviously, this policy directive does not apply to protected area boundary . changes resulting from correction of administrative errors or enhancement of protected areas. This directive is not designed to deal with protected area boundary changes that may result from land use plan amendments or treaty negotiations with First Nations, however some of these principles embodied in this policy directive may be applicable. The Assistant Deputy Minister of the Resource Planning Division, Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management (MSRM) and the Assistant Deputy Minister of Environmental Stewardship Division, Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, are co-chairs of a Review Committee in place to respond to the occasional proposal that may merit consideration by Government. The role of this Review Committee is to facilitate the process of reviewing any future proposals. Given the role of the Resource Planning Division as a neutral facilitator of land use decisions, it will have the responsibility of establishing and managing any teams required to assess proposals. This policy directive is to be implemented according to the attached process guidelines. The process can be refined as necessary to achieve further efficiencies and improvements as long as the integrity of the stated policies is maintained.
PRESERVING PROTECTED AREA VALUES AND BOUNDARY INTEGRITY PROCESS GUIDELINES FOR RESPONDING TO
Introduction: At the earliest time that any government agency receives a development proposal that may traverse, be adjacent to, or otherwise impact designated protected areas, the agency will advise the Environmental Stewardship Regional Manager prior to issuance of any tenures, rights or approvals. (I.e. Interagency Referral Process). The proponent will be advised that the Protected Area legislation ensures that protected areas have long term protection from developments that do not meet the tests of this legislation and that development proposals should avoid protected areas. The proponent will also be advised to thoroughly evaluate and document alternatives that avoid protected areas prior to submitting proposals for consideration under the process defined in the Ministerial Directive. (Prior to Level II in the process) Level I Environmental Stewardship Pre-screening
Proposals referred to the Environmental Stewardship Regional Manager (Regional Manager) are evaluated according to the tests of the protected area legislation and approved management plan(s). The Regional Manager decides whether a park use permit can be issued to authorise the proposed use based on these tests. If the proposed use cannot be authorised the Regional Manager advises the proponent and the appropriate Regional Director, Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management. The proponent is also informed of the Ministerial Directive on Preserving Protected Area Values and Boundary Integrity and the policies, procedures and process for responding to development proposals. The proponent decides either to withdraw the proposal within the protected area or to proceed to Level II of the process.
Level II Step 1
Review Process Proponent prepares and submits a proposal that is consistent with the policy principles to the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) Review
Committee (RC). (RC Co-chairs are ADM - Environmental Stewardship Division, Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, and ADM - Resource Planning Division, Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management.) The RC Co-chairs determines the composition of the committee and may request a briefing from the appropriate IAMC. Step 2 The RC reviews the proposal, tests it against the policy principles presented in the Ministerial Directive, discusses it with the appropriate agencies, assesses the government interests and either rejects the request and advises the proponent, or appoints a Project Review Team (PRT). The PRT prepares a Project Review Terms of Reference to address information and consultation requirements. The RC approves the Project Review Terms of Reference then gives them to the proponent for consideration. The proponent decides whether to proceed according to the Project Review Terms of Reference. If the proponent decides not to proceed then the proposal in the protected area is withdrawn. If the proponent decides to proceed then the RC advises the appropriate ministers that the review is proceeding. The proponent provides the documentation required by the Project Review Terms of Reference to the PRT. The PRT reviews the proponent documentation, ensures that the Terms of Reference have been met and reports to the RC on the adequacy and results of the assessment. Level III Step 6 Approval Process
The RC reviews the PRT report and prepares a decision document for the Deputy Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection with a recommendation on whether or not to proceed to the next level of consideration. The decision document identifies all implementation requirements, including mitigation and compensation measures and proponent obligations in order to adhere to the policy principles of the Ministerial Directive.
The Deputy Minister takes the decision document to the Deputy Minister's Committee on Natural Resources and the Economy to
determine the level of support for all implementation components, including mitigation and compensation measures. If the decision is "yes", then the decision document and recommendation is presented to the Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection for consideration. If the decision is "no", then the Deputy Minister instructs the RC on an appropriate course of action Step 8 The Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection decides on whether or not to proceed to Cabinet with a recommendation to amend the protected area boundary along wlth all other decision implementation requirements. Cabinet makes a decision on proposed boundary amendments. If "yes", Cabinet also identifies associated requirements such as proponent obligations regarding mitigation, compensation and any other implementation criteria. The Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection informs the proponent of Cabinet's decision. If "no", the proponent is advised that the proposal has been rejected, If "yes", the Minister directs: a) the RC to outline the mitigation and compensation requirements, bonding and other necessary measures to the proponent; and b) Ministry staff to prepare the necessary legislative amendments and submit them for consideration during the next available legislative session.
Step 11 The Legislative Assembly considers the proposed boundary amendment and makes a decision. If the amendment is approved then the protected area boundary is amended by legislation.
Levell Environmental Stewardship Pre-screening
Environmental Stewardship Regional Manager decides whether proposal passes tests of legislation and management plan
Proponent decides whether there is merit in proceeding
Level II Review Process
Proponent submits proposal to ADM Review Committee (RC) Review Committee review based on policy principles
Project Review Team ApPointed
Project Review Team prepares Terms of Reference for proponent consideration Proponent decides whether to proceed according to the Terms of Reference r-+<::.._prdpd$atL'
Ministers advised and review process proceeds Project Review Team reviews proponent documentation and provides a final report to the Review Committee Review Committee prepares decision options for Deputy Minister of WLAP Deputy Minister's Committee on Natural Resources and the Economy advice Yes Step 8 Step 9 Step 10 Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection decision on whether to proceed to Cabinet Deputy instructs PRe on course of action
Level III Approval Process
Minister ofWLAP informs proponent of decision
Legislative Assembly decision
PRESERVING PROTECTED AREA VALUES AND BOUNDARY INTEGRITY REVIEW PROCESS STRUCTURES, ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES Note: Proponent role and responsibilities identified separately. ADM Review Committee (RC):
The Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Resource Planning Division, Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management (MSRM) and the ADM, Environmental Stewardship Division, Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection (WLAP), are co-chairs of this Committee. Upon receipt of a proposal intended for consideration under this process the co-chairs will determine whether the committee will be comprised of only themselves or whether other ADMs will be asked to participate as committee members. Responsibilities: Lead the process and recommend appropriate improvements to the process Ensuring that proponents are advised of the "policies and procedures for responding to development proposals" as identified through the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection "directive for preserving protected area values and boundary integrity." Receiving proposals from proponents Preliminary review based onpolicy principles stated in Ministerial Policy Directive Appoint Project Review Team Approve Project Review Terms of Reference Advise Ministers when a review process is about to proceed Provide Project Review Terms of Reference to proponent Receive and evaluate Project Review Team final report Prepare Decision Document for Deputy Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection (and Deputy Minister's Committee on Natural Resources and the Economy) Provide information advisories and briefings on the process to agencies, proponents and others as appropriate
• • • • • • • •
Project Review Team (PRT): The Project Review Team is appointed by the ADM Review Committee (RC) on a case by case basis and consists of staff from key agencies deemed appropriate by the RC. The PRT is appointed when the RC determines that the proponent is prepared to proceed with a proposal and a Project Review terms of reference is required. The PRT will remain in place until a final decision has been made or the proponent has withdrawn the proposal according to the process.
• • • • Prepare Project Review Terms of Reference Provide technical advice concerning the requirements of the Project Review Terms of Reference to proponent on request Review proponent documentation according to the Project Review Terms of Reference and prepare a final evaluation report to the RC Assist the RC in the preparation of the Decision Document required for the Deputy Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection
Regional Director, Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management:
The Regional Director in the region of the proposal may be asked by the RC to provide briefing information relevant to the proposal at any step in the process.
• Provide advice to the Review Committee (RC) on the feasibility of mitigation and compensation measures and all aspects of implementation of a decision to proceed with a protected area boundary amendment recommendation.
PRESERVING PROTECTED AREA VALUES AND BOUNDARY INTEGRITY PROPONENT ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Proponents are considered to be any individual, group, company, agency, etc. from the private or public sector that brings forward a development proposal that, if approved, would require changing the legal boundaries of a protected area. At the earliest time that any government agency receives an indication of intent that such a proposal may be forthcoming the agency will advise the Environmental Stewardship Regional Manager. At that time the proponent will be advised that the Protected Area legislation ensures that protected areas have long term protection from such uses and that their proposals should avoid protected areas.
If the proponent wishes to proceed to Level II in the process and submits a proposal to the Review Committee (RC) then the proponent will assume the following responsibilities:
• • • • Provide a clear, comprehensive and documented demonstration that the full range of possible options to avoid the protected area have been considered Provide funding for studies and technical evaluation as required by the Project review Terms of Reference Provide funding for appropriate open and thorough public and First Nations consultation as required by the Project review Terms of Reference Comply with all mitigation and compensation requirements, bonding and other implementation measures identified as a proponent responsibility in the event that the Legislative Assembly decides that the protected area boundary is to be amended.
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