Government of Canada Compendium of Cumulative Effects Initiatives

Project Details

Vancouver, British Columbia; Ottawa, Ontario
Environment and Climate Change Canada
2020; 2022 – 2023
Team Member(s):
Darcy Pickard, Aline Litt, Hugh Stimson, Alex Crew
Service Area(s):
Cumulative Effects Assessment
Services Employed:
Science Communication, Knowledge Synthesis, Facilitation & Engagement, GIS Analysis

The Problem We Aimed to Solve

Cumulative effects are increasingly recognized as a concern for all Canadians. The federal government has several initiatives to understand, monitor, and manage cumulative effects, however, a fundamental challenge remains with coordinating the diversity of these activities across jurisdictions and government departments. To understand the breadth of federal efforts in the realm of cumulative effects, there is a need to develop a synthesis of the current federal initiatives to identify opportunities to coordinate, avoid redundancy, and ensure government efforts are employed in the most productive way to foster collaboration within the federal family and with external partners.

How We Helped

In 2020, ESSA was retained by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) to identify and catalogue cumulative effects and cumulative effects relevant initiatives with the goal of understanding the breadth and nature of federal cumulative effects initiatives, fostering collaboration among federal departments and partners, and further supporting various kinds of cumulative effects assessments. ESSA developed two compendia containing cumulative effects-related initiatives from within ECCC and across various other Government of Canada departments and agencies. The compendia summarized each initiative’s focus, location, broad methodology, and key points that are likely to be of interest to federal departments. This work was submitted to ECCC as an internal report and was followed with a series of workshops led by ESSA with federal departments. In 2022-23 ESSA was retained again by ECCC to update the 2020 Compendium and prepare the Compendium for public access on an interactive website.

Our Project’s Impacts

The compendium produced by ESSA provided a strong baseline of cumulative effect-related initiatives in the federal government, improving the understanding of the breadth and nature of federal cumulative effects initiatives. The compendium provided a simple tool for ECCC to filter initiatives by type, region, valued component, activities, among others to identify related or supporting initiatives and identify contacts or relevant outputs. The 2022 compendium provided an update to this work, further improving the understanding of the breadth and nature of federal cumulative effects initiatives, while also being made publicly available, leading to a better understanding of cumulative effects for Canadians.