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Report of the
AGREEMENT MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE (AMC)
on
Tentative Program Area Priorities For
GREEN PLAN Agri-Food Funding in Ontario

  OBJECTIVES:

Review the results of Green Plan and other agri-food environmental sustainability planning and consultations to prepare for ACCORD Committee consideration a report addressing the following topics:

  1. Identify any major gaps.
  2. Suggest criteria for establishing priorities for Green Plan agri-food funding.
  3. Suggest a process to use for choosing and implementing Green Plan projects.

APPROACH:

1. Review Results of Other Processes for Establishing Priorities.

The main sources used as the basis for this review by the Agreement Management Committee (AMC) were:

  1. The June 1990 Federal-Provincial Agriculture Committee on Environmental Sustainability Report to Ministers of Agriculture. Its executive summary is attached. This report became the main basis for the agriculture component of Canada's Green Plan.
  2. Canada's Environmental Green Plan, released in December 1990.
  3. Proceedings of the Green Plan Ag Stakeholder's Forum which was held at the Kempenfelt Centre near Barrie Ontario in October 1991 and resulted in 30 programming recommendations.
  4. Comments, reports and minutes of the Accord Advisory Committee.
  5. Our Farm Environmental Agenda report and discussions.

2. Prioritize by Issue.

Earlier work identified eight main environmental issues for environmental sustainability in Canada's agri-food sector:

  1. soil quality
  2. water quality
  3. water quantity
  4. wildlife compatibility
  5. air and climate - national level
  6. energy - national level
  7. pollution and waste management
  8. genetic diversity - national level

Of these eight issues, Agriculture Canada is addressing three on a national basis (air and climate, energy, genetic diversity) rather than with funds controlled at the provincial level. In Ontario, there is general agreement that water quantity is not a major problem for agriculture.

The remaining four issues have become the focus of Green Plan activity in Ontario, including the stakeholder forum at Kempenfelt in October and in the various committees of stakeholders and officials associated with the Accord.

At the stakeholder forum in Kempenfelt, facilitators re-grouped the four issues into four categories of programming recommendations:

  1. Organic byproducts/ nutrient management;
  2. Integrated grassroots planning and communication;
  3. Natural heritage and wildlife habitat;
  4. On-farm planning for sustainable agriculture.

The Advisory Committee's review of the stakeholder forum proposed a different sorting of the 30 recommendations into seven action-oriented groupings, as opposed to grouping by issue. See next section.

The AMC suggests that there are two major priority issues and two secondary priority issues for allocating agri-food Green Plan funds in Ontario, and that as a starting point funds should be apportioned about as follows:

35% .. soil quality, including pollution effects
 
35% .. water quality, including pollution effects
 
15% .. waste management (defined narrowly)
 
15% .. wildlife compatibility with agriculture.

Note that environmental impacts of pesticides, fertilizer, manure and soil sediment are considered to be part of the soil quality and water quality categories. "Waste management" is defined narrowly as:

  1. the management of wastes associated with farm inputs from off-farm sources (eg. input packaging such as for pesticides and lubricants);
  2. on-farm management of organic waste from industry or municipalities.

Note also that at the internal Agriculture Canada meetings in early 1991, a major project on rabies eradication was proposed. The COESA Accord Committee and its AMC have both recommended that any rabies control project be considered only as one of possibly several proposals in the "wildlife compatibility with agriculture" category.

3. Prioritize by Type of Action Needed.

The F/P Agriculture Committee on Environmental Sustainability prescribed six types of action to address the identified environmental issues:

  1. Agricultural practices;
  2. Research;
  3. Education and awareness;
  4. Land use planning and management;
  5. Monitoring;
  6. Policy and program reform.

Internal meetings in early 1991 among Agriculture Canada branches in Ontario recommended a starting point of 40% for research and technology transfer activities, and 60% for "direct action" activities, a split roughly consistent with overall Green Plan intentions (across all sectors and all of Canada). The recommended 40% for research and technology transfer was to include associated research administration, and "research" included activity labelled under the National Soil Conservation Program (NSCP) as "Research", "Monitoring", and "Soil Survey".

The Advisory Committee's review of the stakeholder forum proposed sorting the 30 recommendations into seven action-oriented groupings:

  1. Those related to process;
  2. Involving a wider community in rural planning for sustainability;
  3. Education;
  4. Development of farm plans;
  5. Land use;
  6. Recycling organics;
  7. Other.

This proposal also suggested setting no priorities in advance, but rather call for proposals in six areas, and have the Advisory Committee review them to recommend which proposals should be funded.

The AMC has grouped the types of action into three categories deemed applicable for this review, and suggests tentative apportioning of funds among the actions approximately as follows:

 
30% ... Research and monitoring
 
45% ... Payments to farmers and their organizations
 
25% ... Technology Transfer, including awareness, demonstrations

4. Consider Factors Such as Complementarity With Other Programs.

The attempt is to minimize overlap and duplication, while trying to take mutual advantage of complementary programming. For example, finding a home for urban organic waste is primarily an urban problem so one may expect funding from ministries etc. who are charged with solving that problem. Agricultural funding and expertise can "leverage" funding in this way by helping to find a farmland home for the urban problem, while taking into account the impact on agriculture.

Similarly, preference should be given to activities where there is mutual complementarily with other OMAF and Agriculture Canada programs, and with other government and industry programs such as:

  • "Areas of Concern" and their 17 Remedial Action Plan (RAP) Committees under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
  • Ducks Unlimited and Eastern Habitat Joint Venture
  • Great Lakes Wetlands Strategy
  • MNR's woodlot programs
  • Others

 

Background of Green Plan RESEARCH Program

 Canada-Ontario GREEN PLAN

 

Created: 27 December, 1996 10:45:42
Last updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 11:17:02 PM