Planning, Policy, and Legislation
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Key Ideas

Parks, protected, and conserved areas are affected and regulated by numerous government legislations and policies. Management of parks and protected areas systems and programs are guided by the Constitution, public laws, treaties, executive orders, regulations and directives by both Canadian provincial and federal governments. In general, the main difference between policy and legislation is that legislation is a formal enacted law made by the judicial government, while a policy is a course of action adopted by an organization to achieve realistic goals on a given topic. In some cases, once laws are enacted, the authority to interpret and implement them is delegated to the appropriate levels of government. In these circumstances, government agencies may develop policies and targets to interpret and correct any ambiguities left unaddressed by a law in question.  

Given the importance of policy and legislation in parks management, operations, and usage; CPPCL actively monitors new and existing policy, legislation, and agreements impacting parks in order to provide updates and foster accessible information to all practitioners in the pan-Canadian parks and protected areas community. Featured below are our current policy/legislative scans in areas of interest relevant to parks and protected areas.  

Parks Acts & Legislation Database​

Park Acts and regulations provides for the establishment, protection, management, planning and control of provincial and federal parks, wildland and recreation areas, for the preservation of Canadian natural heritage and ecological integrity, as well as for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future generations. Provinces and territories manage their own natural resources, including forests, except on federal lands, such as First Nations lands and national parks. Each province and territory sets the policies, legislation and other regulatory matters for its own resources. This database is a comprehensive collection of all parks and protected areas acts, legislations, and other regulations.  

The database is below.

The following key resources have been curated to highlight important ideas related to this resource page topic.

Mapping the Work

Links for planning, policy, or regulations within federal, provincial, or territorial parks and protected areas agencies.

Other research network resources related to this resource page topic. Add resources to the map using the pink button in the lower right corner. 

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CPPCL is grateful for a community of colleagues working in and helping build our understanding in this area of parks and protected areas leadership.

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