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SPECIES AT RISK

"My grandfather told me, that it was prophesized by our Elders that someday there will be many changes to the World including changes to the Natural World. He said to me…that during my life time I will be able to witness this change. My grandfather said that our Ancestors have foretold that someday the frogs will go silent. For the past two years, there has been no sound coming from the swamps… a sound that would usually come during the spring- the frogs have gone silent and the change is coming." Elder L, Waswa. Eabametoong First Nation. May 2009.

BENEFITS OF ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

From Section 2 of Toolkit

By considering the environmental effects and mitigation measures early in the project planning cycle, environmental assessment can have many benefits, such as:

  • ensuring that the likely environmental effects of a project are identified, avoided, minimized or mitigated at an early stage;
  • increasing protection of the environment, socio-economic conditions, human health, traditional use of lands and resources;
  • ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources;
  • ensuring better project design;
  • reducing project costs and delays;
  • increasing government accountability; and
  • providing opportunity for direct participation of First Nations, the public and other potentially affected groups or individuals.

Environmental assessments are often conducted using an ongoing repetitive process with feedback from consultation and impact analysis that can influence the project design. Key issues and potential impacts that are identified through the consultation process are assessed. If the project impacts are forecasted to be significant or uncertain, the project can be redesigned and reassessed to ensure that the potential impacts have been prevented or minimized. This feedback may occur several times through the EA. This type of process may result in improved projects that have fewer negative environmental, socio-economic and cultural effects, and more benefits.

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