Published In

Journal of Environmental Law and Practice

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2004

Subjects

forgotten; forest; peri-urban; protection; federal; government

Abstract

The forests found in Canada’s rapidly expanding urban fringes have been decimated by agricultural settlement and urban growth, yet they have been largely overlooked in Canadian forest policy debates. While these “peri-urban” forests fall mainly under provincial jurisdiction, this paper argues that the federal government has the authority and opportunity to negotiate a more active role for itself in this area. The paper assesses the federal government’s track record of international commitments and domestic action on peri-urban forests, canvassing developments in six policy areas: general principles; forest conservation and management; biodiversity and endangered species; land securement and ecological gifts; climate change; and sustainable cities. In all these areas the federal government’s international commitments relevant to peri-urban forests have been modest and its actions at home disappointing. The paper calls for a substantially enhanced federal role in peri-urban forest protection, with an emphasis on national coordination, strategic leadership and funding.

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