The new model will replace the Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency (AEMERA), which an independent review has determined is not the right delivery model to ensure effective and accountable oversight of environmental monitoring on behalf of Albertans.
“We are committed to doing the best job we can of monitoring the environmental impacts of industry and resource development as we build a more resilient, diversified economy. Outsourcing this work was not the answer. Moving expertise back into government under the guidance of two panels reporting to a new provincial Chief Scientist will allow us to strengthen our scientific capacity and be more transparent and credible in our reporting.”
The review of AEMERA found that the private model diverted overhead costs away from monitoring, led to confusion around roles and responsibilities, and limited resources.
As part of government’s commitment to building standards based on international best practices and a renewed partnership with Indigenous communities, the new structure will improve the province’s environmental monitoring and reporting system and will retain an independent science advisory panel and a traditional ecological knowledge advisory panel. The two panels will advise a new Environment and Parks division led by a Chief Scientist.
The Science Advisory Panel will report directly to Albertans on the province’s monitoring and science system. It will provide independent advice to the new Monitoring and Science Division on the collection, analysis and reporting of data. This new division will be led by Dr. Fred Wrona who will be moving over from AEMERA.
The new structure will also integrate traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) through a panel. The TEK panel will work with Indigenous communities to identify approaches that reflect community-based knowledge.
AEMERA was established in 2014 with the mandate of co-ordinating provincewide environmental monitoring and evaluation.