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Working together

Working with partners

Partners such as provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, municipalities, businesses, scientists, non-governmental organizations, and individual Canadians all make important contributions that are essential to achieving meaningful sustainable development results.

For example, federal, provincial, and territorial governments are working together, along with municipalities, Indigenous peoples, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and other partners to implement the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

Leading on plastic waste

Tackling plastic waste is a priority for Canadians and for the Government of Canada. We will continue to work with partners over the next 3 years to move toward a circular economy for plastics by pursuing zero plastic waste.

Actions to address plastic waste support 3 goals across our strategy:

  • to learn more about actions to address plastic waste in our own operations, including increasing the diversion of plastic waste, reducing our unnecessary use of single-use plastics and procuring more sustainable plastics products, see the Greening Government chapter
  • to learn more about work with provinces and territories to implement the Canada-wide strategy on zero plastic waste and keep plastics in the economy and out of landfills, see the Clean Growth chapter
  • to learn more about work to respond to the urgent problem of plastics pollution in the ocean, including supporting global action to address lost and abandoned fishing gear and plastic litter from ships, see the Healthy Coasts and Oceans chapter

We’re committed to working in partnership with Indigenous peoples and listening to their diverse voices and perspectives. Given Indigenous peoples’ unique understanding of and connection to Canada’s lands and waters, their involvement in environmental policy development and decision making is essential.

Indigenous peoples are valued partners in areas such as the recovery of species at risk and the management of national parks and protected areas. They contribute Indigenous Knowledge that supports decision making in areas such as biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of biological resources. Indigenous governments are also taking action to manage natural resources and protect the environment on their lands, including by establishing environmental protection legislation.

Cities and communities have a major impact on Canada’s sustainability. They make decisions related to public transit, waste management, infrastructure and buildings that affect greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, water quality and more. Their decisions also influence Canadians’ quality of life. Among other contributions, municipalities are essential partners in our historic infrastructure investments.

Canadian businesses also play a key role, including by developing clean technologies that contribute to a low-carbon economy. However, the role of the business community goes beyond clean technology. From natural resources to service industries, and from co-operatives to social enterprises, businesses are adopting sustainable practices and working to reduce their environmental footprint.

Science and data underpin our sustainable development agenda, from climate change policy to water stewardship to biodiversity protection. Canada’s scientists generate knowledge that supports progress in these and other areas. They also contribute to international initiatives—for example, to assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

United Nations Global Compact

Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) is the Canadian network of the United Nations Global Compact, the world's largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative that includes over 9000 businesses in over 160 countries.

The GCNC is dedicated to assisting over 85 Canadian organizations, including businesses, non-profit, investors and universities, with the advancement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact on Labour, Environment, Anti-Corruption and Human Rights.

Since tabling our 2016–2019 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, we’ve worked with the network to host an interactive panel discussion with the Canadian private sector on advancing collaboration on sustainable development in Canada, as well as to host a webinar during public consultations on the 2019–2022 strategy.

For more information:

Toward a new Arctic and Northern Policy Framework

The Government of Canada is co-developing a new Arctic and Northern Policy Framework with territorial, provincial and Indigenous partners. The framework represents a new way for Arctic and northern peoples, governments, leaders, organizations, and institutions to come together to set a consensus-based course towards better outcomes for everyone.

The framework will provide overarching direction to our priorities, activities, and investments in the Arctic and North, with a horizon of 2030. It is informed by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and aligns with the 2030 Agenda’s 17 SDGs. The framework builds upon work previously undertaken by Canada’s co-development partners to identify their own priorities. This includes the Pan-Territorial Vision for Sustainable Development, released in August 2017 by the governments of Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Budget 2019 proposes a number of new measures to support the framework and complement existing efforts to strengthen Arctic and northern communities. These measures include proposed investments to create a Canada-based permanent secretariat for the Sustainable Development Working Group of the Arctic Council.

Finally, non-governmental organizations contribute by advocating for sustainable development, carrying out public education and outreach, and taking action on the ground to protect the environment. For example, they support habitat conservation on private lands, participate in multi-stakeholder invasive species councils, and engage Canadians in citizen science initiatives.

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