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The Manitoba EG&S Initiative Working Group was established in 2009 to develop an innovative, made in Manitoba EG&S approach for agro-Manitoba by integrating existing and new policies to provide multiple environmental and socio-economic benefits. The structure of the Manitoba EG&S Working Group has two key components: a Manitoba government Policy Working Group and an external Stakeholder Knowledge Group.
Manitoba is strongly committed to the continued development of provincial sustainable development and EG&S initiatives in the areas of water quality and quantity, climate change adaptation and mitigation and biodiversity. A number of relevant EG&S studies and pilot projects have been conducted in Manitoba and elsewhere and will continue. There is strong support for EG&S programming from environmental and industry groups in Manitoba.
A general inventory of existing policy initiatives and programs related to EG&S from farmlands indicates that there are a wide variety of instrument types being employed by both government and non-government organizations (NGOs) in Manitoba; however, few government programs are specifically directed toward the maintenance of natural capital on private farmlands and the erosion of natural capital is continuing. While province-wide programs may prove too costly, there is an opportunity to better co-ordinate EG&S programs using decision tools that could focus programming to address key issues.
The Manitoba EG&S Initiative Working Group is developing an EG&S policy paper, with the purpose of proposing the best path forward for a new policy initiative related to EG&S from Manitoba’s agricultural and rural lands. This working group will review and make recommendations for EG&S policy options for Manitoba’s rural and agricultural lands.
Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) is playing a leading role in the national EG&S policy development exercise. The National Working Group on EG&S is co-chaired by Manitoba. One of its first activities was the National EG&S Symposium, held in Winnipeg from February 14-16, 2006. The National EG&S Working Group has developed the foundation on which to support the policy framework.
The very successful symposium was co-hosted by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Manitoba government in co-operation with Environment Canada. Speakers from the United States of America, United Kingdom, France, Australia and the Organization for Economic Co-operation Development (OECD) shared the knowledge gained from their programs.
The National Working Group on EG&S has developed the foundation on which to support the policy framework: