Agriculture

Working Groups

Manitoba EG&S Initiative Working Group

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.  

National EG&S Working Group

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:

  • The policy principles to provide overall direction.
  • The pilot project criteria (funding secured through Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food (ACAAF)).
  • A detailed work plan has been developed for the committee including research projects. Some of the papers are being prepared internally by AAFC, some joint with provincial input, and several requests for proposals have been used to solicit consultant reports.
  • A federal cost/benefit study, Cost-Efficiency Analysis of Possible EG&S Policy Options, was released in the fall of 2008.