The National Evironmental Form Planning Initiative
The Government of Canada's National Environmental Farm Planning will help Canada's agricultural producers develop and implement environmental farm plans (EFPs) through provincially delivered EFP programs. Objectives of the National Environmental Farm Plan Initiative include:
- helping the agriculture sector better identify its impacts on the environment;
- and promoting the growth of stewardship activities within the agriculture industry.
The National Environmental Farm Planning Initiative supports the environmental objectives of the federal-provincial-territorial Agricultural Policy Framework by:
- assuring Canadians that agricultural resources are being managed in a sustainable fashion;
- and helping to brand Canada in the global market as a source of safe, high-quality food produced in an environmentally responsible manner.
Through provincially delivered EFP programs available to all agricultural managers across Canada, producers are encouraged to develop environmental farm plans, implement beneficial management practices (BMPs) and to continuously evaluate the environmental performance of their farming operations.
An environmental farm plan is a voluntary and confidential process used by individual farmers to systematically identify environmental risks and benefits from their own farming operation, and to develop an action plan to mitigate the risks. The EFP process allows farmers to set priorities for actions which address on-farm environmental concerns, as well as those which serve the public interest.
Environmental farm planning provides farmers with better tools to manage their operations in an environmentally responsible manner. Producers who develop an EFP have an increased awareness of environmental risks and benefits on the farm, and potential solutions for managing them.
Producers who develop EFPs may be eligible for technical and financial assistance to implement their on-farm action plans through the National Farm Stewardship Program and the Greencover Canada Program.
The National Farm Stewardship Program
As part of Canada's National Environmental Farm Planning Initiative, the National Farm Stewardship Program (NFSP) will provide technical and financial assistance to support adoption of beneficial management practices by agricultural producers and land managers.
Beneficial management practices (BMPs) are farm management practices that:
- minimize and mitigate impacts and risks to the environment, by maintaining or improving the quality of soil, water, air and biodiversity;
- ensure the long term health and sustainability of natural resources used for agricultural production;
- and, support the long-term economic and environmental viability of the agriculture industry.
Recognizing that agricultural landscapes, farming practices and potential environmental risks vary across Canada, the National Farm Stewardship Program has been designed to allow provinces the flexibility to support BMPs that address regional priorities. By ensuring that BMPs eligible under the program are nationally acceptable and regionally appropriate, the NFSP supports Canada's objective to be recognized as a leader in environmentally responsible agricultural production.
The Greencover Canada program is a five-year, $110-million Government of Canada initiative to help producers, improve their grassland-management practices, protect water quality, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, and enhance biodiversity and wildlife habitat.
A national program, Greencover Canada focuses on four components:
- land conversion - converting environmentally sensitive land to perennial cover;
- critical areas - managing agricultural land near water;
- technical assistance and regional technical assistance - helping producers adopt beneficial management practices; Watershed Evaluation of BMPs (WEBs);shelterbelts - planting trees on agricultural land.
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