Cumulative Effects Management
Alberta is looking to shift to a Cumulative Effects Management System (CEMS). Within this system, various tools, resources and relationships will work together to comprehensively manage activities that affect the environment, economy and society in a particular place. It is an adaptive management system that follows a “plan-do-check” approach to setting, meeting and evaluating place-based outcomes.
The foundation of a functioning system is knowledge and performance management, having the best information possible to set outcomes, continuously assess them, and determine when management actions are required. As described in the figure that follows, outcomes are meant to be measured and evaluated continuously, and management actions can be enforced throughout the system.
If the system is working well, the Government of Alberta will be better able to:
- inform, develop and achieve social, economic and environmental outcomes an area
- make decisions based on knowledge, performance measurement and evaluation
- simplify regulatory requirements and ensure alignment of provincial policies
- prevent against adverse effect to the environment
- identify and maximize opportunities on the landscape
The Government of Alberta is shifting to implement this system in the province, and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development has a leadership role on the environmental (bio-physical) component.