Environmental Integration Process – Screening Tool

Please note: this page was updated in April, 2016.

Environmental screening is required for all of Global Affairs Canada’s international development assistance initiatives. This screening tool is to be used by the Department's development staff and partners to determine the depth of environmental analysis that is required for an initiative. The categories are based on the initiative's potential environmental opportunities and risks, taking into account the sector, context, and scale. For partners, this tool is intended to serve as a guide; the final category determination is made by Global Affairs Canada.

User notes: The category definitions are used to screen the initiative (the examples are provided for illustrative purposes only). Categories C and D are used to screen out initiatives that are exempt from further environmental analysis. If an initiative's details change in the future, further analysis may be required and/or the category may be modified.

Category A — High Environmental Risk

Definition

Initiatives involving sectors and activities with potentially high environmental risk.

Category A initiatives require in-depth environmental analysis.

Note: The Project Officer at Global Affairs Canada is required to consult with a departmental Environment Specialist on category A initiatives.

Examples

Examples of category A initiatives include, but are not limited to:

Category B — Low or Moderate Environmental Risk or Any Environmental Opportunity

Definition

Initiatives involving sectors and activities with potential low to moderate environmental risk or any environmental opportunity. Category B represents the majority of Global Affairs Canada-funded international development assistance initiatives.

Category B initiatives require environmental analysis, the depth of which is commensurate with the initiative's environmental significance.

Note: The Project Officer at Global Affairs Canada is required to consult with a departmental Environment Specialist on category B initiatives.

Examples

Examples of Category B initiatives include, but are not limited to:

Category C — Negligible Environmental Risk or Opportunity

Definition

Initiatives involving sectors and activities with negligible environmental risk or opportunity. Category C applies only to initiatives that focus solely on the following specific sectors or activities, are not related to sectors or activities identified in category A or B, and include no physical works or physical activities related to physical worksFootnote 1:

Category C initiatives may proceed without further environmental analysis.

Note: Global Affairs Canada is not required to consult with its environment specialists on category C initiatives listed above. However the Department may determine that category C applies to initiatives other than those listed, based on a preliminary environmental analysis by its environment specialists.

Category D — Emergency

Definition

Initiatives carried out in response to an emergencyFootnote 2.

Emergency is defined according to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012, where "carrying out the initiative without delay is in the interest of preventing damage to property or the environment, or is in the interest of public health and safety."

Category D initiatives may proceed without further environmental analysis, although international best practices are recommended (e.g. Rapid Environmental Assessment, Sphere Minimum Standards for Humanitarian Response).

Initiatives undertaken after the initial emergency period (e.g. in response to a protracted humanitarian crisis, reconstruction and rehabilitation during the recovery phase, or disaster prevention and preparedness) are not considered category D and do require environmental analysis.

Note: The Project Officer at Global Affairs Canada is required to seek confirmation by a departmental Environment Specialist on category D initiatives. Further consultation with an Environment Specialist on the project is optional.

Examples

Examples of Category D initiatives pertain, but are not limited, to humanitarian assistance in immediate response to:

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Physical work is defined as anything that has been or will be constructed (human-made) and has a fixed location. Examples include a bridge, building, pipeline or aquaculture pond. Natural water bodies, airplanes and ships at sea are not physical works.

Physical activity is defined as an activity in the life cycle of a physical work and includes construction, expansion, operation, decommissioning and abandonment.

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Footnote 2

For Global Affairs Canada staff applying the Cabinet Directive on Strategic Environmental Assessment to policy, plan and program proposals, emergency is defined as “proposals prepared in response to a clear and immediate emergency where time is insufficient to undertake a strategic environmental assessment” (ministers are responsible for determining the existence of an emergency).

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