Establishing a World Class Public Information and Reporting System for Ecosystems in the Oil Sands Region – Report

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  • This report is one of two - this one (TR-5A) contains only the report; the other (TR-5A) contains the report and Appendices. This report presents a vision for a comprehensive and effective Public Information and Reporting System for Ecosystem Effects in the Oil Sands Region that is relevant, credible, durable, transparent, and robust. The report describes the key Principles and Elements of an information and reporting system that would provide Albertan’s and the World with assurance that ecosystem effects due to development in the Wood Buffalo region are reported and evaluated and, along with socio-economic information, support decision-making and responsible management of the land, air and water. The report describes two Scenarios to improve the current system. This report was developed through an intensive six month (January to June, 2010) structured process called the Challenge Dialogue System where we addressed the question of “What Constitutes an Adequate and Effective Public Information and Reporting System for Ecosystems in the Oil Sands Region?” This process involved 70 people drawn from industry, government (all levels), NGOs, First Nations, academia and the public. A one-day workshop in June 2010, attended by 25 people from government, industry, NGOs and staff from the four major monitoring programs in the Wood Buffalo Region, further refined the concepts arising from the written feedback. The Principles for an effective information and reporting system are: • Relevant (responsive, addresses key objectives, supports decisions) • Credible (science-based, consistent methodology, standardized reporting, verifiable, independent and objective, collaborative) • Understandable (increases public awareness, causal relations understood) • Transparent (publicly available data, methodology and reports, timely reporting) • Robust (durable, continuously-improving) Two scenarios were developed to provide advice to improving the current information and report system for ecosystem effects in the oil sands region. These scenarios are: • An Enhanced Information and Reporting System developed from the current assemblage of monitoring and reporting programs; and • A World Class Information and Reporting System that incorporates or replaces the current system. The Key Criteria for a World Class Information and Reporting System are: • Independence • Responsiveness • Administrative and operational integration • Transparent and collaborative governance structure • Stable funding • Integration across media • Ease of access to data and information • Excellence in reporting and communication • Understanding of causal relationships • Complex science-based information is understandable by all audiences • Operational excellence • Continuous improvement

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    Attribution 3.0 International