The 2019 Parks Canada Planning Forum was held on February 19
at the Banff Park Lodge. AMPPE was invited to once again take part in the stakeholder round table and I attended on behalf of our membership. The theme of the meeting this year was centred around the creation of the 2020 Parks Management Plan for Banff. This is the ten-year document that guides all operations and direction within the National Park for the coming decade.
This year’s meeting was divided into three sessions.
First was a presentation by the Parks Canada department heads on the 2018 State of the Parks Report. Good news on this front as Banff National Park has been assessed to be in very good shape in the majority of categories including ecological integrity, visitor experience, built assets, cultural assets and external relations.
For the second session we were asked to discuss ‘the scope of the 2020 plan’ including future trends and what’s at stake in importance of getting the plan right. Ideas included trends of climate change, the importance of low carbon transportation, matching visitation with asset investment, destination reputation and managing quality of visitor experience.
Thirdly, the attendees were tasked in breakout groups to determine high level principles that should be utilized to guide the creation of the 2020 Management Plan. Concepts presented include: Sustainability at the environmental, economic and social levels, transparency in process, collaboration of stakeholders, indigenous relations, inclusivity across demographics, leading according to the National Parks dedication clause, data driven policy, community awareness and thinking big!
The final request that was made by the stakeholders at the round table was for the opportunity to reconvene to discuss progress of the plan creation. AMPPE supports this concept and believes that it is critical to be involved in not only the planning discussions but the editing process once pen is put to paper. The timeline for the Management Plan is vague at this point, but due in Parliament before 2020, which means we need to remain engaged and diligent so that the outcome is representative of the needs of all stakeholders in the park – from ecological integrity to sustainable tourism to positive visitor experience. AMPPE is committed to ensuring the voices of our members are heard throughout the formulation of the 2020 Parks Management Plan. You can learn more and have your say