Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators

Environment Canada is pleased to announce the update of four existing indicators on the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) website.

Highlights of the indicators featured in the Fall 2014 update:

The Household Use of Chemical Pesticides and Fertilizers indicator measures chemical pesticide and fertilizer use in Canadian households.

In 2011, 15% of Canadian households with a lawn or garden used chemical pesticides and 21% used chemical fertilizers, compared to 31% and 47% for pesticides and fertilizers respectively in 1994.

The Restoring the Great Lakes Areas of Concern indicator provides an overview of the improvement of Canada’s 17 Great Lakes Areas of Concern.

Between 1987 and 2014, the Collingwood Harbour, Severn Sound and Wheatley Harbour Areas of Concern have had their environmental conditions judged to be fully restored, and the Spanish Harbour and Jackfish Bay Areas of Concern are in recovery.

The Weather Warning Index indicator tracks the performance of Environment Canada’s severe weather warning system in providing warnings with sufficient lead time.

The index score for the most recent three-year period, 2011-13, was calculated to be 8.3 on a maximum scale of 10, 10 being the case where all extreme weather events in targeted areas were preceded by a warning with sufficient lead time. This is an increase of 0.4 from the previously reported score of 7.9 for the 2010-12 period.

The Changes in Wildlife Species Disappearance Risks indicator tracks changes in the level of extinction risk for species designated as “at risk” in Canada by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

As of May 2014, 671 wildlife species have been assessed as being “endangered”, “threatened” or “of special concern” by COSEWIC. Of the 423 wildlife species that have been assessed more than once, 66% show no change in status between the most recent assessments, 14% are in a lower risk category, and 20% are in a higher risk category.

Environment Canada’s CESI program provides objective and comprehensive information on environmental trends in a straightforward and transparent manner. CESI also informs on the progress of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy which outlines the Government of Canada’s environmental commitments. With this release, five indicators are being updated with the latest information available.

Environment Canada prepares these indicators with the support of other federal government departments, as well as provincial and territorial government departments. CESI tracks environmental results for nature, water, air and climate issues. Updates occur as individual indicator data become available, so check out the http://www.ec.gc.ca/indicateurs-indicators.

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