Recommendations and Results Process

The Steering Committee (SC) reviewed the recommendations from the Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) and the Science Expert Committee (SEC) to develop its own recommendations report, which it then presented to the ABMI Board of Directors for consideration and implementation.

First, the SC met for a half-day session, facilitated by an external consultant (Andrew Fehr, North Raven Consulting). The SEC and SAG reports were used to inform discussion and develop recommendations for the BoD. Staff from the ABMI’s Information and Science Centres  were present to answer questions as they arose.

Next, the SC reviewed the recommendations one-by-one and in groups of related recommendations, sorting them into two categories: management-level and board-level. The SC reviewed these recommendations and reformulated those of board-level significance into its own Recommendations Report for the Board. The SC could not evaluate the financial implications of its recommendations; this was an important function of the BoD’s review and prioritization process.

Steering Committee

The membership of the Steering Committee comprised senior leadership from government, industry, and the environmental non-governmental sector who are well versed in issues of environmental policy, management, and monitoring design.

Board of Directors

The ABMI Board comprises individuals representing a range of stakeholder groups, including the Government of Alberta, University of Alberta, InnoTech Alberta, forestry sector, energy sector, agricultural sector, and environmental non-governmental organizations, plus Directors at Large.

What Did They Find?

In general, the SAG found that there were no major flaws in the ABMI’s ability to meet its two engagement objectives. However, it found that the ABMI had only met the first of its two stated goals and identified steps that might be taken to meet the second. 

The SEC found that, in general, the ABMI got the monitoring science right and that this strong scientific foundation must be maintained. Overall, the SC felt the primary area requiring Board consideration is new opportunities to increase the impact of the program. 

Summary of Results and Recommendations

The Steering Committee unanimously agreed on the following general comments. 1) The ABMI has got the science right, and the strong scientific foundation of the program must be maintained; 2) the SC’s recommendations focus primarily on how to prioritize and/or refine aspects of the program to ensure its value is optimized; and 3) the SC urges the Board to seek opportunities to increase the impact of the program.

Specific recommendations are itemized below, along with the respective responses planned, and in many cases already initiated, by the ABMI.

GENERAL Recommendations
ABMI Response

Amend wording of the ABMI’s Stakeholder Engagement Goal and one of its Science Objectives to include regional engagement and acknowledge the importance of providing information relevant to climate change, respectively.

Adopt the amendments as proposed.

If losing confidentiality of site locations is contemplated, consider very carefully whether it is justified. The majority of SC members recommend maintaining confidentiality protocols and a minority recommend loosening them.

Strike a working group that includes ABMI and stakeholders to evaluate the issue further.

SCIENCE Recommendations
ABMI Response

Include climate change with land-use change as a major driver of the need for biodiversity data.

Develop a plan to better highlight ABMI climate change work that has already been completed; expand ABMI climate change analyses; develop and test methods to forecast climate change on species and landcover; emphasize climate change results in communication products.

Prioritize completing the initial ‘baseline’ survey of data collection site locations.

Baseline sites in the Oil Sands Region already scheduled for completion in 2019. Develop a plan to complete baseline in the rest of the province (558 of 1656 sites) within 3 – 5 years.

Strategically stratify site revisits with the assistance of land-use and climate change models that forecast impacts to biodiversity.

Stratify sampling techniques according to the rates at which species change in relative abundance. E.g., common species change slowly and may be sampled less frequently; Species at Risk change more rapidly and should be sampled more frequently. Likewise, enhance sampling of key species in areas undergoing rapid change.

communication/engagement Recommendations
ABMI Response

Stakeholder biodiversity data needs should be met primarily at the provincial and regional levels but should be met at the sub-regional level on a case-by-case basis.

Evaluate any opportunity to monitor and/or report on a sub-regional basis in terms of the value it adds to the provincial/regional program; clearly communicate the appropriate scale at which ABMI data can be applied.

Investigate a business model that supports engagement of stakeholders and decision-makers, including Indigenous groups and municipalities, as a core activity.

Create stakeholder engagement plans for stakeholder groups including Indigenous communities and municipalities to support a range of outcomes from increased data uptake to co-design of monitoring activities; determine the costs associated with each plan and identify possible funding mechanisms; proceed according to results and recommendations from the BoD.

Invest in telling Alberta’s biodiversity story more widely.

Develop a marketing strategy to increase awareness of the ABMI program to regional and national decision-makers; re-allocate resources internally or identify new revenue to fund the marketing strategy.

Identify appropriate communication tools for the spectrum of ABMI audiences, from simple information-out for the public to engagement for stakeholders and decision-makers.

Update the ABMI Communications Plan to reflect the emphasis on ongoing, consistent engagement with key stakeholders in the provincial government and industry representatives; re-allocate resources internally or identify new revenue to fund the 2018 ABMI Communications Plan.

Actively promote and invite collaboration with interested parties.

Develop content on the ABMI website to illustrate the multiple models of collaboration the ABMI currently engages; generate list of potential areas of collaboration that leverage existing ABMI capacity and address current methodological and/or scientific questions.

The ABMI thanks all participants in the 10-year Science and Program Review process for their time, input, and help in guiding the ABMI’s future.

Have Questions or Feedback?

The ABMI’s 10-year Science and Program Review was built around listening to our partners and stakeholders. We welcome questions, comments, or suggestions about the review process or output.

Have Questions or Feedback?

The ABMI’s 10-year Science and Program Review was built around listening to our partners and stakeholders. We welcome questions, comments, or suggestions about the review process or output.

The ABMI is a Leader in Biodiversity Monitoring

We track changes in Alberta's wildlife and habitats from border to border, and provide ongoing, relevant, scientifically credible information on Alberta's living resources. For our province's land use decision-makers. For Alberta's future land stewards. For Albertans.

Visit our site »