A detailed strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of the Government of Canada's response to the Emerson recommendations on space was completed. The SEA found that the Government's response is likely to have positive, indirect environmental effects. In supporting the development of new space technologies and tools with increased performance and higher precision, the Government is helping enhance Canada's capability to monitor the environment. The actions that the Government is taking in response to the Emerson review will indirectly support achieving the environmental goals of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.
For instance, new remote sensing technologies have a variety of applications:
- monitoring the effects of climate change and the concentration of gas, contaminants and volatile fractions in the air (Theme 1: Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality);
- monitoring water supplies, the levels of lakes and rivers, and contaminants in water, as well as locating, monitoring and managing wastewater and discharge in water (Theme 2: Maintaining Water Quality and Availability);
- monitoring the North, ecosystems, threats (e.g. progression of the emerald ash borer, rising sea levels, forest fires, oil spills, floods), and the use of natural resources (e.g. forest and fish) to ensure their regeneration and sustainability (Theme 3: Protecting Nature and Canadians); and
- monitoring the Government’s environmental footprint (Theme 4: Shrinking the Environmental Footprint—Beginning with Government).
Such monitoring will assist the Government in assessing progress toward meeting the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy's targets.