This guide emphasizes best practice in environmental assessment. It is not specific to any one piece of legislation, such as the federal Species at Risk Act, or to one environmental assessment regime, such as that related to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Rather, the guide outlines a national approach on how to gather and assess information necessary for understanding the consequences of proposed actions on wildlife at risk and for making sound project decisions that contribute, in the long run, to sustainable development.
This guide highlights solely the wildlife at risk component that an environmental assessment would address. More general guides for the implementation of environmental assessment processes, such as the Responsible Authority's Guide (Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency 1994), should also be consulted. Those who are preparing environmental assessments should also refer to guides concerning the implementation of federal, provincial and territorial laws relating to wildlife at risk.
The guide is entitled "first edition" because it is expected to be an evolving document that will be strengthened and modified with use and improved understanding of the effects of human activities on wildlife and the process required to adequately describe and mitigate these effects.