Appendix I: Legal Definitions


The Cabinet is made up of Ministers who set Crown governments’ priorities and make important policy decisions. Federal, provincial, and territorial governments each have their own cabinet (provincial Cabinets are sometimes referred to as Executive Councils). The Cabinet is chaired by the Prime Minister, or in the case of provinces and territories, the Premier.

Through legislation, the Cabinet is also granted the power to make important decisions on specific issues, such as the creation of new national parks. Whenever legislation refers to a decision being made by the “Governor in Council” (federal), “Lieutenant Governor in Council” (provincial) or “Commissioner in Executive Council” (territorial), in practice, the decision is made by Cabinet.[1]


For the purposes of this document, the term ‘delegation’ refers to the act of transferring statutory power to another individual or body. For example, a Minister may delegate some of their management duties granted by a provincial park statute to a Superintendent. The Superintendent is then legally able to exercise those powers within the boundaries set by the Minister.[2]

Executive Commissioner in Council:

See Governor in Council.

Governor General:

The Governor General represents the British monarch in the Canadian government. They perform a variety of roles, most of which are ceremonial. The Governor General gives Royal Assent to legislation, opens and closes Parliamentary sessions, and approves Orders in Council. In performing these duties, the Governor General acts on the advice of Cabinet.

At the provincial level, the Lieutenant Governor General plays a similar role to the Governor General. At the territorial level is the Commissioner. (The Commissioner is not a representative of the British monarch, but rather a representative of the federal government from which territorial governments derive their powers. However, the Commissioner performs the same role as the Governor General and Lieutenant Governor General.)

Governor in Council:

The ‘Governor in Council’ refers to the Governor General acting on the advice of Cabinet. In practice, when legislation states that a decision can be made or a power can be exercised by the Governor in Council, the Cabinet makes the decision.[3]

At the provincial level, the Lieutenant Governor in Council represent this role. At the territorial level is the Executive Commissioner in Council.[4] In practice, when provincial or territorial legislation grants decision-making power to these individuals, decisions lie with the provincial or territorial Cabinet.

Legislative Assembly:

The Legislative Assembly is the law-making body of each province and territory. It is made up of elected Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), or in Ontario, Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs).

Lieutenant Governor General:

See Governor General.

Lieutenant Governor in Council:

See Governor in Council

Ministerial Order:

A Ministerial Order is an order created by a Minister exercising the power granted to them by a statute. Using an order, a Minister can establish certain types of parks or protected areas in some provinces. It depends on the statute what exactly a Ministerial Order can do.

Unlike Orders in Council, Ministerial Orders do not require the approval of Cabinet, which can make them easier to issue.

Order in Council:

An Order in Council (sometimes abbreviated to OIC) is an order created by Cabinet exercising a power granted to them by a statute. Using an Order in Council, Cabinet can establish certain types of parks or protected areas. Orders in Council are also used for other important legal and administrative tasks, such as creating boards and agencies, appointing officials, and determining the responsibilities of individual Ministers. It depends on the statute what exactly an Order in Council can do.[6]

Unlike Ministerial orders, Orders-in-Council require the approval of Cabinet and may be reviewed by other government committees.


Parliament is the law-making body of the Canadian government, where elected officials debate and pass laws. Federally, Parliament is made up of the House of Commons and the Senate. Provincially and territorially, there is no Senate, and Parliament is made up of elected officials in the Legislative Assembly.


A regulation is a type of law that is created by a Minister or Cabinet using the power granted to them by a statute. A regulation may be used to create a park or protected area, lay out the rules for managing it, or prohibit certain kinds of activities within a park. Regulations are often detailed lists of rules and standards and may include technical guidelines. It depends on the statute what exactly a regulation can do.

Regulations are like laws, but unlike statutes, they do not need to pass through a federal or provincial Legislature or be voted on by members of the Legislature. Instead, statutes dictate which areas or topics a Minister or Cabinet can make regulations for.[7]

Since they are enforceable by law, regulations have a detailed approval process. Not all regulations need formal approval from Cabinet, but this does not mean they are easier to pass than Orders-in-Council. Regulations go through a comprehensive drafting process and may have a consultation period.

Statute and Statutory Power:

A statute is a written law that has been passed by federal Parliament or a provincial or territorial Legislative Assembly. All Acts referred to in this document are statutes. Statutes may grant power to Ministers, Directors, or to Cabinet to make regulations or orders. These powers are collectively referred to as ‘statutory powers.’


[1] See e.g. “Key Functions and Roles of Members” (last visited 12 May 2022), online: House of Commons Canada.

[2] See e.g. Black’s Law Dictionary Free, “What is Delegation” (last visited 12 May 2022), online: The Law Dictionary.

[3] See e.g. “Governor in Council” (last visited 2 May 2023), online: Centre for Constitutional Studies

[4] See e.g. “The Lieutenant Governor” (last visited 2 May 2023), online: Legislative Assembly of British ColumbiaWhat does the term ‘Lieutenant Governor in Council’ refer to?” (last visited 12 May 2022), online: Lieutenant Governor of Ontario; Glossary” (last visited 12 May 2022), online: Government of Yukon.

[6] See e.g. “Orders in Council: Everything you need to know about Orders in Council” (last modified 24 November 2021).

[7] See e.g. “List of Regulations” (last updated 2 January 2019), online: Government of Canada; Statutes and Regulations” (last visited 2 May 2023), online: Law Central Alberta.

Appendix II: IUCN Protected Area Categories

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Protected Area Management Categories classify protected areas based on their management objectives. These categories are recognized by international bodies and many national governments as setting the global standard for recognizing and defining protected areas.

Ia Strict Nature Reserve


  • “Category Ia are strictly protected areas set aside to protect biodiversity…where human visitation, use and impacts are strictly controlled and limited to ensure protection of the conservation values.”

Primary Objective:

  • To conserve sensitive ecosystems and species

Additional Objectives:

  • Protect ecosystems and species in as natural a state as possible
  • To support environmental monitoring and research
  • To minimise disturbance
  • To conserve cultural and spiritual values associated with nature

Ib Wilderness Area


  • “Category Ib protected areas are usually large unmodified or slightly modified areas, retaining their natural character and influence, without permanent or significant human habitation, which are protected and managed so as to preserve their natural condition.”

Primary Objective:

  • To protect ecological integrity of undisturbed natural areas for present and future generations

Additional Objectives:

  • To provide public access in a manner consistent with maintaining wilderness character for present and future generations
  • To support Indigenous communities in maintaining traditional lifestyles and customs
  • To protect cultural and spiritual values and non-material benefits of wilderness
  • To support low-impact educational and scientific activities

II National Park


  • “Category II protected areas are large natural or near natural areas set aside to protect large-scale ecological processes, along with the complement of species and ecosystems characteristic of the area, which also provide a foundation for environmentally and culturally compatible spiritual, scientific, educational, recreational and visitor opportunities.”

Primary Objective:

  • To protect biodiversity while promoting education and recreation

Additional Objectives:

  • To protect representative ecosystems in as natural a state as possible
  • To support native species and ecosystem integrity
  • To conserve wide-ranging species
  • To manage visitor use to allow for inspirational, educational, cultural, and recreational benefits while preventing significant degradation
  • To account for the needs of Indigenous people and local communities, provided these do not adversely affect the primary objective
  • To contribute to local economies through tourism

III Natural Monument or Feature


  • “Category III protected areas are set aside to protect a specific natural monument, which can be a landform, sea mount, submarine cavern, geological feature such as a cave or even a living feature such as an ancient grove. They are generally quite small…and often have high visitor value.” (p.17)

Primary Objective:

  • To protect natural features and associated biodiversity

Additional Objectives:

  • To protect biodiversity
  • To protect specific natural sites with spiritual, cultural, and biodiversity values

IV Habitat/Species Management Area


  • “Category IV protected areas aim to protect particular species or habitats… Many…will need regular, active interventions to address the requirements of particular species or to maintain habitats, but this is not a requirement…”

Primary Objective:

  • To protect and restore species and habitats

Additional Objectives:

  • To protect biological features
  • To protect habitat fragments to support landscape-scale conservation
  • To support public education and appreciation of the species and habitats protected
  • To provide urban residents with opportunities for regular contact with nature

V Protected Landscape/Seascape


  • “A protected area where the interaction of people and nature over time has produced an area of distinct character with significant ecological, biological, cultural and scenic value; and where safeguarding the integrity of this interaction is vital to protecting and sustaining the area and its associated nature conservation and other values.”

Primary Objective:

  • To protect landscapes/seascapes and their associated values created through traditional management practices

Additional Objectives:

  • To support balanced interactions between nature and culture by protecting landscapes/seascapes and associated traditional management approaches
  • To support species associated with cultural landscapes
  • To provide opportunities for recreation and tourism
  • To provide natural products and environmental services
  • To support active community involvement in landscape/seascape management
  • To provide models of sustainability for educational purposes

VI Protected area with sustainable use of natural resources


  • “Category VI protected areas conserve ecosystems and habitats, together with associated cultural values and traditional natural resource management systems. They are generally large, with most of the area in a natural condition, where a proportion is under sustainable natural resource management and where low-level non-industrial use of natural resources compatible with nature conservation is seen as one of the main aims of the area.”

Primary Objective:

  • To protect ecosystems and use natural resources sustainably

Additional Objectives:

  • To promote the sustainable use of natural resources
  • To provide local social and economic benefits
  • To support intergenerational security
  • To integrate cultural approaches, belief systems, and worldviews in conservation
  • To work towards developing a more balanced relationship between humans and nature
  • To support sustainable development
  • To facilitate scientific research and environmental monitoring
  • To support recreation and small-scale tourism

Nigel Dudley (ed.) “Guidelines for Applying Protected Area Management Categories” IUCN

Appendix III: Relevant UNDRIP Provisions

Article 11

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to practise and revitalise their cultural traditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and historical sites […] [and] ceremonies […]

Article 12

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to manifest, practise, develop and teach their spiritual and religious traditions, customs and ceremonies [and] the right to maintain, protect, and have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites […]

Article 13

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalise, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons.
  1. States shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protected and also to ensure that indigenous peoples can understand and be understood in political, legal and administrative proceedings […]

Article 18

Indigenous peoples have the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights, through representatives chosen by themselves in accordance with their own procedures, as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous decision-making institutions.

Article 19

States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that can affect them.

Article 20

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and develop their political, economic and social systems or institutions, to be secure in the enjoyment of their own means of subsistence and development, and to engage freely in all their traditional and other economic activities.

Article 25

Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations in this regard.

Article 26

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.
  2. Indigenous peoples have the right to own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use […]
  3. States shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands, territories and resources […]

Article 29

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the conservation and protection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories and resources. States shall establish and implement assistance programmes for indigenous peoples for such conservation and protection, without discrimination.

Article 32

  1. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources.

Article 38

States in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples, shall take the appropriate measures, including legislative measures, to achieve the ends of this Declaration.


United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, GA Res 61/295, UNGAOR, 61st Sess, Supp No 49 (2007).

Appendix IV: Relevant Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework Targets


Ensure that all areas are under participatory, integrated and biodiversity inclusive spatial planning and/or effective management processes addressing land- and sea‑use change, to bring the loss of areas of high biodiversity importance, including ecosystems of high ecological integrity, close to zero by 2030, while respecting the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.


Ensure and enable that by 2030 at least 30 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas, and of marine and coastal areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, are effectively conserved and managed through ecologically representative, well-connected and equitably governed systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, recognizing indigenous and traditional territories, where applicable, and integrated into wider landscapes, seascapes and the ocean, while ensuring that any sustainable use, where appropriate in such areas, is fully consistent with conservation outcomes, recognizing and respecting the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, including over their traditional territories.


Ensure that the use, harvesting and trade of wild species is sustainable, safe and legal, preventing overexploitation, minimizing impacts on non-target species and ecosystems, and reducing the risk of pathogen spillover, applying the ecosystem approach, while respecting and protecting customary sustainable use by indigenous peoples and local communities.


Reduce pollution risks and the negative impact of pollution from all sources by 2030, to levels that are not harmful to biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, considering cumulative effects, including: (a) by reducing excess nutrients lost to the environment by at least half, including through more efficient nutrient cycling and use; (b) by reducing the overall risk from pesticides and highly hazardous chemicals by at least half, including through integrated pest management, based on science, taking into account food security and livelihoods; and (c) by preventing, reducing, and working towards eliminating plastic pollution.


Ensure that the management and use of wild species are sustainable, thereby providing social, economic and environmental benefits for people, especially those in vulnerable situations and those most dependent on biodiversity, including through sustainable biodiversity-based activities, products and services that enhance biodiversity, and protecting and encouraging customary sustainable use by indigenous peoples and local communities.


Ensure that the best available data, information and knowledge are accessible to decision makers, practitioners and the public to guide effective and equitable governance, integrated and participatory management of biodiversity, and to strengthen communication, awareness-raising, education, monitoring, research and knowledge management and, also in this context, traditional knowledge, innovations, practices and technologies of indigenous peoples and local communities should only be accessed with their free, prior and informed consent,[2] in accordance with national legislation.


Ensure the full, equitable, inclusive, effective and gender-responsive representation and participation in decision-making, and access to justice and information related to biodiversity by indigenous peoples and local communities, respecting their cultures and their rights over lands, territories, resources, and traditional knowledge, as well as by women and girls, children and youth, and persons with disabilities and ensure the full protection of environmental human rights defenders.


Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Kunming-Montreal Global biodiversity framework . December 15, 2022.