As usual, I'll begin with a brief statement and then would be pleased to answer any questions that members may have.
As you know, there are a number of reports that the federal government issues to ensure that its decisions are transparent and accountable. The 2013-14 report on plans and priorities that we're discussing today outlines the departmental and agency goals for fiscal year 2013-14, and the actions to be undertaken to fulfill these objectives over the next three years. Today I'll discuss some of these goals and actions, and provide a brief update on some of our more recent accomplishments.
Beginning with Environment Canada, I am pleased to say the department is making clear progress delivering on its mandate to provide a clean, safe and sustainable environment for Canadians.
My department will continue to safeguard the quality of Canada's air and water, and restore Canada's natural habitat. It will also advance realistic and effective measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to protect Canada's environment in a manner that supports our economy. When it comes to climate change, Environment Canada has taken concrete steps to fulfill Canada's commitment to meeting our Copenhagen target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by the year 2020. Following its comprehensive and science-based sector-by-sector approach, the department has already published a series of regulations in alignment with the standards in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector.
For fiscal 2013-2014, our approach will focus on implementing the coal-fired electricity regulations, building on the regulations in the transportation sector, and developing regulations for the oil and gas sector.
The department is also helping Canadians adapt to a changing climate by taking important steps to increase our knowledge and understanding of climate change. It is succeeding, colleagues. Canada's actions to date are estimated to have brought us halfway from our original projections for 2020 to where we need to be to meet our Copenhagen target for greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2020.
Internationally, of course, we are actively engaged in the United Nations process on a new climate change agreement that will include binding commitments for all major emitters. Here at home, Environment Canada's building on its accomplishments in conserving and restoring Canada's natural heritage through programs such as the natural areas conservation program, the ecological gifts program, the habitat stewardship program, and the Species at Risk Act.
These initiatives have demonstrated success. For example, collaborations with the Nature Conservancy of Canada under the natural areas conservation program have helped to acquire and secure more than 350,000 hectares of protected habitat for 148 species at risk. More than 1,000 donations across Canada have been made to the ecological gifts program, and more than 2,000 projects have been funded under the habitat stewardship program. Environment Canada will further this progress by working with partners on a national conservation plan to conserve and promote awareness of these precious natural species.
When it comes to the oil sands, for example, the governments of Canada and Alberta are committed through the joint Canada-Alberta implementation plan for oil sands monitoring to a scientifically rigorous, comprehensive, integrated, and transparent environmental monitoring program for the region. They are demonstrating their commitment to transparency with the recent launch, as you're aware, of the Canada-Alberta oil sands portal website that provides the public with ongoing open access to the most up-to-date scientific data collected by scientists in the field.
Environment Canada is also working to ensure a continued delivery of high-quality weather and environmental services to Canadians and to targeted users. In addition to the funding already included in this report, budget 2013 commits an additional $248 million over five years that will serve the department well in achieving this goal.
Mr. Chair, when it comes to safeguarding the quality of our water, the department remains focused on its collaborative work with its American counterparts, with the provinces, and with municipalities to improve water quality in significant areas such as the Great Lakes, Lake Winnipeg, Lake Simcoe, and of course the St. Lawrence.
It has made it a priority to deliver on the federal components of the National Air Quality Management System which will improve air quality in collaboration with the provinces and territories.
Just last month, Environment Canada announced the implementation of new Canadian ambient air quality standards. My department also initiated consultations on more stringent air pollutant standards for a range of small engines used in the off-road sector. Regulations were recently published to reduce air pollution from ships in the North American emission control area, the Great Lakes, and the St. Lawrence Seaway, as were sulphur in marine diesel regulations to enable the implementation of these new air pollutant standards for ships. As well, I recently announced the government's intent to align with proposed standards in the United States to further limit air pollution emissions from passenger cars and light trucks, and to reduce the sulphur content in gasoline.
Mr. Chair, this highlights some of Environment Canada's plans for the fiscal year. I'd now like to turn to government key priorities and accomplishments set out in Parks Canada's 2013-14 report on plans and priorities. I'll first remind the committee that in the past few years, Parks Canada has built significantly on its proud legacy to protect these special and irreplaceable places that represent the very essence of Canada.
The Government of Canada is investing $75 million over five years in significant Action on the Ground projects, the largest and most ambitious natural resource restoration program of this kind in the history of Parks Canada. These projects will make tangible improvements in the ecological integrity of national parks.
Our highly successful recent initiatives in ecological restoration include the reintroduction of the plains bison and the black-footed ferret to Grasslands National Park after decades of absence.
Establishing national parks and national marine conservation areas has and continues to be a priority for Parks Canada. Since 2006 the Government of Canada has taken actions that will add almost 150,000 square kilometres to Parks Canada's protected areas network. Last year alone, the agency established Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories, and as you know, tabled legislation, which you've been working diligently on, to establish Sable Island National Park Reserve in Nova Scotia. It is also establishing Canada's first national urban park in the Rouge Valley, east of downtown Toronto.
This fiscal year Parks Canada will invest approximately $125 million in Canada's national parks and national historic sites in every province and in every territory across the country. Efforts to expand Canada's natural legacy will continue in places such as Bathurst Island in Nunavut and the Mealy Mountains in Labrador.
Turning now to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, I'm pleased to remind the committee again that this act is an important milestone for Canada. It follows through on recommendations made by this committee to strengthen and to modernize environmental assessment.
And now that it is in place, Canadians can expect predictable and timely reviews, reduced duplication, strengthened environmental protection and enhanced consultations with aboriginal peoples.
We are achieving our objective, colleagues, for a single project review within a clearly defined time period and to have one responsible authority making decisions within legislated timelines. We have new enforcement provisions to ensure that the necessary mitigation measures are put in place to ensure protection of the environment. For the coming year, the agency will carry on with these efforts in support of responsible resource development.
Mr. Chair, these are some of the plans and priorities under my portfolio for fiscal 2013-14. They follow through on the Government of Canada's commitment to ensure that Canadians benefit from a clean, safe, and sustainable environment in a manner that supports our continued economic recovery. They are helping us to make tangible progress, building on our successes and achieving real environmental benefits for today and long into the future.
Mr. Chair, thank you. I await your questions.