Following completion of the consultations and analysis of potential enhancement options for downstream enhancement of the Nechako watershed, the NEEF MC made the following 10 decisions pertaining to use and management of NEEF funds:
Milestones related to decisions 2, 3 and 8 were not met. As such, as of January 1, 2014 those funds became available for a five year period to establish a legacy fund. No party came forward to establish a Legacy Fund, and the Legacy Fund option expired on December 31, 2018.
In February 2020, An amendment to the 2012 Decisions was released to allocate these unused funds.
Decision 1 (new, not linked to 2012 report decisions) Duration of funding availability
NEEF MC recognizes that, in any given year, the total annual allocation in any category might not be expended. Any unspent funds can be used to extend the duration of funding availability rather than to increase the amount of funds available in a subsequent year. The annual allocations identified will be kept in place until the year 2050, or longer. This will encourage development of long-term sustainable initiatives.
Decision 2 (expands 2012 Report Decision 4) Cheslatta Watershed Restoration & Stewardship
Expand the availability of funds from NEEF to $200,000 per year until the year 2050, a total of $7,400,000, in support of environmental restoration and stewardship of the Cheslatta Watershed.
Funds available under this decision can be applied to any physical works, studies, planning or other activities that can be shown to be directly linked to enhancing the downstream environment in the Cheslatta watershed.
Decision 3 (expands and combines 2012 Report Decisions 5 and 6) Nechako Watershed Restoration & Stewardship
Expand the availability of funds from NEEF to $850,000 per year until the year 2050, a total of $27,000,000, in support of environmental restoration and stewardship of the Nechako Watershed.
All aspects of environmental enhancement, conservation and stewardship activities can be considered under this single funding envelope. As such, NEEF dollars will be available for sturgeon recovery, as well as other activities directed at other species or general environmental health.
Decision 4 (Expands 2012 Report Decision 7) Post-Secondary Research
Expand the availability of funds for post-secondary research from NEEF to $200,000 per year from 2019 to 2050, a total of $6,400,000.
It is not possible to imagine what specific environmental issues will arise over the course of time, in particular in the context of climate change. The ability to identify, assess the impacts of and respond to changes is important for managing our future. This decision expands the scope of potential research to include any research that meets the objectives of the fund.
Decision 5 (new, not linked to 2012 report Decisions) Administration of the NEEF
The NEEF Society was founded in 2015 to facilitate the administration of contracts with project proponents. This provides the financial and management controls required for responsible management of the fund. A total of $1,895,944 will be allocated for the continued administration of the fund. This represents a total of 4.4% of the total remaining fund value.
The purpose of this report is to provide the Parties to the BC/Alcan 1997 Agreement with NEEF Management Committee’s Decisions for allocating the remaining funds.
With the above Decisions, NEEF MC intends to provide an inclusive funding strategy, from 2019 to 2050, that builds on past successes and enables NEEF MC and the parties to the agreement to respond to Nechako water stewardship-related challenges into the future.