What are the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices?
Created in 2005, the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices (CLT S&P) are the ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust in Canada. The CLT S&P set 12 broad standards, which are broken down into 91 practices. Practices describe the essential actions needed to fulfill the standards. The 2005 CLT S&P version is available here.
Who first developed the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices?
The U.S Land Trust Alliance (LTA) originally developed the Land Trust Standards and Practices in 1989 at the urging of land trust practitioners who believed a strong land trust community depends on the credibility and effectiveness of all of its members and who understand that employing best practices is the surest way to lasting conservation.
The Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices launched in 2005. The CLT S&P were modified from the 2004 version of the U.S. Land Trust Standards and Practices with the authorization of the LTA. The CLTA is the only official licensee for the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices.
Who uses the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices?
All land trusts operating in Canada are invited to voluntarily adopt the CLT S&P and commit to putting them into effect. Land trusts making such commitment are not only protecting a minimum level of performance, but they are making the entire land trust community aspire to excellence and continuous improvement.
While the adoption of CLT S&P is entirely voluntary for land trusts to exist and operate, the adoption is a mandatory eligibility requirement for at least two federal programs: the Ecological Gifts Program (EGP) and the Natural Area Conservation Program (NACP).
- The Ecological Gifts Program requires eligible recipients to demonstrate “that the organization has adopted, or a board resolution that the organization has made a commitment to work towards, adopting a recognized national or provincial set of ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust to guide the organization’s land securement and management practices”. The CLT S&P are the national set of guidelines recognized by Environment and Climate Change Canada.
- The Natural Area Conservation Program also requires all applicants to be in compliance or substantially in compliance with the CLT S&P.
Who benefits from the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices?
Important land trust client groups, including landowners, donors and funders, who benefit from more effective and efficient land trusts. The land trust community, which benefits from a commitment across the sector to excellence and continuous improvement. The individual land trusts that commit to pursuing continuous improvement.
How do land trusts benefit from the implementation of the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices?
Implementing the CLT S&P directly helps land trusts to uphold public trust and build strong and effective land conservation programs. Securing the confidence and support of donors and landowners is the way for land conservation to succeed and land trusts to last over the long term. All land trusts must demonstrate effectiveness and credibility. Otherwise, land trusts that fall short could undermine the whole conservation movement by eroding the confidence of donors and partners.
Who verifies that land trusts implement the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices?
There is currently no verification body to attest that land trusts demonstrate implementation of the CLT S&P. Land trusts are invited to use the Assess Your Organization workbook, a tool designed by the CLTA for land trusts to conduct a detailed assessment of organizational progress toward implementing the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices (2005).
Why are the CLT S&P being revised?
The CLTA is the only official licensee for the CLT S&P since 2005. This means:
- The Land Trust Standards and Practices is the property of the U.S. Land Trust Alliance (LTA). The CLTA has been granted the permission to change appropriate sections of the S&P so that it reflects Canada’s needs, legislation and context.
- The LTA determines the need to revise the Land Trust Standards and Practices, and the CLTA must then proceed with its revision.
- The LTA must approve any revision to make sure the Canadian modifications are not weakening the integrity of the Land Trust Standards and Practices.
In February 2017, the LTA released a major revision of the U.S. Land Trust Standards and Practices. In order to maintain the already established consistency in the professional standards of the conservation industry, and for Canadian land trusts to integrate and benefit from lessons learned from our international peers, the next step for the CLTA is to undertake the revision of the CLT S&P.
Is this the first revision of Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices?
Yes. By comparison, U.S Land Trust Standards and Practices were revised in 1993, 2001, 2004, and more recently in February 2017 with the participation of the land trust community and experts in the U.S., to reflect changes in land trust practices and regulations governing non-profit organizations.
Who is leading the revision process?
As the only official licensee for the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices, the CLTA is responsible for overseeing the revision process. However, CLTA is seeking your involvement in the process. See Revision Process Details page for more information.
What is the objective of this revision process?
The objective of this revision process is to maintain alignment of best practices for land conservation with the most current internationally recognized standards while ensuring the CLT S&P stay tailored to Canada’s context. The result will be more readable and accessible practices. The revised document will offer a clear framework for presenting the practices that engage more land trusts in a process of continuous improvement according to their size, needs and aspirations.
What are the main steps to the process?
The revision process is divided into 5 main steps:
The CLTA is pleased to be able to take advantage of the substantive review already carried out by our U.S peers and partners. The legwork being done, the CLTA has prepared a crosswalk comparison of the 2017 U.S. and the 2005 CLT S&P to identify practices requiring editing for the Canadian context.
- Preliminary Consultation
The crosswalk comparison is open for comments, feedback and questions to ensure all practices requiring editing to apply to the Canadian context are properly identified.
- Detailed Review
An Expert Committee comprised of experts in areas requiring substantial changes is tasked to propose revised language suitable for the Canadian context in keeping with the spirit of the 2017 revised U.S. version.
- Second Consultation
The conservation community will be consulted on the Expert Committee revisions through an online platform to ensure language is applicable, comprehensive and realistic. Results of the online consultation will be integrated into the final recommendations of the CLT S&P to the CLTA Board.
- Consultation with LTA
Results of the second online consultation will be integrated and discussed with the U.S. LTA to ensure the Canadian revisions are consistent with the S&P license.
- Public release
The public release of the final revised CLT S&P is expected in the spring 2018.
For more details on the S&P Revision Process, please consult this page.
How long will the revision process take?
The crosswalk comparison was conducted during summer 2017. The basic review kicks off on September 1st 2017 and the entire revision process is scheduled to end in the spring 2018.
How do I get involved?
There are three main opportunities for people to be a part of the process:
- Land trusts are invited to provide feedback, comments and questions on the crosswalk with the 2017 U.S. version. See “Preliminary Consultation” above for details.
- An Expert Committee will be responsible for recommending adaptation to Canada’s context. A Call for Applicants for the Expert Committee will be circulated early November 2017. People with the required skills and experience are welcome to submit their application. See “Detailed Revision” above for details.
- The recommendations will be open for comments to all land trusts through an online consultation. See “Second Consultation” above for details.
Please consult the following pages for more details: Revision Process Details and Provide Your Input.
When will the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices be revised next?
The CLTA, in partnership with the LTA and the land trust community, is continually assessing the CLT S&P against the work that land trusts do and the challenges and opportunities they face. We anticipate that the next full revisions process will not occur for at least another seven years.
Additional questions? Please send yours using the Contact form here.