Since the publication of the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices (S&Ps) in 2005, there has been periodic and ad hoc discussion on the merits of developing a land trust ‘accreditation’ program in Canada. With the publishing of revised and updated S&Ps in January 2019, and following the establishment of the Centre for Land Conservation (CLC) in May 2019, the CLC, as custodian of the S&Ps, has initiated further discussion on a potential land trust accreditation or performance assurance program based on the S&Ps.
While the CLC has no preconceived notions on the specific details of a program that assesses implementation of the S&Ps, it has developed several principles upon which it believes such a program should be based. The CLC believes such a program should:
- Reflect the unique characteristics of the Canadian land trust community
- Take into account the circumstances of all land trusts from large national ones to local volunteer land trusts
- Be developed collaboratively with land trusts, provincial alliances, private funders and governments
- Be a tool to help land trusts build capacity and capabilities
- Be independent of government