THE WILDLIFE SOCIETY - MANITOBA CHAPTER
CONSERVATION AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
TERMS OF REFERENCE
DATED: JUNE 2016
Purpose of the Terms of Reference
This Terms of Reference (ToR) document establishes the composition and mode of operation for The Wildlife Society Manitoba Chapter Conservation Affairs Committee (MB CAC) to ensure a consistent approach is taken when providing information and comments on emerging and ongoing wildlife management and conservation issues in Manitoba. The document is intended to ensure the continued contribution of unbiased and accurate information to government or other responsible organizations to help inform decision-making and policy development, consistent with the goals and objectives of The Wildlife Society International and Canadian Section.
The MB CAC will coordinate the development and dissemination of information required to inform managers, policy makers, and the public concerning wildlife management and conservation issues in Manitoba. The MB CAC will also accept feedback from the membership with respect to which issues warrant the attention of the MB CAC and will determine, in consultation with The Wildlife Society Manitoba Chapter (MB Chapter) Executive Committee (hereby known as the “Executive Committee”), which issues may be considered.
The following goals and objectives are based on the need, recognized by the Executive Committee and the MB CAC, to ensure the use and integration of sound science and the best available information into the decision-making process.
Methods of Operation
The Executive Committee will provide support in reviewing written material from the MB CAC and may consider future monetary support for special circumstances such as covering costs incurred for participation in special advocacy-related events. MB CAC members should expect to operate pro bono and to cover any costs incurred from related activities, as reimbursement is not guaranteed. However, MB CAC members may request that the Executive Committee consider reimbursement for pre-approved activities.
Deliverables of the Manitoba Chapter Conservation Affairs Committee
- Assessment of wildlife management and conservation issues that would benefit from the background and experience of members of the MB Chapter and Executive Committee. In special cases, consultations with The Wildlife Society International, Canadian Section, and other Chapters may be required if relevant information is lacking or if it is deemed as being beneficial to coordinate actions or request support from other CACs.
- Commentary on the science of wildlife management issues and the state of understanding to relevant governments and other appropriate organizations, such that decisions are made in light of the best available information of relevance to wildlife and the public.
- Production of white papers or position statements on Manitoba wildlife management issues, as identified by the Executive Committee.
- Representation on national- and international-level coalitions.
- Ensure all deliverables objectively assess policy options, are anchored to parent society positions, when applicable, and focus on providing accurate and timely scientific information, including that of uncertainty, to inform decision making to the fullest extent possible.
- Ensure all work, commentary, and information provided by the MB CAC has been undertaken in a manner consistent with the best available information and the high standards of the Chapter, the Canadian Section, and The Wildlife Society International.
- Promotion and dissemination of MB CAC products and meeting minutes once approved by the Executive Committee via the MB Chapter website and social media outlets.
Operations of the Conservation Affairs Committee
The MB CAC shall make decisions based on consensus, where consensus is defined as no substantive disagreement and may include agreement to issue a statement that describes different perspectives on an issue. If consensus cannot be reached after substantial discussion of a given topic, deliberations on that topic will cease. The Executive Committee will maintain final approval authority on communications, commentary and information issued on behalf of the Chapter. Transparency, openness, and complete disclosure of information will be key for the successful operation of the MB CAC. All information related to the MB CAC will be made available to the membership.
Statement Development and Approval
In order to have consistent, high quality, and science-based position statements on wildlife management issues in Manitoba, the MB CAC will follow the subsequent protocol for statement development and sign-off:
- An issue is put forward to the Executive Committee/MB CAC by any interested person or organization for consideration.
- The Executive Committee and MB CAC decide whether or not the MB Chapter should prepare a statement, and how/to whom the statement should be forwarded.
- If the Executive Committee agrees, the group or individual who brought the issue forward is invited to draft the statement based on The Wildlife Society International position statements. If they are unwilling/unable to do so, a member of the MB CAC may do so. If a The Wildlife Society International position statement does not already exist, the MB CAC must consult with one or more specialists on the topic to determine an appropriate, science-based statement. If there are no specialists available and time allows, input from the MB Chapter membership may be requested.
- The statement is edited and/or revised by the author and the MB CAC, and the final draft is submitted to the Executive Committee.
- The Executive Committee will review and suggest revisions and will advise the MB CAC of feedback for final consideration in no more than 10 business days after receiving the statement.
- If approved by the Executive Committee, the statement is signed by the Executive Committee President and a Chair of the MB CAC, or a suitable alternative(s).
- All final position statements will be approved by the MB Chapter Executive Committee through a documented motion and vote.
- Should the Chapter be drafting an official position statement on a particular wildlife-related issue, the statement will be vetted with the Canadian Section and submitted to The Wildlife Society Government Affairs & Partnership department to ensure consistency with The Wildlife Society International policy positions, prior to approval and distribution.
- Following approval, the MB Chapter President (or signing designate(s)) sends the signed version to MB CAC so they can forward it to the appropriate body/bodies. Public representation of the MB Chapter will be one or a combination of the MB Chapter president, Co-chair of the MB CAC, or Chapter member and will be determined by the Executive Committee based on the topic prior to distribution.
- Copies will be kept in the archive and forwarded to the Canadian Section and The Wildlife Society Government Affairs & Partnership department. MB CAC activities will be communicated to the MB Chapter membership primarily through the Chapter website and/or Chapter emails and newsletters within one week of approval of the statement.
MB CAC Committee Members
Members of the MB CAC must be Regular members in good standing of the MB Chapter. New members of the MB CAC will be approved by the Co-Chairs of the MB CAC based on their professional qualifications and interest in wildlife conservation issues in Manitoba. Consideration will also be given to a potential member’s geographic location and area of expertise. Existing MB CAC members will review appointments and approve them by consensus. Once a member is accepted, their membership is considered to be in good standing providing they continue with their MB Chapter Regular membership and keep in regular communication with the group. Membership will be reviewed by a Co-chair with each member on a yearly basis.
It is expected that members of the MB CAC will not serve as representatives of their employers but rather as individual professionals working to advance the goals and mandate of the MB Chapter.
MB CAC Co-Chairs
The Co-Chairs of the MB CAC are appointed by the President of the MB Chapter. Co-chair appointments shall be for a term of no less than one year, and reviewed thereafter on a yearly basis by the Co-chair and President of the MB Chapter. The primary roles of the MB CAC Co-Chairs are to convene and coordinate the activities of the MB CAC. The Co-Chairs will also serve as primary liaisons between the MB CAC and the Executive Committee and Canadian Section CAC. The MB CAC Co-Chairs are also responsible for serving as Chapter Representatives of the Canadian Section CAC.
Specific accountabilities include:
- Support the MB CAC in confirming its terms of reference and priorities on an ad hoc basis;
- Approach and engage potential committee members on behalf of the MB CAC;
- Ensure that each MB CAC member understands their responsibilities and accountabilities;
- Oversee and coordinate the work of the MB CAC on behalf of the Executive Committee, including: 1) Planning and scheduling MB CAC meetings or conference calls as needed; 2) Tracking MB CAC supported deliverables; 2) Ensuring alignment of MB CAC deliverables with the Canadian Section and The Wildlife Society position statements; and 3) Ensuring an efficient and appropriate flow of information between the MB CAC, Executive Committee, and the Canadian Section Executive Committee via bi-monthly (or as needed) progress reports;
- Review the terms of reference on a regular basis to reflect developments in MB CAC operations;
- Maintain regular communications with the Canadian Section CAC regarding issues that may impact multiple subunits or set national precedence; and
- Ensure position statements and other commentary is consistent with the Canadian Section and The Wildlife Society International when available.
MB CAC meetings will be scheduled on an as-needed basis, to be determined by the Co-chairs and
members. Face-to-face meetings will occur at least twice annually at the MB Chapter fall mixer and
annual meeting (fall and spring, respectively). MB CAC will provide an update for the MB Chapter
membership at face-to-face meetings and at regular intervals throughout the year. Meeting minutes will
be available on the Chapter website.
A Co-chair of the MB CAC will regularly interact via conference call or e-mail with The Wildlife
Society’s Government Affairs Department.
The MB CAC email address email@example.com shall be used for all public-facing
communications and document storage.
Relationship with Manitoba Chapter Executive Committee
The MB CAC is a standing committee of the MB Chapter. The MB CAC will maintain a close
relationship with the Executive Committee to allow the efficient flow of information. Further, the
Executive Committee will work with the MB CAC to provide facilitation support to the MB CAC in
order to reach consensus on particular issues.
Approved by the Manitoba Chapter Executive Committee on June 16, 2016