Development assessment means looking at the effects a proposed activity might have on life in Yukon. This can include our environment, economy, health, culture and traditions.
We are the main point of contact on matters relating to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act (YESAA) for the Government of Yukon. YESAA is federal legislation. It provides the framework for environmental and socio-economic assessments in Yukon.
Our mission is to ensure that impact assessment in Yukon guides decision-making that meets present and future needs. Our vision is a sustainable Yukon built on strong partnerships, solid relationships and open communication.
We help Yukon government departments fulfill their responsibilities under YESAA and represent the Yukon government as the decision body on major projects. If you are interested in development assessment and have any questions—let us know.
How does the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act (YESAA) work?
YESAA set up an independent assessment body—the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB).
The Board conducts neutral, independent assessments of proposed development projects. Input from technical experts and the public is gathered and the board makes recommendations to government. The government (federal, territorial or First Nation) with decision-making power for the project, accepts, rejects or varies the board's recommendations. Once a decision document has been issued, the proponent can proceed.
Who makes the decision about an assessment?
The decision is made by the government responsible for the project either as a regulator, land authority, funding agent or a proponent. A decision body can be the Government of Yukon, a federal government agency or First Nation government. The government is called a decision body and must respond to the assessor's recommendation by publishing a decision document that accepts, rejects or varies the recommendations. There can be more than one decision body for a project. It depends on the project location and authorizations required.
Who decides in Yukon government?
Yukon government acts as a single decision body under YESAA through an internal, coordinated process involving all Yukon government departments. The decision body responsibility is delegated to specific Yukon government departments/branches according to the type of project to be assessed. For example, agriculture projects are delegated to the Agriculture branch of the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources and forestry projects to the department's Forest Resources branch.
What happens after the decision is made?
The government's decision document on a project is public and posted on YESAB's website.
When the decision document is issued, it means the project can proceed and moves into the regulatory process. Any authorizations, permits or licenses that are required for the project can proceed or be issued.
These processes are managed by specific government department with responsibility for the projects. For instance, the Yukon Water Board would be responsible for a project needing a water license or the department of Energy, Mines and Resources would be responsible for a project needing mining permits.
4 main phases of Yukon's development assessment process: