Environmental Studies Research Fund

The Environmental Studies Research Fund (ESRF) is a research program that sponsors environmental and social studies in Canada. Funds are obtained through levies on frontier lands paid by interest holders such as oil and gas companies. The ESRF Management Board consists of members from the federal government, the oil and gas industry, the regional offshore petroleum boards, and the general public.

The ESRF receives its legislative mandate through the Canada Petroleum Resources Act (CPRA). The act regulates interests in petroleum in relation to any lands where the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs has administrative responsibility for natural resources. For this reason, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) is a member of the ESRF Management Board and chairs the ESRF Northern Advisory Committee, which advises the Management Board on northern priorities and potential research topics.

On behalf of the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, the Management Board sets priorities for study topics, determines the program budget, and helps develop study proposals. The ESRF provides a forum for industry and government to develop a common knowledge base and to jointly design a focused study program which addresses the needs of both groups and avoids a repetition of effort and expense. The Management Board assesses the information requirements of government and industry to determine study subject priorities for which a study program for the coming year is developed. Study reports are available on the ESRF publications page.

The ESRF Secretariat is located at Natural Resources Canada.

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