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  2. Standard 9: Ensuring Sound Transactions
  3. E. Conservation Agreement Drafting

E. Conservation Agreement Drafting

  • For every conservation agreement4,
    • Individually tailor it to the specific property
    • Identify the conservation values being protected
    • Allow only uses and permitted rights that are consistent with the conservation purposes and that will not significantly impair the protected conservation values
    • Avoid restrictions and permitted rights that the land trust cannot monitor and/or enforce
    • Include all necessary and appropriate provisions to ensure it is legally enforceable
  • Review each conservation agreement for:
    • Consistency with enabling legislation5 of conservation agreements and other provincial and federal applicable legislation
    • Internal consistency, omissions and absence of errors within the conservation agreement documents


This practice is integrally linked with 8D, project planning, and reflects the integration between conservation agreement planning, drafting and enforceability. The actual drafting of a conservation agreement should implement the project plan. Restrictions should be drafted to ensure that important conservation values are not significantly impaired, and in a way that ensures public benefit and maintains the credibility of the land trust. A conservation agreement’s restrictions must be monitored and enforceable, and a clear statement of the conservation agreement purpose must support them. Future interpretation of a conservation agreement rests on how clearly the document explains the restrictions and their intent, as well as on how enforceable the restrictions are.

4 Future interpretation of conservation agreements rests on how clearly the document explains the core elements and their intent. The core elements include provisions, schedules, definitions and other components which may impact the enforceability and readability of the conservation agreement.

5 Federal or provincial legislation that sets out the legislative rules for conservation agreements and that gives specific powers to certain body, individuals or organizations with respect to conservation agreements.