Standard 1: Mission
The land trust has a clear mission that serves a public interest, and all programs support that mission.
A land trust has the responsibility to act in ways that benefit public rather than private interests. Everyone connected with a land trust’s governance should have a similar understanding of the organization’s mission in the event that the group is asked to take on programs and transactions that further individual interests but that do not advance the public purposes for which the land trust was organized. Land trust goals and programs implementing the mission may change over time, but change should be a deliberate decision. In establishing its mission, goals and programs, the land trust should reflect the needs and priorities of its constituency. Support from the community is essential for sustaining conservation over time, meeting conservation goals, defending conservation actions and obtaining financial support.
- Charitable Purposes Preservation Act, SBC 2004, c. 59, s. 3
- Review of the act: http://www.carters.ca/pub/bulletin/charity/2007/chylb122.htm
- Society Act, RSBC 1996, c. 433, s. 27.
- Canada Corporations Act, RSC 1970, c. C-32.
The land trust upholds high ethical standards through being inclusive and through honesty, openness, transparency, fairness, integrity, and the avoidance of any perceived or actual conflict of interest in its governance and operations, including implementation of its mission.
A land trust’s ethical obligations extend from the land conservation community to donors and taxpayers, landowners, the land and the community at large. A land trust should embrace the fundamental values of honesty, integrity, fairness, respect, trust, responsibility, inclusiveness and accountability in all of its operations. A board should consider adopting an ethics statement.
BC Assessment Questions
- How are ethical standards set, communicated and enforced?
- How does the land trust address conflict of interest, due diligence, and oversight?
- Are there any areas of governance and/or operations which have raised ethical questions?
- Does the land trust have a policy to ensure that inclusion and fairness are incorporated in their practices surrounding partner or other related professional organizations and agencies?
CLTA Assessment Questions
- Has the board adopted an ethics statement of organization values?