The State of Knowledge and Practice of Integrated Approaches to Natural Resource Management in Canada
Natural Resources Canada has asked the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) to undertake an expert panel assessment on the current state of knowledge of integrated approaches to natural resource management in Canada. Integrated natural resource management refers to ways of managing natural resources that consider a comprehensive range of needs and uses and their sustainability over the long term.
What is the state of knowledge and practice of integrated approaches to natural resource management in Canada?
The Expert Panel on Integrated Natural Resource Management held its first meeting February 28 to March 1 in Ottawa. Panel members, made up of experts from across Canada, met to familiarize themselves with the scope and charge of the assessment, hear from the sponsor, and decide on how best to gather evidence and research in preparation for their next meeting. Over the coming months, the Panel will guide CCA staff in the evidence-gathering process. A report outline and a presentation of the evidence and main themes will be prepared for the Panel’s second meeting, to be held in June, in western Canada. It is anticipated the final report will be released in early 2018.
Canada is endowed with a diversity of resources. In some regions, energy, forestry, and mining activities, for example, may all occur simultaneously and in close proximity. While each of these activities may on its own have well-understood environmental, social, and economic impacts, when considered together, the impact can be complex and significant. Historically, resource management decisions were made on a project-by-project basis, but there is a growing interest in deploying more integrated approaches that consider the full set of activities occurring in an area to better support decision-making and the sustainable use of all resources.
In recent years, integrated natural resource management has been gaining momentum in Canada. However, progress and barriers are difficult to assess and evaluate. This new assessment by the CCA will bring together a disparate knowledge base to shed new light on how both science and traditional knowledge can be best applied to enhance the management of natural resources in Canada. It will focus on land-based resource management, including agricultural production. Freshwater systems (surface and groundwater) affected by land-based activities are also within the scope of the assessment.
The Chair of the Expert Panel on Integrated Natural Resource Management is Cassie Doyle, CEO of the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute. For a complete list of panel members, visit the Expert Panel page.
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