Existing and projected industrial growth in northwest BC, coupled with existing and projected climate change, has resulted in a heightened and growing need to consider the cumulative environmental, social and economic outcomes of developments. Efforts to take a more integrated approach to assessing, managing and monitoring cumulative effects raise not just scientific, but important governance and institutional questions. As part of an ongoing research project on cumulative effects, West Coast Environmental Law is building on our long experience with BC’s regulatory framework for environmental assessment, land use planning and resource use, as well as legal research about best practices from around the world in collaborative decision-making, to generate options for new institutional arrangements that address issues such as how to best:
- structure collaboration between provincial and First Nations governments/technical staff, and between governmental and non-governmental actors;
- integrate best available information, including independent science and Indigenous knowledge, into decision-making; and,
- take into account the diverse legal and policy regimes that are relevant to assessing and monitoring cumulative effects (i.e., which by definition cross-cut multiple resource specific legal frameworks).
This presentation, delivered in Smithers at the Bulkley Valley Research Centre conference “Adding it All Up: Balancing Benefits and Effects of Resource Development” in November 2012 summarizes preliminary research findings and explore options for new institutional arrangements to structure collaboration in regional cumulative effects management.
To listen to an audio recording of this presentation, click here.