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Source: Brock University

International researchers convene to explore governance of natural resources in a complex world

October 27, 2006

Researchers at Brock and Wilfrid Laurier University will lead a two-day international workshop on Oct. 27 and 28 at Wilfrid Laurier to address the challenge of natural resources use and protection in a complex and increasingly connected world. Participants at the workshop will take stock of recent developments in the governance of natural resources (e.g., fisheries, wildlife, forests), and identify new directions for research and policy.

Researchers and decision-makers are exploring new frameworks to explain and improve governance performance by recognizing the uncertainty associated with the use and protection of natural resources in places experiencing rapid socio-economic and ecological change, like Canada's North and many developing regions.

Policy directions of governments, both in Canada and around the world, are shifting away from regulatory models and are moving towards new approaches that stress collaboration and learning. Such developments are propelling natural resource governance into an adaptive age where the emphasis is on learning-by-doing, integrating different knowledge systems, collaboration and power-sharing among community, regional and national levels, and institutional flexibility.

The workshop includes 22 academics and practitioners from Canada, Vietnam, the United States, the Caribbean, Denmark and Finland, and includes participants from Canada's International Development Research Centre, Center for International Forestry Research, WorldFish and Institute for Fisheries Management (NorthSea Centre).

Key outcomes of the workshop will include the development of policy briefs to enhance knowledge dissemination, and preparations for a long-term research program to evaluate governance performance and enhance policy at local, national and international levels.

This workshop and the larger research initiative are supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, with additional assistance provided by Brock International and the Office of the AVP Research and International Development (Brock University) and Wilfrid Laurier University's Cold Regions Research Centre, an interdisciplinary centre for research and teaching about cold regions.

For more information, please contact Ryan Plummer, Associate Professor, Department of Tourism and Environment, at 905-688-5550, ext. 4782; e-mail:



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