Models of Collaborative Governance for Sustainable Coastal Communities and Ecosystems

Lay Summary 

We are in the midst of a transformation in the way coastal development is planned and managed in Canada. The future of coastal governance is likely to involve all levels of government, along with others who share an interest in coastal ecosystems and the communities they support. Research suggests it should also take into account multiple resources within marine and terrestrial environments while looking beyond natural resource extraction to a more diversified, holistic development approach. But what does this new form of decision-making actually look like? And how can we move from the status quo to this alternative vision?

This research examines existing models of collaborative, integrated coastal governance in Canada, including both regional economic development and watershed management case studies. The goal is to identify characteristics and lessons that may be applicable elsewhere, as well as future directions in three selected case study regions. Research questions include:

1) Have collaborative governance experiments advanced sustainable development in Canada’s coastal regions? If so, how?
2) What governance and contextual characteristics contribute to success in collaborative governance for sustainable coastal development (enablers)?
3) What barriers/resistors exist to a shift toward collaborative governance for sustainable development and how might these be overcome?

Social Sciences And Humanities Research Council, Coasts Under Stress, Dr. John Pierce, Simon Fraser University
Indian Bay
British Columbia
Nova Scotia
Newfoundland and Labrador
Community Development
Industry Sectors 
Local, Municipal and Regional Public Administration
Start date 
1 Jan 2002
End date 
31 Dec 2008