Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts: Toward Integrated Natural Resource Management in Canada

The rich diversity of Canada’s natural resources has always played an important role in the culture, health, safety, and livelihood of people in Canada. In resource-rich regions across the country, overlapping natural resource use can give rise to multiple opportunities and challenges. Changing resource demands, environmental conditions, and legal and social contexts, including commitments to reconciliation, are prompting decision-makers to re-examine natural resource management practices. This has led to a growing interest in developing integrated approaches to improve the way natural resources are currently managed.

In this context, Natural Resources Canada asked the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) to undertake an assessment on the state of knowledge and practice of integrated approaches to natural resource management in Canada.

To address the question, the CCA convened a multidisciplinary panel of 13 experts from Canada and abroad. Panel members brought expertise related to biology, ecology, economics, human geography, geoscience, law, natural resource management and development, public administration, sociology, and traditional knowledge. CIRDI Strategic Advisor and former CEO, Cassie J. Doyle, chaired an expert panel.

“This report speaks to the benefits of taking a more integrated approach to natural resource management. Given the increasing conflicts over resource development in Canada, we need to change the way we do things. We have solid experience of INRM to look to, although limited in its reach, and the report provides a framework and guidance for its broader implementation, drawing from both research and practice.” – Cassie J. Doyle, Chair, Expert Panel on The State of Knowledge and Practice of Integrated Approaches to Natural Resource Management in Canada

The panel report by the Council of Canadian Academies “Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts: Toward Integrated Natural Resource Management in Canada” looks at the potential contribution of integrated natural resource management (INRM) within Canada’s complex natural resource management landscape. The report is designed to be of value to leaders working to strengthen the efficacy and legitimacy of resource management systems, and to practitioners and other actors working to advance INRM.

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