We invite you to participate in a two-day workshop focused on identifying possible next steps in the evolution of ecosystem-based management in Alberta. The workshop will include a mixture of presentations, case studies, small group conversations and facilitated activities. Participants will contribute directly to a roadmap to guide actionable next steps in the evolution of ecosystem-based management in Alberta.
Why this workshop & why now?
Ecosystem-based management (EBM) holds great promise as a new natural resource management paradigm and is being promoted by many government, industry, and stakeholder organizations in Alberta and beyond. The concept is consistent with most of our shared hopes and desires of how we wish to manage forest landscapes, and is inclusive of, as opposed to competitive with, many other current management strategies. However, EBM is also aspirational and highly complex, potentially impacting many existing policies, practices, roles, and responsibilities. As a result, many different interpretations of EBM now exist.
This diversity is not surprising. To manage the associated complexity, management organizations often resort to reinterpreting principles, simplifying concepts, emphasizing some elements over others, or omitting key features entirely all in an effort to make it work. In isolation this may be effective. However, when working with others this approach creates fragmentation. The lack of shared understanding between individuals and agencies results in the polarization of issues the erosion of trust, and ultimately roadblocks to forward movement – regardless of the quality or quantity of the knowledge or tools.
The community of policy makers, practitioners, ENGO’s and stakeholders in Alberta have an opportunity to not just further advance the conversation around EBM in Alberta, but to collaboratively identify next steps for making EBM a reality in Alberta.
This workshop is not a stand-alone product, but rather one step in a deliberate process by the fRI Research Healthy Landscapes Program to engage in an open conversation about EBM. Last year we launched a Lessons From Nature website (www.lessonsfromnature.ca) which provides an introduction to some key ecosystem-based management principles. Over the past year we conducted “EBM Dialogue Sessions” across Alberta to evaluate perspectives on ecosystem-based management from across the stakeholder spectrum. Lastly, this workshop is also a follow-up to the Biodiversity and Forestry Workshop hosted by the Alberta government in June 2016.
What will the workshop yield?
The output from the workshop will generate a list of specific actions that can be taken to further evaluate, talk, and or test EBM principles. This is all to advance the discussion and the activity around forest management in Alberta in a productive and reflective way.