Accepted Paper:

Conflict over risk in Southwest New Brunswick: the importance of articulating agreed upon institutional values for management   

Author:

Courtenay Parlee (Memorial University of Newfoundland )

Paper short abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that an absence of articulated and agreed institutional values for management can have significant consequences for the engagement of innovative institutions.

Paper long abstract:

In 2004 the Southwest New Brunswick Bay of Fundy Marine Advisory Committee (MAC) was established to address management challenges associated with conflict between marine resource users. They envisioned that part of the resolution process would entail working together to develop a management plan. An integral part of the exercise was to determine what surrounding communities valued about the marine environment. Through community consultations, the MAC developed a 'Community Values Criteria' (CVC) which contains four categories (ecological, cultural, social and economic) and sixteen individual values. The CVC was designed to help the MAC assess proposals for development so that they could advise government decisions, and to help project proponents gain information as to how their proposal would be evaluated by communities in the area. The literature on risk management states that an explicit focus on values helps explain varied perceptions of risk. From this perspective, the CVC was supposed to help the MAC, governments and proponents decide which developments were too risky and which were worth pursuing. Thus, risks and values were supposed to be the centre of political discussions. However, missing from the CVC is institutional values and thus a discussion about potential institutional risks. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that an absence of articulated and agreed institutional values for management can have significant consequences for the engagement of innovative institutions such as the MAC in governance processes such as dealing with conflict, stakeholder representation, and the role of government at the table.

Panel LL-AS08
Values and risk: the politics of knowledge in the living marine oceanscapes