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The Alberta case study is focused on the development of a negotiated approach to integrated land management (ILM) using voluntary agreements between licensees in the forest management area (FMA) held by Alberta Pacific in north-eastern Alberta, the implications of extending these kinds of agreements to other FMAs and the incorporation of this approach into a provincial ILM policy by the Alberta government.

The government of Alberta is currently engaged in formulating an ILM Program that will integrate land use management policies and operations across several government Departments. An “ILM Project” is ongoing, with involvement from the Departments of Sustainable Resource Development, Energy, Environment, Municipal Affairs, Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Community Development and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. It is tasked with developing the principles, protocols, incentives, education and stewardship mechanisms, performance measures and governance structure of the ILM Program. The Project has established a process for stakeholder involvement and consultation.

Using our expertise in the field of policy development, the research team has been asked by the ILM Project:

  • To provide an assessment of the Alberta ILM policy as it is currently being developed;
  • To look in particular at opportunities to better integrate the activities of the forestry and oil and gas industries on the forest land base;
  • To evaluate the choice of policy instruments (tools) available under ILM, in particular the use of voluntary agreements between forestry and oil and gas companies in achieving ILM goals; and
  • To relate the Alberta ILM policy to the future development of regional land use plans and a provincial strategic Land Use Framework.

Our independent assessment will compare the choice of policy instruments, particularly the facilitation of voluntary agreements between forestry and oil and gas companies, with the stated goals of the Alberta government’s ILM policy and suggest ways in which key policy goals, such as encouraging industry to go beyond compliance with backstopping regulations, can be further developed.

Dr. Jeremy Rayner, Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Regina, and Professor Chris Tollefson from the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Law, will lead the first stage of the initiative. Working with UVic Law researchers Barry Robinson and Devyn Cousineau, and in collaboration with Dr.Keith Brownsey and Sal Fares of Mount Royal College, the team will conduct intensive interviewing in the field in the first summer, leading to a workshop in Edmonton in Fall 2006. We will deliver our policy assessment in the form of presentations in Edmonton by late winter of 2007.

Jon Elofson,
Northern Forestry
Centre (Edmonton),
Canadian Forest


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