Posted by: Bob Payne | November 18, 2011

Ecosystem management and forestry planning in Labrador: how does Aboriginal involvement affect management plans?

Aboriginal peoples are increasingly being invited to participate in sustainable forest management processes as a means of including their knowledge, values, and concerns. However, it is justifiable to ask if this participation does lead to changes in forest management plans and to outcomes in management activities. We review four forest management plans over 10 years (1999–2009) in Labrador, Canada, to determine if increasing involvement by the Aboriginal Innu Nation has led to changes in plan content. We also compare these plans with three plans from another forest management district where there is no Innu presence and with two provincial forest strategies . Analysis shows that Labrador plans prepared since 2000, when the Innu and the provincial government established a collaborative process, are different from all other plans reviewed. Four principal characteristics distinguish these plans: a structure based around ecological, cultural, and economic landscapes, a network of cultural and ecological protected areas, increased attention to social and cultural values, and greater emphasis on research and monitoring.

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