Community Engagement in Marine Protected Area (MPA) Planning in the Arctic: Towards an Arctic Network of MPAs

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: social sciences, resource management, marine environment, protected area

Principal Investigator: Haider, Wolfgang (1)
Licence Number: 14482
Organization: School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University
Licenced Year(s): 2009
Issued: Mar 09, 2009
Project Team: Tyson Daoust (Research assistant, School of Resource and Environmental Management, S), Sabine Jessen (Research collaborator, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society), Philip Dearden (Research collaborator, University of Victoria), Murray Rutherford (Research collaborator , School of Resource and Environmental Management, S)

Objective(s): The objectives of the research are to describe, evaluate and compare two current MPA projects in the Western and Eastern Canadian Arctic

Project Description: This licence is being issued for the scientific research application no. 922.

The objectives of the research are to describe, evaluate and compare two current MPA projects in the Western and Eastern Canadian Arctic. The research will help communities learn from each other, as well as provide government agencies with suggestions for how to make improvements to MPA processes, based on the experiences of Tarium Niryutait MPA in the Western Arctic, and with Niginganiq in the Eastern Arctic.

The proposed research will consist of 4 activity phases:

i) Phase 1: Review of Government and Community Documents
Government and community documents on the Tarium Niryutait and Niginganiq MPA processes will be reviewed in order to document the planning processes for each site. This will include the Environment Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS)) office in Yellowknife and the Fisheries and Oceans Canada office in Inuvik.

ii) Phase 2: Key-informant interviews
During phase 2 of the project, researchers will interview key people who were involved in the MPA planning process for the Tarium Niryutait MPA. Specifically, researchers will interview people from Inuvialuit organizations, local communities, federal and territorial government departments/agencies, industry, and non-profit organizations who were involved in the MPA planning process. In the Northwest Territories this will include travel to the three communities closest to Tarium Niryutait MPA, Aklaavik, Inuvik and Tuktuujaqtuuq. Participants will be asked questions regarding their experiences and opinions regarding the Tarium Niryutait MPA planning process and MPAs in the Canadian North. Key informants will be chosen based on recommendations by agencies/organization officials including the Aurora Institute, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the Fisheries Joint Management Committee, Hunters and Trappers organizations, and others.

Results from Phases 1 and 2 will be summarized in a report that will be distributed to the communities.

iii) Phase 3: Eastern-Western Arctic Community Workshop
Upon completion of the first two phases of the project, a 2-day workshop will be convened for the presentation of results. Key community representatives from both the Western and Eastern Arctic will be invited and asked to tell their own stories about the MPAs and the planning process. The researchers will present their findings from the first two phases of the project. The second part of the workshop will focus on potential strategies for future Arctic MPAs, in order to develop and improve MPA processes. The latter will facilitate mutual learning between the two experiences.

This cross-community workshop will be a unique opportunity to exchange and compare community experiences from two very different regions of the Canadian Arctic and will hopefully inform future MPA planning processes. The outcome will be a report to be shared with the communities involved in these case studies, as well as with other northern coastal communities, government agencies, and key decision makers.

iv) Phase 4: Community/Government agency workshop
The final phase of the project will present the data collected in the initial two phases and seek feedback from senior government agency officials. Inuit and Inuvialuit community representatives will be invited to attend this second workshop to present their perspectives and collaborate with officials regarding MPA processes in the North. This phase of the research will facilitate engagement and hopefully foster cooperation and understanding between Inuit and Inuvialuit community and government officials. Mutual learning between community and government officials is the key motivation for this phase of the research.

Researchers will take measures to ensure the proper distribution of research results to the communities who participated in the study, or those whom could potentially benefit from the findings. Documented results of research findings will be made available to the community or hamlet councils of Aklaavik, Inuvik and Tuktuujaqtuuq, applicable lands claim organizations (ie. Fisheries Joint Management Committee) as well as federal and territorial government departments. Researchers will also issue a press release concerning the results of the research to local media.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted Aklavik, Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk from March 6 to December 31, 2009.