This project is particularly relevant to our partners as it offers them a unique alliance enabling them to be active with scientists and other partners on how to address these issues and their needs. This CURA project is already helping to develop an attitude of cooperation, mutual assistance and sharing with others of such jurisdiction. For example, the Mi'kmaq, who have worked for five years on the development of participatory forms of governance on the management of resources, desire to share and learn from non-Aboriginal communities on ways to approach the subject. The SSL and ROBVQ are in a context of territorial redefinition and redistribution, to implement the integrated management of water on the whole territory of southern Quebec. This situation calls for these two organizations to agree on how to harmonize their respective mandates regarding integrated management of coastal areas, particularly regarding the effects of climate change. As part of a collaborative process and partnership, they are willing to work together to create better links between their organizations and the tools they develop: Water Management Plans (BDP) and Action Plans (ERAP). The Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de la Côte-Nord sees this CURA as an interesting opportunity to develop expertise in group facilitation and adaptation-anticipation of the effects of climate change. Indeed, the North Shore knows an important rate of decline of its large coastline, significantly affecting the quality of life and tranquility of residents. The ASSS is in search of methods and techniques for the transfer and acquisition of information on this situation. Finally, this partner sees the possibility of applying this expertise to other folders on the local communities in its territory.
In New Brunswick, through training of competent people at the local level, this CURA can respond to long term community needs; start the thought process around networking of local communities, and stimulate thinking around policy approaches resulting from New Brunswick' integrated coastal management (eg. develop appropriate compromises in its implementation in relation to new knowledge of these phenomena). The experience of New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario and partners supports initiatives of watershed and coastal zone management and planning purposes in Prince Edward Island. The process of researchers accompanying communities and the comparative aspect of the project can rally these issues around participatory governance and foster ownership of knowledge generated and shared by the actors.
In addition, it is also expected that this project will reinforce research and intervention capacity of academic and community partners and their rich networks of associations. Essential tools to accomplishing this project will include transfer and information gathering activities such as decision workshops, seminars and forums like the Citizens Forum on riverbank erosion on the North Shore. We have a major advantage in working with partners who are well established throughout the country and who have solid expertise in holding events and planning workshops (ICZM climate change).
For our partners, their involvement is crucial as it allows them to integrate knowledge and approaches in their strategic plans, their intervention strategies and training tools. The partners agree to specify that the results produced in this CURA must enable them to strengthen their capacity to negotiate with policy makers in developing policies and to help their work be recognized within governments. Other benefits are expected in several respects. They concern the development of a method of monitoring changes in environmental issues through multi-level longitudinal studies whose results will be posted on a user-friendly website and easily usable by all partners. To this end, OGSL and SAGE ensure that information is accessible by all partners (organizations or government agencies) to ensure that everyone can make informed decisions.