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Title: Reflexive legal processes for environmental bridging organizations in the Calgary Region
Authors: Stewart, Judy
Keywords: reflexive legal theory;transdisciplinary research;environmental governance;systems theory;bridging organizations;social-ecological systems
Issue Date: 17-Jun-2016
Publisher: Canadian Institute of Resources Law
Citation: (2016) 119 Resources 1-11
Abstract: n Canadian provinces, municipalities are responsible for most land use management on private lands, and are encouraged to protect provincially owned natural resources from local land use impacts. Policy and regulatory gaps exist at the regional-scale for managing municipal land use impacts on natural resources, such as air, water and ecological resources that cross multiple municipal boundaries and jurisdictions. In the Calgary Metropolitan Region in southern Alberta, three multi-stakeholder environmental bridging organizations (the Calgary Regional Partnership, the Bow River Basin Council, and Calgary Regional Airshed Zone) emerged, connecting municipal, public and private stakeholders who shared interests in land use, watershed and airshed management, respectively. These organizations co-created natural resource management plans (co-created plans) to address transboundary and interjurisdictional issues not addressed through provincial laws or municipal bylaws. Because the organizations have no legal mandate or authority, they operate alongside the provincial environmental policy and regulatory system. The Calgary Metropolitan Region provided a demonstration context for conducting transdisciplinary research, combining emerging theories of reflexive law, environmental governance, and bridging organizations. Reflexive legal theory is deliberately applied to support and legitimize the role of environmental bridging organizations in ‘bridging’ environmental policy and regulatory gaps between provincial and municipal authorities at a regional-scale.
ISSN: 0714-5918
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