Mandated Collaboration as a Strategy of Environmental Governance? A Case Study of the Niagara Peninsula Source Protection Area in Ontario
Vaughan, Katelyn Suzanne
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Government (state) command and control strategies for addressing the complexities, uncertainties, and conflicts associated with ecological issues are no longer adequate. This is particularly true when addressing water resources. Water resources are inherently complex as a result of demands related to (1) competition between multiple users of water resources; (2) multiple scales at which water is managed; and (3) the mismatch between administrative and hydrological boundaries. Collaborative strategies for environmental governance are increasingly essential for addressing water resource issues. New legislation in Ontario has specifically mandated that collaboration be used as a strategy for source water protection. Government involvement is important for successful collaboration. However, little research has been undertaken to understand what impact mandating collaboration has on the process and outcomes. This thesis explores the relationship between mandated collaboration, the process of collaboration, and its outcomes in order to critically assess the potential impacts of government-mandated collaboration. The research was guided by a conceptual framework developed from the literature concerning government involvement in collaboration. Evaluative criteria were used to assess processes and outcomes. The empirical work explored a case study of the Niagara Source Protection Area in Ontario. The case draws attention to how government affects the collaborative process and outcomes.