The Paradox of Fragmentation in Regional Resource Management: Implications for Cumulative Effects Assessment in Alberta

  • Author / Creator
    Paddison, Robyn May
  • Cross-jurisdictional natural resource management at global and regional scales is increasingly struggling with issues of fragmentation. Within the context of regional resource management and governance, fragmentation is a term to broadly describe the interaction of numerous jurisdictions within a region. The nature of these relationships can produce varying effects on ecosystem health when resource management issues transcend jurisdictional boundaries. The concept of fragmentation shifts between disciplines and case studies, often with a focus on the negative outcomes that fragmentation may produce. This research takes a new approach to analyzing fragmentation that aims to understand the many ways that fragmentation can occur, and the often-competing outcomes that fragmentation may produce. The approach involves constructing a consolidated framework for analyzing fragmentation. Qualitative data were examined to present examples of fragmentation from a case study within the Yellowhead ecosystem region in Western Canada. The examples support the structure of a consolidated framework for analyzing fragmentation and illustrate the types of fragmentation occurring alongside cross-jurisdictional resource management in Alberta. Cross-jurisdictional issues such as tenure allocation, species at risk management, approval acquisition and planning provide different examples of fragmentation. Analysis of the fragmentation occurring alongside these issues identified positive and negative outcomes of fragmentation. The framework was also applied for in depth examination of one cross-jurisdictional issue: cumulative effects management. Cumulative effects management is an approach to transboundary resource management currently being implemented by the Government of Alberta. Different types of fragmentation are constraining and enabling the effective implementation of cumulative effects management in the Yellowhead ecosystem in different ways, producing positive and negative effects. By constructing a consolidated framework for analyzing fragmentation, and applying it to a case study in the Yellowhead ecosystem, this research seeks to clarify the concept of fragmentation and the implications of fragmentation for achieving desired outcomes outlined natural resource management strategies.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.