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Flying on the wings of trust : the story of the Delta farmland and wildlife trust an example of collaborative… Anderson, Elaine Susan 2009

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FLYING ON THE WINGS OF TRUST: THE STORY OF THE DELTA FARMLAND AND WILDLIFE TRUST AN EXAMPLE OF COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITY BASED RESOURCE MANAGEMENT by ELAINE SUSAN ANDERSON B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1986 B.Sc. (Agr), The University of British Columbia, 2000 M. Se. (Planning), The University of British Columbia, 2003 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) August 2009 © Elaine Susan Anderson, 2009 Abstract Compétition over resources is threatening both agricultural viability and wildlife habitat around the world. One of the ways this problem can be addressed is through agri-environmental non- government organizations (NGOs) that practice community based collaborative resource management. However, there is a lack of académie research on both the formation and development of agri-environmental NGOs in First World industrialized nations and the rôle that policy plays in their formation and development. It is important to understand how policy affects the formation and development of such organizations in order to address any policy gaps that may exist. My research examines how a community in conflict acknowledged the potential loss of both agricultural and wildlife resources and came together to identify ways to share resources more equitably. Since 1993, the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust (DFWT) has been working with farmers and environmentalists to balance the needs of wildlife with the needs of farmers. The DFWT shares the cost of spécifie management practices that benefit agriculture and wildlife. My research involved face-to-face interviews with 28 individuals who had been involved in the formation and/or development of the DFWT. Content analysis was used to identify common thèmes in the interviews. Secondary sources of information were reviewed to triangulate the results. The formation of the DFWT came about due to a number of conflicts occurring in Delta at the time. The conflicts were having a négative impact on both agricultural and wildlife habitat viability. The key driving force in the formation of the DFWT appeared to be the willingness of agricultural and conservation interests to work together. Government policy appears to hâve enabled the formation of the DFWT. However, policy may be impeding the development of the DFWT by limiting the ability of the DFWT to provide agri-environmental stewardship programs in an optimal manner. Agri-environmental policies from three countries were reviewed and a variety of policies that could be used to encourage agri-environmental stewardship in Canada were identified. This research will be of value to individuals and organizations interested in collaborative community based resource management as well as to those interested in developing supportive agri-environmental policy. ii Table of Contents List of Tables ix Acknowledgements xiii CHAPTER 1 Introduction 1 1.0 Introduction 1 1.1 Context 1 1.2 Personal Motivation 2 1.3 Methods 4 1.4 Contribution to Knowledge 5 CHAPTER 2 Global Context 6 2.0 Introduction 6 2.1 Population Growth 6 2.2 Agricultural Intensification 6 2.3 Resource Depletion 6 2.4 Climate Change 7 2.5 Biofuels 8 2.6 Biodiversity 8 2.7 Human Behaviour 10 2.8 Economies and Policy 13 2.9 Summary 14 CHAPTER 3 Fédéral and Provincial Context 15 3.1 Introduction 15 3.2 Area and Population 15 3.3 Agriculture 15 3.3.1 Canada 15 3.3.2 British Columbia 16 3.4 Biodiversity and Wildlife Habitat 17 3.5 Summary 19 CHAPTER 4 Régional and Local Context 20 4.1 Introduction 20 4.2 Greater Vancouver Région 20 iii 4.3 Delta 21 4.3.1 Agriculture 21 4.3.2 Wildlife 26 4.3.3 Agriculture-Wildlife Conflicts 27 4.3.4 Summary 27 4.4 Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust 28 4.4.1 Pre-DFWT 28 4.4.2 Formation of the DFWT 29 4.4.3 DFWT Programs 29 4.5 Summary 31 CHAPTER 5 Theoretical Frameworks 33 5.1 Introduction 33 5.2 Interdisciplinary Rationale 33 5.3 Sustainable Agriculture 34 5.4 Agroecology 39 5.5 Agricultural Extension 41 5.6 Ecological Economies 43 5.7 Adaptive Policy 49 5.8 Summary 50 CHAPTER 6 Literature Review 51 6.1 Introduction 51 6.2 Agri-environmental Collaborations 51 6.2.1 Malpai Borderlands Group 52 6.2.2 Cameron County Agricultural Coexistence Committee 53 6.3 Ecosystem Goods and Services 54 6.3.1 Fraser Valley Natural Capital 55 6.3.2 Public Amenity Benefits and Ecological Services of Farmland 56 6.4 Wildlife Habitat Availability on Farmland 58 6.5 DFWT Research 59 6.5.1 Cover Crops 60 6.5.2 Trumpeter Swan Habitat Use Study 60 6.5.3 Grassland Set-asides 61 6.5.4 Raptor and Small Mammal Densities in Selected Grassland Types 62 6.5.5 Hedgerow Songbird Surveys 63 iv 6.6 Other Research Involving the DFWT 63 6.6.1 Hedgerows 64 6.6.2 Land Tenure 65 6.7 Competing Interests 66 6.7.1 Conflicts in Delta 67 6.7.2 Land Use Management in Delta 68 6.7.3 Agriculture in Delta 69 6.7.4 Ecosystem Protection in Delta 70 6.8 Summary 71 CHAPTER 7 Research Problem Statement 73 7.1 Introduction 73 7.2 Overarching Problem 73 7.3 Broad Research Problems 74 7.4 Spécifie Research Questions 75 7.5 Summary 76 CHAPTER 8 Methodology 78 8.1 Introduction 78 8.2 Framework 78 8.3 Data Sources 79 8.3.1 Primary Data Collection 80 8.3.2 Interview Sample Design 81 8.3.3 Response Rates 81 8.3.4 Validity 82 8.3.5 Reliability 83 8.4 Content Analysis 83 8.4.1 Interview Analysis 84 8.5 PolicyReview 85 8.6 Summary 85 CHAPTER 9 Research Methods 87 9.1 Introduction 87 9.2 EthicsReview 87 9.3 CaseStudy 87 v 9.4 Interview Schedule 88 9.5 Population/Sample 89 9.6 Interview Recruitment 89 9.7 Interview Process 90 9.8 Stakeholder Consultation 91 9.9 Data Processing 91 9.9.1 Closed-ended Questions 91 9.9.2 Open-ended Questions 94 9.10 Policy Questions 97 9.11 Policy Review 98 9.11.1 Step I: Understanding the Issue 99 9.11.2 Step II: Policy Objective Setting 100 9.11.3 Step III: Policy Design 100 9.12 Secondary Data 100 9.13 Summary 101 CHAPTER 10 Interview Results 102 10.1 Introduction 102 10.2 Data Limitations 102 10.2.1 Response Rate 102 10.2.2 Self-selection 103 10.2.3 Policy Questions 103 10.3 Results 104 10.3.1 Categorization of Interview Respondents 105 10.3.2 DFWT Involvement 107 10.3.3 Conflicts pre-DFWT 107 10.3.4 Why the DFWT Formed 114 10.3.5 DFWT Accomplishments and Challenges 118 10.3.6 Conflicts 125 10.3.8 What Else Could Government Do? 132 10.3.9 Lessons Learned 134 10.3.10 Other Comments about the DFWT 135 10.4 Summary 137 CHAPTER 11 Interview Results Discussion 140 11.1 Introduction 140 11.2 Formation of the DFWT 140 vi 13.3.1 Australia 215 13.3.2 England 218 13.3.3 Switzerland 222 13.4 KeyPolicies 226 13.5 Summary 228 CHAPTER 14 General Discussion 229 14.1 Introduction 229 14.2 Linking Global Issues to Local Action 229 14.3 Linking Theory to Practice 235 14.4 DFWT as a Model 238 14.5 Linking Theory, Policy, and Practice 243 14.6 Putting Policy into Practice 248 14.7 Summary 250 CHAPTER 15 Conclusions and Recommendations 252 15.1 Conclusions 252 15.1.1 Formation of the DFWT 253 15.1.2 Rôle of Policy in the Formation of the DFWT 253 15.1.3 Rôle of Policy in the Development of the DFWT 254 15.1.4 Government Policies that Could be Used to Encourage Agri-environmental Stewardship in Canada 254 15.1.5 Principles of Collaboration 255 15.1.6 Summary 256 15.2 Recommendations 258 List of Références 260 Appendix I Behavioural Research Ethics Board Certificate of Approval (p. 1 of 2) 277 Appendix II Behavioural Research Ethics Board Supporting_Documents: Main Study Consent Form (p. 1 of 3) 279 Appendix III Behavioural Research Ethics Board Supporting Documents: Invitation Letter (p. 1 of3) 282 Appendix IV Behavioural Research Ethics Board Supporting Documents: Interview Schedule (p. 1 of 4) 285 Appendix V Behavioural Research Ethics Board Supporting Documents: Letter of Contact (p. l o f 3) 289 Appendix VI Interview Results Summary Tables 292 viii List of Tables Table 3.1 Plant and animal species estimâtes 18 Table 4.1 Top five crops produced in Delta (2006) 22 Table 6.1 Positive associations with farmland 56 Table 6.2 Most important attributes of farmland 57 Table 9.1 Type 1: Majority of closed-ended questions 92 Table 9.2 Catégories of DFWT involvement 93 Table 9.3 Type 2: Categorization of interview subjects 93 Table 9.4 Type 3: Degree of conflict 93 Table 9.5 Are you aware of any conflicts between agricultural and environmental interests that existed prior to the formation of the DFWT? 94 Table 9.6 PreDFWT Conflicts 94 Table 9.7 Identification of key concepts from preDFWT conflicts 95 Table 9.8 Identification of thèmes (preDFWT conflicts) 96 Table 9.9 Conflicts between agricultural and environmental interests that existed prior to the formation of the DFWT 97 Table 10.1 Catégories of DFWT involvement 105 Table 10.2 Which category or catégories best describe your involvement with the DFWT? 106 Table 10.3 Catégories of involvement 106 Table 10.4 Are you aware of any conflicts between agricultural and environmental interests that existed prior to the formation of the DFWT? 108 Table 10.5 Conflicts between agricultural and environmental interests that existed prior to the formation of the DFWT 108 Table 10.6 Degree of conflict between agricultural and environmental interests prior to the formation of the DFWT 109 Table 10.7 Did the conflicts hâve a négative impact on agricultural viability? 110 Table 10.8 Négative impact on agricultural viability due to conflicts 110 Table 10.9 Did any of the conflicts hâve a négative impact on wildlife habitat viability? ..111 Table 10.10 Négative impact on wildlife habitat viability due to conflicts 111 Table 10.11 Can you name any government or non-government organizations involved in any of the conflicts? 112 ix Table 11.1 Summary of policies that contributed to the conflicts prior to the formation of the DFWT 144 Table 11.2 Summary of policies that hâve enabled the formation of the DFWT 154 Table 11.3 Summary of policies that hâve impeded the formation of the DFWT 154 Table 11.4 Summary of policies that hâve enabled the development of the DFWT 166 Table 11.5 Summary of policies that hâve impeded the development of the DFWT 167 Table 11.6 Summary of policies that hâve enabled the development of the DFWT 173 Table 11.7 Summary of policies that hâve impeded the development of the DFWT 173 Table 11.8 Summary of policies that hâve enabled the development of the DFWT 179 Table 11.9 Summary of policies that hâve impeded the development of the DFWT 179 Table 11.10 Summary of policies that hâve enabled the development of the DFWT 181 Table 11.11 Summary of policies that hâve impeded the development of the DFWT 181 Table 12.1 Summary of policy thèmes that hâve enabled the formation of the DFWT 188 Table 12.2 Summary of policy thèmes that hâve enabled the development of the DFWT.. 189 Table 12.3 Summary of enabling policy thèmes 189 Table 12.4 Summary of policy thèmes that contributed to the conflicts prior to the formation of the DFWT 190 Table 12.5 Summary of policy thèmes that hâve impeded the formation of the DFWT 190 Table 12.6 Summary of policy thèmes that hâve impeded the development of the DFWT 191 Table 12.7 Summary of impeding policy thèmes 191 Table A. 1 Are you aware of any conflicts between agricultural and environmental interests that existed prior to the formation of the DFWT? 292 Table A.2 Conflicts between agricultural and environmental interests that existed prior to the formation of the DFWT 292 Table A.3 Did the conflicts hâve a négative impact on agricultural viability? 294 Table A.4 Négative impact on agricultural viability due to conflicts 294 Table A.5 Did any of the conflicts hâve a négative impact on wildlife habitat viability?.. 295 Table A.6 Négative impact on wildlife habitat viability due to conflicts 295 Table A. 7 Can you name any government or non-go vemment organizations involved in any of the conflicts? 296 Table A. 8 Government or non-go vemment organizations involved in conflicts 296 Table A.9 Do you think government policies contributed to any of thèse conflicts? 298 x Table A.10 Description of policies that contributed to the conflicts 298 Table A.l 1 Do you know why the DFWT formed? 300 Table A.12 Driving forces in DFWT formation 300 Table A.13 Did govemment policies help in the formation of the DFWT? 302 Table A. 14 Policies that helped in the formation of the DFWT 302 Table A. 15 Did govemment policies impede the formation of the DFWT? 3 04 Table A. 16 Government policies that impeded the formation of the DFWT 304 Table A.17 Do you think the DFWT has any major accomplishments? 305 Table A.18 DFWT accomplishments 305 Table A. 19 Did govemment policy contribute to any of thèse accomplishments? 306 Table A.20 Government policies that contributed to the accomplishments 306 Table A.21 Do you think the DFWT has any major challenges? 309 Table A.22 DFWT challenges 309 Table A.23 Do you think govemment policies contributed to any of thèse challenges? 311 Table A.24 Government policies that contributed to DFWT challenges 311 Table A.25 Do you think conflicts between agricultural and environmental interests hâve decreased since the formation of the DFWT? 314 Table A.26 Conflicts that hâve decreased since the formation of the DFWT 314 Table A.27 Hâve govemment policies helped to decrease any of thèse conflicts? 315 Table A.28 Government policies that hâve helped to decrease thèse conflicts 315 Table A.29 Hâve conflicts in Delta increased since the formation of the DFWT? 316 Table A. 3 0 Conflicts that hâve increased since the formation of the DFWT 316 Table A.31 Did govemment policies contributed to an increase in any of thèse conflicts? .317 Table A.32 Government policies that contributed to an increase in conflicts 317 Table A.33 Are there other issues besides environmental conflicts that are threatening the viability of agriculture in Delta? 318 Table A.34 Other issues or conflicts that are threatening agricultural viability in Delta 318 Table A.35 Did govemment policies contribute to any of thèse other issues? 321 Table A.36 Government policies that contributed to thèse other issues 321 Table A. 3 7 Is there anything that govemment could do to support DFWT programs and/or individual farmers who want to provide wildlife habitat while maintaining or enhancing agricultural viability? 324 xi Table A. 3 8 What govemment could do to support DFWT programs and/or individual farmers who want to provide wildlife habitat while maintaining or enhancing agricultural viability 324 Table A. 3 9 Can you think of any lessons learned from the DFWT expérience that might help other organizations to develop similar agri-environmental programs? 328 Table A.40 Lessons learned: what has worked for the DFWT 328 Table A.41 Lessons learned: what could be improved 330 Table A.42 Is there anything else you would like to say about the DFWT? 331 Table A.43 Other comments about the DFWT 331 xii Acknowledgements I would like to acknowledge Dr. Art Bomke, Dr. Alejandro Rojas, and Dr. Bill Rees for providing me with ongoing encouragement, intellectual stimulation, and unwavering support throughout my tenure as a Ph.D. student. Their guidance and trust helped me to persévère through the good times and the bad. I would also like to acknowledge the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust for agreeing to participate in this study. I could not hâve completed my research without their support and involvement. Finally, I would like to acknowledge ail of those individuals who agreed to participate in an interview. Their willingness to share their expériences and insights helped to make my research extremely enjoyable and enlightening. xiii CHAPTER 1 Introduction 1.0 Introduction This chapter pro vides a brief introduction to my research. I begin with an overview of some of the agricultural and wildlife habitat conservation challenges faced at the global and local level. I also provide a brief description of the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust (DFWT), the organization I used as my case study. I then provide an explanation as to why I became interested in studying the DFWT, the four research questions I developed to guide my study, and how my research will contribute to knowledge. 1.1 Context Over the past century there has been a fourfold increase in the world human population. The global population is expected to increase to nine billion by 2050 (UN, 2000). Agricultural land is being lost to development and farmers are under intense pressure to produce more food on less land. The industrialization of agriculture has resulted in environmental problems such as soil loss, water pollution, and destruction of wildlife habitat (Stauber et al., 1995). Industrialization of agriculture has also resulted in an increased dependency on fossil fuels and excessive resource consumption. Fossil fuels are typically used as a source of energy for machinery and as a key ingrédient in synthetic fertilizers. The pollution caused by burning fossil fuels is one of the factors that contributes to climate change, along with méthane from manure and N2O from fertilizers (IPCC, 2007). Thèse greenhouse gases can reduce the productivity of agricultural land and contribute to biodiversity loss (IPCC, 2007; Costanza et al., 1997). Biodiversity is declining around the world in both wild and domestic plant and animal populations (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005). Decreased genetic diversity results in increased vulnerability to disease. In wild populations this can resuit in reduced species viability. In domestic populations this can resuit in a greater need for antibiotics in animais and pesticides in crops. Eliminating native plants and animais from farmland either intentionally or unintentionally through clearing or through the use of toxic substances negatively impacts natural ecosystems (Altieri, 2000). In addition, wildlife are being forced onto farmland as a resuit of urban development where they compete with farmers for limited resources and reduce agricultural productivity (e.g. consuming crops and livestock) (Neave et al., 2000). Compétition for resources is a growing issue around the world. The municipality of Delta (British Columbia, Canada) has faced, and continues to face, compétition for resources in its agricultural area. Delta has some of the most productive farmland in Canada (Temple, 1994; Klohn Leonoff Ltd. et al., 1992) and also provides vital habitat for millions of migratory birds (DUC, 2000). Unfortunately, waterfowl feed on farmers' crops and damage soil. This créâtes an added expense for farmers. It has also created a great deal of conflict between farmers and conservationists. However, in 1993 the DFWT was founded by local farmers and conservationists interested in conserving agricultural and wildlife resources. The mission of the DFWT is to promote préservation of farmland and associated wildlife habitat on the Fraser River delta through sustainable farming and land stewardship. The DFWT supports both wildlife habitat conservation and agriculture by sharing the cost of spécifie management practices contributing to soil and/or wildlife habitat conservation and enhancement. Thèse practices include: • Grassland set-asides • Cover crops • Field margins • Hedgerows (DFWT, 2006) I chose to study the DFWT because I was interested in finding out how opposing interests worked together to solve a local problem that is global in nature. In the next section I provide a brief explanation of why I was inspired to pursue this research. 1.2 Personal Motivation I grew up in the City of Toronto (Ontario, Canada) within a heavily modified human landscape of roads and buildings. Every week my parents would drive me into the countryside to take horseback riding lessons. Every year the journey became more and more depressing. Farms and forests were disappearing as the city sprawled further and further out into the country. The scènes haunted me. I wondered what would happen to ail the farms and wildlife habitat in the future if this kept happening. I realized, upon travelling to différent cities around the world, that agricultural land and wildlife habitat were being consumed by cities ail over the world. This séries of events led me to eventually pursue a degree in sustainable agriculture. I thought that if 2 I knew more about sustainable agriculture I could save farms and wildlife habitat. However, I soon realized that it was not enough to know about the benefîts of sustainable agriculture. I needed to understand how to put the theory of sustainable agriculture into practice. I needed to learn about how to develop policies that would stop this from happening. I decided to study community planning. I felt that by becoming immersed in the 'culture' of planning that I would see development through the eyes of the people who worked in that discipline and could then help prevent agricultural land and wildlife habitat from being lost to development. I became an Environmental Planner in the Township of Langley, an agricultural community about 90 kms from the City of Vancouver, BC. I learned that my désire to protect agricultural land and wildlife habitat was extremely difficult within the existing policy framework. I discovered that agricultural land, although protected to some extent by the Agricultural Land Commission Act, was being converted to non-agricultural uses (e.g. rural estâtes) and the remaining agricultural land was being used more and more for intensive industrial agriculture, due to the pressures on farmers to produce inexpensive food in an increasingly compétitive environment. As a resuit, wildlife habitat was being lost and the long term sustainability of the land for farming and/or wildlife appeared to be threatened. Frustrated by the constraints of municipal government, I decided to start a sustainable agriculture network in Langley, to try to bring people together to focus on more sustainable forms of agriculture. I joined forces with the Langley Environmental Partners Society, a well respected non-government organization that works primarily on watershed stewardship but was also interested in agricultural stewardship. I discovered that it was extremely difficult to secure funding for ambitious long-term solutions such as the network I envisioned. After many years of applying for funding we received a small grant to fund one aspect of our network. This project was intended to match people with unused agricultural land with people looking to farm in a sustainable manner. We discovered that although about 50% of the land in the Agricultural Land Reserve in Langley is not being farmed (BCMAFF, 2001), few people were interested in leasing out their unused land for farming. As a resuit of thèse expériences, I decided that I wanted to examine the current policy framework to détermine whether it was acting as an impediment to the concurrent optimization of both agricultural productivity and wildlife habitat on agricultural land. I chose to focus on the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust for a number of reasons. As a résident of Delta at the time the DFWT was formed, I was intrigued by the progress that the DFWT appeared to hâve made in agri-environmental stewardship. Driving through Delta I would often see signs in farmers' fields announcing that they were part of a DFWT program. Agriculture seemed to be thriving despite having to share resources with millions of birds. I was also familiar with the DFWT through my académie and professional life. Colleagues from both the agricultural community and environmental community often spoke about the DFWT, praising its agri- environmental stewardship programs. Thinking back to my days in Toronto, where the countryside disappeared under rows of identical brick houses, this harmonious scène of man and nature was like a painting from my youth. It filled me with wonder and motivated me to begin my research into the DFWT. I thought it would be interesting to find out how the organization formed, and whether policy had enabled or impeded the formation and development of the DFWT. I also wanted to explore whether policy reform might facilitate the work they were doing. I developed four research questions to guide my study: 1. What led to the formation of the DFWT? 2. Did government policy enable or impede the formation of the DFWT? 3. Did government policy enable or impede the development of the DFWT? 4. What sorts of government policies could be used to encourage agri-environmental stewardship in Canada? 1.3 Methods I used a qualitative approach in my research because I felt that it was the most appropriate method of capturing and understanding the perspectives of those involved in the formation and/or development of the DFWT. Qualitative research focuses on spécifie people or situations emphasizing words rather than numbers (Maxwell, 2005). I conducted face-to-face interviews with people who had been involved in the formation and/or development of the DFWT because I wanted to make a personal connection with each individual. I felt that this would be a better way to interact with people and collect meaningful data about the DFWT than using a self- administered questionnaire. I used content analysis to analyse each interview. I also reviewed secondary sources of information to help triangulate my results and provide additional context. 4 1.4 Contribution to Knowledge There is a lack of académie research on both the formation and development of agri- environmental NGOs in First World industrialized nations and the rôle that policy plays in their formation and development. By documenting how the DFWT formed, I hope to contribute to a better understanding of how competing interests can work together to conserve wildlife habitat and agricultural viability. Two similar community based organizations, the Malpai Borderlands Group and the Cameron County Agricultural Coexistence Committee, were also formed to address competing interests over agricultural and wildlife habitat resources. Thèse case studies are reviewed in Chapter 6 and compared to the DFWT in Chapter 14. By documenting the accomplishments and challenges of the DFWT I will provide individuals and organizations around the world with the opportunity to learn from the DFWT's expériences. By identifying how policies hâve affected the formation and development of the DFWT, and examining agri-environmental policies from other countries, I will provide decision-makers and community members with alternative approaches to support agri- environmental stewardship. This research may assist communities around the world to adopt or adapt similar programs that support both the conservation of wildlife habitat and agricultural production. If communities around the world adopt a community based collaborative approach to resource management and govemments support such efforts, the global matrix upon which sustainability initiatives are anchored will expand, perhaps leading to more équitable distribution and conservation of resources around the world. 5 CHAPTER 2 Global Context 2.0 Introduction This chapter summarizes the global context in which my research is situated by providing an overview of the factors impacting agriculture and wildlife habitat around the world. The effects of population growth, agricultural intensification, climate change, resource depletion, biofuels, and loss of biodiversity on agro-ecosystem sustainability are discussed in the context of human behaviour, the global economy, and government policy. 2.1 Population Growth During the twentieth century the global population increased dramatically from 1.65 billion to six billion (United Nations Secrétariat, 1999). The global population is expected to increase to nine billion by 2050 (United Nations Secrétariat, 2008). The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recently announced that world food stocks are rapidly dwindling. Thirty seven countries are facing food crises as a resuit of civil strife and disasters. Food security is threatened by rising food priées, historically low food stocks, floods and droughts associated with climate change, high fuel priées, and increasing demand for bio-fuels. Food riots hâve occurred in some countries as a resuit of high international cereal priées (FAO, 2007). 2.2 Agricultural Intensification Population growth, wealth disparities, and uneven distribution of food are driving increased demand for food and urban encroachment into agricultural areas. Farmers are under intense pressure to produce more food on less land. Agricultural intensification has resulted in an increased dependency on external inputs such as pesticides, fertilizers, water, and fossil fuel. Dependency on external inputs increases the vulnerability of farmers to rising priées, reduced input availability, and other market changes. Agricultural intensification has also resulted in environmental problems such as soil loss, water pollution, and destruction of wildlife habitat (McNeely and Scherr, 2003; Pretty, 2002; Gliessman, 2000; Altieri, M.A., 1999). 2.3 Resource Depletion Modem agriculture has resulted in soil dégradation around the world. It is estimated that about 562 million hectares of agricultural land across the globe are degraded (World Bank, 2008). Soil dégradation includes salinization, compaction, contamination, loss of fertility, and soil érosion. Soil is created at about 1 ton per hectare per year, so the losses that are occurring are, in effect, permanent losses, often of an order of magnitude greater. Typical agricultural techniques such as intensive tillage, short crop rotations, use of monocultures, and leaving soil exposed after harvest hâve contributed to the décline in soil quality and quantity (Gliessman, 2000). Modem agriculture has also had a significant impact on communities around the world. There has been a global trend towards fewer farms and consolidation of small farms into large farms (Pretty et al., 2001; Gliessman, 2000). This has left agricultural production in the hands of relatively few people. In addition, children from farming families are leaving the farm for jobs in cities. Local knowledge about farming and the ecosystems in which farms operate is being lost as farming communities dissolve (Gliessman, 2000). Farm conglomeration to produce commodities for export has forced local farmers in developing countries to farm marginal lands. Farming of marginal lands can resuit in deforestation, soil érosion, and ecological damage (Gliessman, 2000). The décline in non-renewable resources, such as fossil fuels, is of great concern to the agriculture industry. Fossil fuels are typically used as a source of energy for machinery and as a key ingrédient in synthetic fertilizers. The pollution caused by burning fossil fuels contributes to climate change, which can reduce productivity of agricultural land and contribute to biodiversity loss (Gliessman, 2000; Costanza étal., 1997). 2.4 Climate Change Climate change poses a serious threat to communities around the world (Solomon et al., 2007; Pretty, 2002). Impacts of climate change include rising sea levels, increased frequency and magnitude of storm events, greater fluctuations in température, droughts, and floods. The impact of climate change on agricultural production will vary. Some areas may see increased productivity as a resuit of greater précipitation or warmer weather while other areas may be unable to continue food production (e.g. low lying coastal areas inundated by rising sea level) (Solomon et al., 2007). Ongoing effects of climate change are likely to increase the vulnerability of the global food supply. For example, a significant change in climate in an area of high production could cause a significant drop in food supply, resulting in a réduction of local and global food security (Rosenthal, 2007). 7 2.5 Biofuels The dwindling supply of fossil fuel, combined with concern over the contribution that burning fossil fuel makes to climate change, has resulted in an increase in the production of crops, such as corn and sugar cane, used for biofuel. Unlike fossil fuels, biofuels are considered to be a renewable resource. Production of biofuels has created new opportunities as well as new problems for both agriculture and wildlife habitat (FAO, 2008). There are a number of concerns over the production of crops for use as biofuels. Thèse include potential for compétition between food security and energy security, compétition for water resources, impact on agricultural markets and food priées, as well as effects on the environment and biodiversity. In addition, there is concern that there may be no net energy gain from the production of biofuel. The fossil fuel inputs that are needed to grow, harvest, and process the crops may exceed the amount of biofuel that is produced. In the end, the production of biofuels may not be any more sustainable than the use of fossil fuels (FAO, 2008). Increasing the production of cash crops and biofuel crops is likely to put enormous pressure on the environment. The use of inputs such as water, fertilizers, fossil fuels, and pesticides to grow the crops may contribute to groundwater pollution, land dégradation, and loss of biodiversity. In addition, there is concern that marginal lands will be put into production in order to meet food and biofiiel demands. Loss of fragile ecosystems is of particular concern as the loss of thèse areas is likely to resuit in a loss of wildlife habitat and biodiversity (FAO, 2008). 2.6 Biodiversity Biodiversity can be defïned as: ...the diversity among living organisms in terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part. It includes diversity within and between species and the diversity of ecosystems. (Mace et al., 2005, p. 80) Biodiversity is a prerequisite for sustainability. Biodiversity should be thought of as an environmental condition because it is "...the source of ail the other values that we dérive from natural environrnents and that future générations will dépend upon (Wood, 1997; Norton 2001, 2003)" (Wood and Flahr, 2004, p. 384-385). It is important to conserve wildlife habitat because it contains a wide array of biodiversity. If wildlife habitat is not conserved, this will lead to a loss of biodiversity and will undermine attempts at sustainability. Unfortunately, biodiversity is declining around the world. In 2001, the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) project was launched by the United Nations. The MA found that ecosystems hâve changed more quickly and expansively than in any other comparable period of time in human history and that this has resulted in a sizeable and largely irréversible loss of diversity on Earth (MA, 2008). Loss and fragmentation of natural habitat are key factors in the décline of biodiversity (Mace et al., 2005). Biodiversity has been signifïcantly impacted by agricultural development. Agricultural production contributes to biodiversity loss through the over-exploitation of wild resources, nutrient loading, and changes in land use (Wood and Ehui, 2005). Wildlife habitat is destroyed or fragmented when landscapes are modified to accommodate agricultural fïelds, barns, and roads. This results in the displacement, or loss, of species and altération of the natural ecosystem (Wood and Ehui, 2005; Neave et al., 2000). In addition, wildlife are being forced onto farmland as a resuit of urban development where they compete with farmers for limited resources and reduce agricultural productivity (e.g. consuming crops) (Neave et al., 2000). Wildlife may also be intentionally destroyed because they threaten agricultural productivity. For example, rodents and other animais, such as birds, will feed on crops growing in fïelds and also after the crops hâve been harvested and stored (McNeely and Scherr, 2003). Eliminating native plants and animais from farmland, either intentionally or unintentionally through land clearing or through the use of toxic substances, negatively impacts natural ecosystems (Altieri, 2000). Despite thèse négative influences, agricultural land offers more benefïts to wildlife than residential, commercial, or industrial areas. Agricultural land can provide shelter, food, connectivity to natural landscapes, and less human intervention than urbanized areas (Neave et al., 2000). Genetic diversity within agriculture is also declining. Crop uniformity improves productive efficiency because it allows for the standardization of management practices. However, the use of genetically homogenous crops in agricultural production increases the susceptibility of crops to pests, and this has resulted in increasing pesticide dependency (Gliessman, 2000). Pesticides can contribute to water pollution, reduce natural biodiversity (by killing non-target insects), and pose risks to human health (Pretty et al., 2001). 9 The cumulative effect of a growing global population, agricultural intensification, declining amount of farmland, climate change, dwindling supplies of fossil fuels, production of biofuels, use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, declining biodiversity and loss of wildlife habitat hâve the potential to negatively affect the sustainability of agro-ecosystems around the world. 2.7 Human Behaviour In this section, I focus on how human behaviour can affect the sustainability of societies. Tainter (1988) reviewed eighteen societies to détermine what factors led to their collapse. He found that thèse societies increased in complexity over time. He defîned societal collapse as a "...aprocess of décline in complexity" (Tainter, 1988, p. 31). Tainter (1988) concluded that the collapse of complex societies results from diminishing marginal retirais. He explains that: "as the marginal return on complexity déclines, complexity as a strategy yields comparatively lower benefits at higher and higher costs" (Tainter, 1988, p. 127). In other words, as societies become more complex, continued investment in complexity yields smaller retirais. Consequently, a society must allocate more and more resources to maintaining the population. However, after a certain point, increased investment yields smaller incréments of return. One of the ways in which this can be alleviated is to restrict population growth, thereby reducing the amount of resources needed to sustain the society. Diamond (2005) reviewed six culturally complex past societies and found that intensification of agriculture was a precursor to societal collapse. He found that, in most cases, population growth forced people to farm the land more intensively and to expand farming from prime agricultural land onto marginal lands in order to feed the growing population. The marginal lands were damaged by the intensive agriculture and eventually abandoned. The remaining agricultural land deteriorated in quality, resulting in food shortages and starvation. Compétition for limited resources then ensued, with wars over control of remaining resources. Eventually the combination of starvation, disease, and war rendered the society unsustainable and the civilization perished (Diamond, 2005). Diamond (2005) explains that we are facing the same environmental problems today as those that he identified in the downfall of previous societies, plus four additional problems: ".. .human-caused climate change, buildup of toxic chemicals in the environment, energy shortages, and full human utilization of the Earth's photosynthetic capacity" (Diamond, 2005, 10 p. 7). Many of thèse destructive processes were discussed in the previous section. If Diamond is correct in his analysis of the downfall of previous societies, it appears as though modem society is on a trajectory to collapse. Diamond predicts that such a collapse could be triggered by a scarcity of environmental resources and may appear in a variety of forms including global pandémies and Worldwide wars (Diamond, 2005). Diamond developed a five-point framework of contributing factors that hâve led to the collapse of past societies. He explains that four of those factors: environmental damage, climate change, hostile neighbors, and decreased support by friendly trade partners may or may not be significant enough on their own to cause the collapse of a society. However, he says the fifth factor, society's response to its environmental problems, is always significant. Diamond explains that a society's response dépends on its social, political, and économie institutions, as well as its cultural values. The institutions and values of a society will affect whether or not it solves, or attempts to solve, its problems (Diamond, 2005). Unfortunately, despite the ability of humans to anticipate and respond to such dire warnings, humans may actually be unsustainable themselves. In a study to measure whether humans fall within the natural variation observed among species for a variety of ecological measures, Fowler and Hobbs (2003) found that humans generally do not fall "...within statistical confidence limits that envelop the central tendencies in variation among other species" (Fowler and Hobbs, 2003, p. 2579). They found that human CO2 production, energy use, biomass consumption, population size, and geographical range differ from other species by orders of magnitude. They found that the human species is often an outlier compared to other species and concluded that the évidence appeared to indicate that humanity is not currently sustainable (Fowler and Hobbs, 2003). Rees (2004) has described humans (H. sapiens) as a "patch disturbance species" (Rees, 2004, p. 5) whose [unsustainable] actions are rooted in biology. The argument is based on two key behaviours typical of patch disturbance species. Human beings are large animais with correspondingly large energy and material requirements. They are also social beings that tend to live in large groups. The resuit of thèse two biologically entrenched behaviours is that when humans occupy a territory, they do so with large energy requirements, resulting in changes in 11 the ecosystem, specifically in ternis of the allocation of energy and resources. Some species will benefit from this reallocation of resources, while others will not (Rees, 2004). Ultimately, there appears to be a biological foundation for the tendency of humans to 'soil their own nest' and destroy the life Systems upon which they dépend. Rees (2004) provides a number of examples of how human behavior is leading us away from sustainability: • H. sapiens, like ail other species, has a biological imperative to expand into any available habitat • Our ability to communicate and use technology to further our advances has made us the most successful large vertebrate on the planet • While we dépend on biodiversity to survive, human évolution has left us with few qualms about destroying the habitats of other species (and our own habitats) • The prevailing économie paradigm is predicated on économie growth which has resulted in the exploitation of natural resources and further dissipation of energy • The 'value' of biodiversity is not included in our current market structure, so markets do not indicate impending ecological scarcity, resulting in ongoing and unimpeded biodiversity loss (Rees, 2004) The combination of thèse factors puts the integrity of the ecosphere, and ail those human and non-human species that dépend on it for survival, at risk of collapse. The scale of human exploitation of material and energy resources is compromising the ability of the earth's life support Systems to continue to support human society (Manno, 2000). While resource depletion may ultimately cause the downfall of society, it is human behaviour that has led to this predicament. However, as Diamond (2005) points out, his research shows that the manner in which humans behave in the face of environmental crises can affect whether or not a society is sustainable. He describes a number of societies that hâve been sustainable over thousands of years. For example, he explains how the Pacific Islands, Tikopia and Tonga, hâve each survived for over 3,000 years. Diamond (2005) explains how Tikopia used a bottom-up approach to achieve sustainability while Tonga used a top-down approach, two contrasting approaches to solving environmental problems. Diamond (2005) hypothesizes that small societies occupying a small 12 homeland area or island, such as Tikopia (1.8 square miles), can adopt a bottom-up approach to environmental management: ...because the homeland is small, ail of its inhabitants are familiar with the entire island, know that they are affected by developments through the island, and share a sensé of identity and common interests with other inhabitants. (Diamond, 2005, p. 277) Bottom-up management involves people working together to solve their own problems. Because the society is small, everybody realizes that they will benefït from managing the environment properly (Diamond, 2005). The top-down approach is suited to a large society with a centralized government such as Tonga (288 square miles). In a large society it is impossible for ail members of the society to know what is going on in différent parts of the island. A centralized government has the ability to oversee what is going on across the island, and create rules and régulations to ensure that the environment is protected over the whole island (Diamond, 2005). Thèse approaches are not mutually exclusive. For example, in a country such as Canada, senior governments use a top- down approach to establish environmental management policies (e.g. Canadian Environmental Protection Act) intended to benefït ail Canadians, while local groups (e.g. NGOs) use a bottom- up approach to engage community members in resource stewardship. Over time humans hâve proven to be capable of incredibly destructive behaviour towards other humans as well as towards the environment. However, humans hâve also shown that they are capable of solving resource management issues and some societies hâve avoided collapse, remaining sustainable for thousands of years. Whether a society uses a top-down or bottom-up approach, or a combination of the two, the key factor appears to be the willingness of people to behave in such a way that their actions support sustainable resource management. 2.8 Economies and Policy A major barrier to sustainable agriculture has been government policies that encourage the use of external inputs and technologies. A lack of government support for sustainable agriculture has meant that farmers who want to switch from high-input to more resource conserving practices cannot do so without incurring some additional costs. This acts as a disincentive to farmers who want to change to more sustainable methods of farming (Pretty, 1998). 13 In addition, governments hâve traditionally separated agricultural policy from environmental policy. This disconnection of food from nature has resulted in agricultural production Systems that negatively impact environmental Systems (Pretty, 2002). Trade policies hâve also tended to focus on the économie development of agriculture without taking into considération the impact on, or the importance of, biodiversity in the maintenance of sustainable agro-ecosystems (CBD, 2008). Pretty explains that, "Policy intégration is vital; yet most policies seeking to link agriculture with more environmentally sensitive management are still highly fragmented" (Pretty, 2002). Agricultural production can produce both positive (e.g. wildlife habitat) and négative externalities (e.g. loss of biodiversity). Thèse externalities are not captured in the marketplace, so without government intervention farmers hâve little incentive to change their practices (to decrease négative externalities or increase positive externalities). Policy reforms are needed to internalize some of thèse costs and benefits (Pretty, 2002). 2.9 Summary Agro-ecosystem sustainability is in a precarious position around the world. Population growth, agricultural intensification, climate change, loss of biodiversity, and resource depletion, driven by the elusive specter of human behaviour, are coalescing and setting the stage for a global food crisis and ecological collapse. The market-driven global economy combined with government policies that support high-input agriculture at the expense of the environment contribute to the challenges faced in sustaining agro-ecosystems. While this may appear to be an intractable problem, it is apparent that some societies hâve managed to remain sustainable for thousands of years. The manner in which societies manage their resources and how they behave when confronted with environmental problems appear to be important factors in sustainability. My research will explore how agricultural and environmental interests changed their behaviour, switching from antagonists to collaborators, to address an agri-environmental crisis that was affecting wildlife and agriculture in their community. 14 CHAPTER 3 Fédéral and Provincial Context 3.1 Introduction This chapter provides an overview of the status of agriculture and wildlife habitat in Canada and British Columbia. It describes the fédéral and provincial agricultural and environmental context for my research. Statistics related to land area, population, agriculture, biodiversity, and wildlife habitat are summarized. Fédéral and provincial policies related to my research are discussed in Chapter 13. 3.2 Area and Population Canada is the second largest country in the world (Environment Canada, 2008a). It covers an area of 9,017,698.92 square kms (Statistics Canada, 2006a) and has a population of about 33 million (33,143,610) (Statistics Canada, 2008a). Eighty five percent of the population is located along Canada's southern border with the United States (Environment Canada, 2008a). Canada's population is forecast to grow to between 36 million and 42 million people by 2031 (Statistics Canada, 2006b). British Columbia (BC) is situated on the west coast of Canada adjacent to the Pacific Océan. It has a land area of 924,815.43 square kms and population of 4,113,487 (Statistics Canada, 2006a). BC's population is expected to increase by 36% between 2001 and 2031 (BC Stats, 2004). More than half (52%) of the people in BC live in the Vancouver area (BC Stats, 2007a). 3.3 Agriculture 3.3.1 Canada In 2006, Canada had 229,373 census farms, averaging 728 acres in size (Statistics Canada, 2008b). The number of farms in Canada dropped by 7.1% between 2001 and 2006 (Statistics Canada, 2006c). Based on the most récent available statistics (2005), the agricultural industry provided one in eight jobs in Canada and accounted for eight percent of total GDP. The agriculture and agri-food System contributed $86 billion (constant 1997 dollars) or 8% to the Canadian economy and employed 2.1 million Canadians in 2005. The agriculture and agri-food System has been growing at an average rate of 2.4% per year over the past décade with most of the growth occurring in Food, Beverage and Tobacco processing, food retail/wholesale and 15 foodservice. Growth has been driven partly by export, particularly exports of consumer oriented products (AAFC, 2007). Canada has increased its share of world agriculture and agrifood trade over the past 15 years in response to trade liberalization and changing market conditions. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), in particular, has resulted in increased trade within the North American market. There has been a nine-fold increase in exports to Mexico and a quadrupling of exports to the United States since 1991. The rising Canadian dollar slowed exports in 2008. Récent growth in biofuel production has created an increased demand for feedgrains and oilseeds resulting in higher priées for livestock feed (AAFC, 2007). Field crops are the most common commodity grown in Canada (39.8% of ail Canadian farms). The second most common commodity is beef (26.6% of ail Canadian farms). The average size of the Canadian farm increased from 274 ha to 295 ha between 2001 and 2006, although the total agricultural land area remained the same at 67 million ha. Vegetable production decreased by 6.9% across Canada between 2001 and 2006. Vegetable processors across Canada hâve closed or become less compétitive because of the rising Canadian dollar, compétition with imported vegetables, and greenhouse grown vegetables (Statistics Canada, 2008b). 3.3.2 British Columbia Less than five percent of BC has land that is considered to be arable or potentially arable. Nonetheless, agriculture is BC's third largest primary industry, behind forestry and mining (BCMAL, 2006). Approximately 5% of the province's land base is contained within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). The ALR was established between 1974 and 1976 to address the rapid loss of agricultural land to development. Agriculture is intended to be the primary use of land in the ALR, although there is an application procédure to allow other uses in the ALR (ALC, 2008). According to the 2006 Census of Agriculture there were 19,844 census farms in BC. The number of farms in BC has dropped by 2.2% since 2001. However, the total number of census farms in BC in 1971 was 18,400, indicating a 7.9% increase in farms between 1971 and 2006 (BCMAFF, 2002). BC also accounts for 8.7% of Canada's farms, which is slightly higher than its share in 2001. The total number of farms in BC is the fifth highest in Canada. BC's total 16 gross farm receipts were $2.7 billion in 2005, while operating expenses were $2.4 billion (Statistics Canada, 2006c). Farms in BC are getting larger. In 2001 the average farm size was 128 ha. In 2006 the average farm size rose to 143 ha (Statistics Canada, 2006c). Unlike some other provinces that experienced decreases in total farm area, BC's total farm area increased by 9.6% between 2001 and 2006 (Statistics Canada, 2008b). BC accounts for about 1.6% of ail cropland area in Canada (Statistics Canada, 2006c). Cropland is defined by Statistics Canada as: "...the total area in field crops, fruits, vegetables, sod and nursery" (Statistics Canada, 2006c, p. 1). The area under greenhouses grew 14.7% between 2001 and 2006 to 57.3 million square feet. BC has 24% of the total greenhouse area in Canada. BC ranks third (behind Ontario and Québec) in terms of total acres of vegetables. However, there has been a drop of 4.4% in vegetable production in BC in that time (Statistics Canada, 2006c). Blueberries hâve become a popular crop across Canada and hâve been a driving factor in the fruit sector. BC experienced a dramatic increase in blueberry area of 61.5% between 2001 and 2006 (Statistics Canada, 2008b). Farm operators are ageing across the country. The average âge of farm operators increased from 49.9 years of âge to 52.0 years of âge between 2001 and 2006. The average âge of farm operators in BC was the highest in Canada at 53.6 years of âge (Statistics Canada, 2008b). This section identified the current trends in agriculture in BC and Canada. This information provides valuable context for my research because it illustrâtes that many of the global trends in agriculture (e.g. fewer farmers, larger farms) are also being seen at the national and provincial levels. The impact of thèse trends on agri-environmental stewardship is discussed in greater détail in Chapter 14. 3.4 Biodiversity and Wildlife Habitat There are more than 70,000 plant and animal species in Canada (CESCC, 2001). More than 400 of thèse species are at risk of extinction. Most of the threatened or endangered species live in areas heavily impacted by humans (Environment Canada, 2008b). British Columbia is the most biologically diverse province or territory in Canada (BCMELP and BCMOF, 1988). This biological diversity is linked to BC's climatic and géographie diversity. Three out of the four 17 broad continental climatic régions are found in BC. Thèse climatic régions are polar, humid temperate, and dry. The interaction of thèse climatic régions with BC's land Systems créâtes fourteen distinct climates. The diversity of wildlife in BC results from this interrelationship between climate and land (BCMOE, 2008a). The following table (Table 3.1) provides estimâtes on some of the plant and animal species found around the world and in Canada and BC (where estimâtes are available). It illustrâtes the high biodiversity found in BC compared to the rest of Canada. Table 3.1 Plant and animal species estimâtes Description Ferns Butterflies Birds Mammals Source: Adapted from Estimated number of species in the world 11,000 20,000 No data 4,629 (CESCC, 2001, p. 16-32 Estimated number of species in Canada 122 284 462 résident species 209 résident species 0 Estimated number in BC BC has 78 species of ferns (second highest in Canada) BC has higher species richness (182 species) than any other région in Canada BC has the most bird species in Canada (362) BC has the most terrestrial mammal species in Canada (118); the Pacific Océan région has the most marine mammal species in Canada (26) There was a 5% décline in wildlife habitat capacity on Canada's agricultural land between 1981 and 2001 due to an expansion in cropland and décline in pasture (Javorek et al., 2007). Habitat capacity in BC decreased by less than 2% during the same time period, mostly due to a décline in the relative share of pasture on farmland (Javorek et al., 2007). Between 1981 and 1996 cropland grew by 28% in the Lower Mainland (the area in and around Vancouver). This is considered to be a négative trend for wildlife because much of this expansion came from the conversion of tame or seeded pasture (which is more favourable for wildlife habitat) to cropland (Neave et al., 2000). 18 3.5 Summary Population growth will continue to put pressure on agricultural lands and wildlife habitat across BC and Canada. Farms are decreasing in number but increasing in size. The average âge of farmers is increasing, indicating that fewer young people are becoming farmers. There has been an increase in the area under greenhouses and a drop in vegetable production. Growth in the biofuel sector has resulted in higher prices for livestock feeds. Thèse changes in agriculture are likely to hâve an impact on farmers across Canada and BC. Wildlife habitat is decreasing on farmland in BC and the Lower Mainland. This is likely to hâve a négative impact on farmers who do provide wildlife habitat, because as the area of farmland available for wildlife decreases the concentration of wildlife on farms that do provide wildlife habitat will increase. It will also hâve a négative impact on wildlife because they will hâve fewer areas in which to feed, breed, and rest. This information provides some of the context that is necessary to help develop my research questions, which are discussed in Chapter 7. The next chapter discusses the state of agriculture and the environment at the régional and local level. 19 CHAPTER 4 Régional and Local Context 4.1 Introduction This chapter provides statistics on area, population, and agricultural production in the GVRD and Delta. It also provides an overview of agricultural opérations in Delta, farming challenges, wildlife habitat, and wildlife-farming conflicts. This information is provided in order to establish the régional and local context in which my research is situated and to contribute to the rationale I used to develop my research questions (discussed in Chapter 7). The chapter also introduces the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust in order to provide some background on the organization I hâve chosen as my case study (discussed in greater détail in Chapter 9). 4.2 Greater Vancouver Région The Greater Vancouver Régional District (GVRD) is part of a larger corporate entity called Métro Vancouver, which also includes the Greater Vancouver Water District, the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District, and the Greater Vancouver Housing Corporation. The GVRD is comprised of 22 member municipalities and one électoral area (MV, 2008). For the purposes of this research I refer only to the GVRD (as opposed to Métro Vancouver) because the GVRD encompasses the geo-political aspect of the Greater Vancouver région whereas the other responsibilities under the Métro Vancouver umbrella relate to the services that Métro Vancouver provides to municipalities in the région. The GVRD's estimated population (as of July 2007) was 2,249,725 (BC Stats, 2007b). The population of Greater Vancouver is expected to grow to 3,142,500 by 2036 (BC Stats, 2008). Agriculture is an important industry in the GVRD. According to Statistics Canada data for 2006 (the most récent census year), total gross farm receipts for the GVRD equalled $728,604,105. There are 2,618 farms with 3,850 farm operators in the GVRD. The average âge of a farm operator in the GVRD is 54.6 years. The GVRD has a land area of about 287,700 ha. The total area of farms in the GVRD is 41,035 ha with an average farm size of 16 ha. Fifty-nine percent of the total area of farmland in the GVRD is planted in crops (24,086 ha) (Statistics Canada, 2006d). This information provides additional context for my research because it illustrâtes that global trends in population growth are also occurring regionally. It also shows that the trend toward older farmers that is occurring nationally and provincially is also occurring at the régional level. The implications of thèse trends on agriculture and the environment are discussed in greater détail in Chapter 14. 4.3 Delta The municipality of Delta is part of the Greater Vancouver Régional District (GVRD). Delta has an area of approximately 183.70 square kilometers (Statistics Canada, 2008c). Delta's estimated population, as of July 2007, was 101,668 (BC Stats, 2007b). Delta is situated about 20 kilometers from the City of Vancouver. It is bounded by the Fraser River to the north, Boundary Bay to the south, the Strait of Georgia to the west, and the City of Surrey to the east. The land area we now know as Delta began forming about 8,000 years ago as a resuit of the accumulation of sédiment from the Fraser River, as it fanned out into the Strait of Georgia. Much of the low lying areas in and around Delta flooded during the spring freshet of the Fraser River, but most of the area is now dyked eliminating the regular inundation of sédiments and fresh water across the low lying areas of Delta (Butler and Campbell, 1987). Végétation in Delta has been modifïed by humans for thousands of years. The dominant environmental influence in the establishment of végétation in the lowlands of Delta was the incidence of regular flooding. As a resuit, the native végétation consisted of grasses and shrubs that could tolerate regular flooding. Deciduous and coniferous trees became established on the higher river banks, beach ridges, and other drier areas. Only remnants of the original végétation remain in a relatively natural state today. The lowland végétation has been almost entirely replaced by agricultural, residential, or commercial land use (North et al., 1979). 4.3.1 Agriculture Delta has some of the most productive farmland in Canada. It receives about 1000 mm of précipitation annually and has the longest period of frost free days in Canada (April 15 - October 21). Much of the agricultural land in Delta has prime agricultural capabilities (Class 1- 3) allowing a wide variety of crops to be grown (Saddlemyer et al., 2001; DFWT, 1994; Klohn Leonoff Ltd. et al., 1992). Soils in the lowlands of Delta are comprised of fertile silt clays or silt. They hâve good water storage capacity and the potential to sustain crop production year- round (Temple, 1994; Klohn Leonoff Ltd. et al., 1992). The lowlands of Delta (where agricultural opérations are located) are at, or below, sea level. 21 Delta has a very résilient and historié farming community (Saddlemyer et al., 2001). The Delta Farmers' Institute (DFI) was one of the fïrst farming institutes to be formed in BC in 1898 (BCMAFF 1996) and is still very active today. According to the 2006 Census of Agriculture, there were 180 census farms and 260 farm operators operating on 7520 ha of farmland in Delta. Since 2001, the number of farms in Delta decreased by 16, the number of farm operators decreased by 20, and the area being farmed decreased by 320 ha. As of 2006, the average âge of farm operators in Delta was 54.6 years and the average farm size was 42 ha. In 2006, Delta farms generated $190,315,672 in total gross farm receipts (26% of the total farm receipts for the GVRD) (Statistics Canada, 2006e). According to the 2006 Census of Agriculture, the top three farm types in Delta by industry were: vegetable farms (22%), animal production (mainly dairy cattle and horses) (19%), and greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production (18%). The total land area in crops in Delta in 2006 was 6,303 ha (Statistics Canada, 2006e). The top rive crops produced in Delta in 2006 are shown in Table 4.1. Table 4.1 Top five crops produced in Delta (2006) Top 5 crops 1. Potatoes 2. Ail other tame hay and fodder crops 3. Green or wax beans 4. Blueberries 5. Sweet corn 2006 Area (hectares) 1660 1445 769 360 341 Source: (Statistics Canada, 2006e) Farming Challenges Delta has a long history of conflict and competing interests over agricultural land (Saddlemyer et al., 2001). In the late 1960s, 1641.4 hectares (4056 acres) of farmland was expropriated by the province of BC for port-related industrial development (Norecol et al., 1994). The farmland, known as the 'Back-up Lands' (Klohn Leonoff Ltd. et al., 1992), was not immediately developed, but the land was leased back to farmers on short-term year-to-year- leases which included a clause that the lease could be revoked with 90 days notice (Fraser, 2004). As a resuit of thèse short-term leases, farmers were reluctant to make capital investments to keep the land productive over the long-term (Fraser, 2004; Klohn Leonoff Ltd. et al., 1992). In a survey conducted in 1991, farmers expressed concem and frustration that they were being forced to mine the soil as a resuit of the short-term leases. They also suggested that incentives for soil management should be provided (Klohn Leonoff Ltd. et al., 1992). Eventually in 1999, the Province of BC offered to sell the Back-up Lands that had been expropriated to the original farmers or their families (Delta Optimist, 2007). Agricultural productivity has been sub-optimal because of nùmerous soil issues including inadéquate sub-surface drainage and declining soil organic matter levels (Klohn Leonoff Ltd. et al., 1992). The soil also tends to be acidic which reduces agricultural productivity (DFWT, 2006). Wildlife, particularly waterfowl, can hâve a devastating effect on farmers' fïelds. Both résident and migratory birds consume crops and compact soil. Since Delta is part of the Pacific Flyway, migratory birds rely on farmers' fïelds to rest and feed (DFWT, 2006; Saddlemyer et al., 2001; Klohn Leonoff Ltd. et al., 1992). Fragmentation of agricultural land is a serious issue in Delta. Utility and transportation corridors (e.g. roads, rail) impact individual farms by reducing the amount of farmable land, creating barriers to the movement of farm equipment, and cutting neighbouring farms off from each other (Klohn Leonoff Ltd. et al., 1992). The use of farmland or land adjacent to farmland for récréation has also been an issue for some farmers, particularly those living near the dyke. Visitors using the dyke will sometimes park on farmland or block access to the dyke with their cars. Farmers use the dyke to move their farm equipment and the présence of people and their vehicles can delay farming opérations. Vandalism and loose dogs also create issues for some farmers (Klohn Leonoff Ltd. et al., 1992). In 1988, the provincial government made a significant change to policy related to golf courses in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). The policy change, Order-in-Council 1141/88, allowed golf courses as an outright use in the ALR with municipal government having the final say over golf course applications. Prior to this policy change, golf courses were not permitted in the ALR unless approved by the provincial Agricultural Land Commission (Saddlemyer et al., 2001; Klohn Leonoff Ltd. et al., 1992). This policy change led to a fiood of golf course development applications in Delta from farmers wishing to convert their farmland to golf courses. Environmentalists vehemently and vocally opposed the golf course applications. They felt that agricultural land was important not only for producing food, but also for providing 23 wildlife habitat (BBCC, 1992). In 1991, a moratorium was put on the development of golf courses in the ALR. The Golf Course Development Moratorium Act was passed in 1992, effectively halting the flood of golf course applications (Norecol et al., 1994). In the 1990s the number and size of greenhouses in Delta began to increase. This worried environmentalists who were concerned that the greenhouses would negatively impact migratory birds, raptors, and shorebirds in Delta. The Municipality of Delta attempted to pass a séries of bylaws intended to restrict or prohibit certain agricultural activities, including the development and opération of greenhouses. Greenhouse operators responded by launching légal action against the municipality. The Province of BC became involved and issued an Order-in-Council (#568) in June 2001. This Order-in-Council stipulated that the municipality could not pass any zoning bylaws restricting farming in the ALR without first receiving approval of the Minister of Agriculture (Saddlemyer et al., 2001). The price of agricultural land, although ostensibly protected from urban development by the ALR, has risen along with the price of developable land due to spéculation that the land could be developed in the future. This has resulted in land priées that are out of reach for many farmers, leading them to lease land rather than own it (Norecol et al., 1994; Klohn Leonoff Ltd. et al., 1992). Just over half (52%) of Delta's farmland is owned by the farmer. The remainder is rented, leased, or crop shared (Statistics Canada, 2006e). Much of this leased land is owned by speculators hoping that one day they will be able to subdivide and develop the land (Smith 1998). This drives up the price of agricultural land, making it more difficult for farmers to make a profit and increasing the risk of investment for farmers. This also puts the farming community itself at risk as farmers weigh the costs and benefits of farming. As costs increase, the risk that farmers will leave Delta also increases, which could lead to the loss of the critical mass of farmers needed to maintain a viable agricultural industry in Delta (Norecol et al., 1994; Klohn Leonoff Ltd. et al., 1992). Adding to the économie pressures of farming in the urban shadow of Vancouver, are the pressures of international trade. After the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement was signed in 1989 several vegetable processors that bought produce from local farmers moved out of the area or closed down. The loss of the processors meant that local farmers had to diversify their agricultural opérations in order to stay in business (Saddlemyer et al., 2001). Delta's agricultural viability is linked, not only to local issues such as land spéculation and soil dégradation, but also to international policies such as free trade and compétition with imported food produced without the same économie, social, and environmental challenges facing Delta farmers. In 2003, the Province of BC launched the Gateway Program, which was aimed at reducing traffic congestion and improving movement of people and goods in the région. Part of the Gateway Program includes the construction of the four-lane South Fraser Perimeter Road, which will pass through Delta (Gateway, 2008). This road will resuit in the loss and further fragmentation of agricultural land in Delta. In 2004, the Vancouver Port Authority initiated the Deltaport Third Berth Project at the existing Roberts Bank Port facility in Delta. The project includes the création of new land with 50 ha of fill to accommodate a container opérations and storage area as well as a wharf to accommodate a third berth (Deltaport, 2004). The project is part of the Port's overall strategy to expand container capacity to accommodate increased trade with Pacific Rim nations - particularly China. The BC Rail Company will be installing seven kilometers of additional track on the Roberts Bank causeway to accommodate increased container traffic. The Port of Vancouver acknowledges that the construction of the Deltaport Third Berth will resuit in an increase in vehicular and rail traffic in Delta (Port of Vancouver, 2008). This will add to the challenges farmers already face in moving farm equipment. The increase in rail traffic at level crossings will exacerbate farm fragmentation by segmenting farms while trains pass through. Unfortunately, the port is being expanded to facilitate importation of products (including food) from other countries, while the ability of Delta farmers to produce food for local consumption is being reduced as a resuit of the expansion. In addition, the port expansion combined with the Gateway Program will resuit in increased fossil fuel use and a corresponding increase in greenhouse gases which will contribute to climate change. Recently, 207 ha of agricultural land was removed from the ALR in Delta as part of the Tsawwassen First Nations (TFN) treaty settlement (Tsawwassen Lands, 2008). This loss of agricultural land, combined with the port development, Gateway Program, and expansion of BC Rail will further erode the agricultural industry in Delta. 25 4.3.2 Wildlife Since 1868, development of the lower Fraser River delta has resulted in the loss of 70% of the original wetland habitat through dyking and drainage. Farmland, as well as wildlife habitat, is severely threatened by urban encroachment and industrial development (DFWT, 2006). The municipality of Delta provides vital wildlife habitat. Most of this habitat is on or adjacent to agricultural land. As noted above, the municipality of Delta is part of the Fraser River delta. The Fraser River delta is one of the largest estuaries on the north Pacific Coast and is essential to the functional integrity of the Pacific Flyway. It also supports the highest densities of wintering waterfowl in Canada (Butler and Campbell, 1987). One million migrating and wintering waterfowl and fïve million shorebirds from Asia, Alaska, and Western Canada use the Fraser River delta for feeding and roosting (DUC, 2000). It is ranked as one of the world's top ten internationally significant areas for birds and other wildlife (Saddlemyer et al., 2001). Delta is also home to a wide variety of résident wildlife including non-migratory birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Wildlife habitat in Delta, including oldfield grasslands, intertidal flats, and bogs, provide critical habitat for numerous species at risk including short-eared owls (Asio flammeus), barn owls (Tyto alba), yellow-headed blackbirds {Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus), sandhill crânes (Grus Canadensis tabida), and great blue hérons (Ardea Herodias) (Saddlemyer et al., 2001). Other types of habitat in Delta that are important for both migratory and résident wildlife include open fields, hedgerows, woodlands, marshes, and riparian areas (Norecol et al., 1994; BBCC, 1992). Delta provides essential habitat for the Townsend's vole (Microtus townsendii) which uses old fîeld habitat to feed and breed (Norecol et al., 1994; BBCC, 1992). Although old field habitat is declining in area in Delta (Sullivan, 1992), grassland set-asides also provide habitat for Townsend's voles in Delta (Merkens, 2005). The Townsend's vole is a key food source for local raptors (Merkens, 2005), some of which are of spécial concern in BC because they are particularly sensitive to human activities (BCMOE, 2008b). Studies hâve shown that high densities of raptors occur where there are high densities of prey (Sullivan, 1992). Research conducted in Delta showed that the relative density of Townsend's voles in 2-4 year old grassland set-asides was greater than or equal to old-field habitat (Merkens, 2005). 26 4.3.3 Agriculture-Wildlife Conflicts As previously explained, Delta provides vitally important habitat for migratory birds and résident wildlife. It has been estimated that the Fraser River delta's ecosystems provides habitat for migratory birds from over 20 countries and three continents. There are no comparable sites along the Pacific coast between Alaska and California (Butler and Campbell, 1987). Simply stated, the Fraser River delta is unique and irreplaceable. However, wildlife, particularly migratory waterfowl, cause problems for farmers because ducks and geese feed on over- wintering vegetable crops and forage crops (Norecol et al., 1994; Klohn Leonoff Ltd. et al, 1992). The birds of most concern to farmers are widgeon, mallards, pintails, Canada geese, trumpeter swans, and snow geese (Klohn Leonoff Ltd. et al., 1992). Waterfowl also hâve a négative impact on soils. Waterfowl congregating and feeding in vegetable fields over the winter compact soil resulting in poor drainage, water accumulation, and delayed planting of crops in the spring. Farmers are unable to plant some crops, such as sugar beet seed, turnip seed, and winter cauliflower, due to waterfowl prédation. Most damage occurs from August to March, resulting in soil compaction and, in some cases, loss of entire crops (Klohn Leonoff Ltd. et al., 1992). While there is a pilot project aimed at mitigating, compensating, and monitoring waterfowl damage to forage crops in Delta (the Delta Forage Compensation Program), there is no long- term government policy or program that compensâtes farmers for wildlife damage. In order to recover costs, farmers sometimes switch to higher value commodities such as blueberries. Crops such as hay and field vegetables provide wildlife habitat, but do not provide farmers with sufficient income. Without compensation for losses due to wildlife, farmers are understandably reluctant to continue farming low value agricultural products for the benefit of wildlife or society at large. 4.3.4 Summary The numerous government development projects and loss of agricultural land described above will hâve a négative impact on both agriculture and wildlife in Delta. Soil based agriculture provides important habitat for a variety of wildlife. As the area of farmland shrinks and becomes more fragmented, wildlife will be forced to congregate on the remaining farmland. Increased concentrations of wildlife on farmland are likely to cause more damage to farmers' fields, putting additional stress on the agricultural industry in Delta. Ultimately, both farmers and wildlife will suffer as a resuit of increased development in Delta. 4.4 Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust This section provides a brief overview of the DFWT because it is the organization I chose as my case study. Since 1993, the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust (DFWT) has been working with farmers and environmentalists to balance the needs of wildlife with the needs of farmers. In this thesis I frequently use the term 'wildlife' and 'wildlife habitat'. Wildlife is an anthropocentric term describing those life forms that hâve not yet been domesticated by humans. Wildlife habitat is a complex mix of essential attributes that contribute to ecological and agroecological function. The DFWT focuses on protecting habitat for vertebrates (e.g. waterfowl, raptors). However, in doing so, the DFWT also provides habitat for a wide variety of taxa. While the focus of the DFWT may be on conservation of wild vertebrates, the DFWT stewardship programs contribute to overall ecosystem health. The DFWT was chosen as a case study because it illustrâtes a community based response to issues that are global in nature. The DFWT uses on-the-ground programs based on an agroecological approach to promote sustainable agriculture. I provide additional détails on why I chose the DFWT as my case study in Chapter 9. Additional insight into the formation and development of the DFWT, based on the results of interviews I conducted with 28 people who were involved in the formation and/or development of the DFWT, is provided in Chapter 11 where I discuss my interview results. 4.4.1 Pre-DFWT Prior to the formation of the DFWT, a project called Greenfields was launched in 1990 (Temple, 1997). The goal of the Greenfields project was to develop a strategy that would allow agriculture and wildlife to coexist on farmland in Delta. The project was a coopérative venture between farmers and wildlife agencies. The main component of the project was a cost sharing program that supported winter cover crops, an important soil conservation practice that also provides habitat for waterfowl. Greenfields paid for the seed and farmers planted the seed in the fall to establish cover crops. Crops were monitored for growth and locations where birds consumed crops were documented (Duynstee, 1993). In the late 1980s the fédéral government embarked on a plan to build a third runway at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). The new runway would affect approximately 350 28 hectares of wildlife habitat close to the municipality of Delta in an area of international significance for migratory and wintering birds. As a condition of development, Transport Canada (the fédéral government agency responsible for airports) was required to establish a compensation package to mitigate the loss of wildlife habitat (Temple and Smith, 1995; DFWT, 1994). 4.4.2 Formation of the DFWT The DFWT was founded in 1993 by local farmers and conservationists (DFWT, 1994). The DFWT supports both wildlife habitat conservation and agriculture by sharing the cost of spécifie management practices contributing to soil and/or wildlife habitat conservation and enhancement (DFWT, 2006). In March 1995, the DFWT was awarded $2.25 million from the YVR compensation fund for a farmland stewardship program in the lower Fraser River delta. The money was provided by the Government of Canada as a grant. The money was placed in an endowment fund with the Vancouver Foundation so that the interest could be used for stewardship programs on farmland to benefit both wildlife and agriculture in perpetuity (Temple, 1997; Temple and Smith, 1995). 4.4.3 DFWT Programs This section describes some of the programs offered by the DFWT. The most récent data available is from the 2005-2006 Annual Report. During this period, a total of 50 farming opérations across Delta participated in one or more of the DFWT programs. Approximately 17% of land within the ALR in Delta was affected by DFWT programs in 2005-06 (DFWT, 2006). Winter Cover Crops (aka Greenfields) Winter cover cropping is the most common technique used by the DFWT. Cover crops are typically a cereal or leguminous crop which are planted after a cash crop has been harvested, usually in late summer or early fall. Cover cropping is an agroecological technique that contributes to soil productivity, enhances wildlife habitat (DFWT, 2006; Gliessman, 2000), and may contribute to carbon séquestration (DFWT, 2006). Cover crops are sometimes planted in order to provide alternative foraging areas for waterfowl that over-winter on the Fraser River delta. An average of about 1214 hectares (ha) has been planted annually (DFWT, 2006). 29 Grassland Set-asides Grassland set-asides are grassland rotations that are integrated into farm management plans. Degraded soils can be vastly improved through the inclusion of grassland in crop rotations. The grassland set-asides provide habitat that is similar to old field habitat. The grasslands provide important habitat for wildlife, such as the Townsend's vole which is the main food source for a variety of grassland hawks and owls. For greatest benefît, it appears as though grassland set- asides must be in place for at least two years because Townsend's voles will not colonize the set-asides until at least the second winter (Merkens, 2005). Many raptor species use old field habitat for hunting, particularly in the winter months (Butler and Campbell, 1987; Sullivan, 1992; Merkens, 2005). As of 2005, there were 29 fields (231 ha) in Delta in the grassland set- aside program. Some farmers hâve subscribed to the grassland set-aside program in order to make the transition to organic crop production. A three-year set-aside qualifies fields for organic certification, provided no restricted chemicals or management practices are used during that time. Switching to organic production provides extra benefits to wildlife over the long term because pesticide use is decreased. Farmers hâve indicated that they are willing to set aside an additional 81-121 ha, but the DFWT does not hâve sufficient funding to support thèse additional set-asides (DFWT, 2006). Hedgerows and Grass Margins Hedgerows are linear barriers of trees, shrubs, perennial forbs and/or grasses usually associated with field boundaries. Grass margins are linear patches of grassland habitat around cultivated fields. They both benefît wildlife by providing habitat for small mammals, songbirds, raptors, and insects. Hedgerows can act as windbreaks, living fences, and also provide additional income to farmers if they include marketable products such as fruit (DFWT, 2006; Gliessman, 2000). Both grass margins and hedgerows can act as buffers between land uses, providing a transition zone between différent habitats. They can benefît agriculture by choking out agricultural weeds and providing refuges for bénéficiai insects. They improve filtration of field run-off reducing the amount of soil, silt and excess nutrients that may leach from the field (DFWT, 2006; Gliessman, 2000). Hedgerow agreements span ten years and can be extended for another ten years (DFWT, 2006). 30 Laser Levelling Médium to fine textured soil and a high water table are common characteristics of the agricultural land in Delta. Laser levelling evens out the topography of the land. This allows farmers to reduce ponding on their fields, improving the establishment and longevity of winter crops and grass fields that are subject to grazing by waterfowl. Laser levelled fields tend to dry out more quickly in the spring. Earlier access gives farmers more options on what to plant in their fields and it also improves the likelihood that a cover crop can be planted on the field once the cash crop is harvested (DFWT, 2006). Field Liming The soils in Delta hâve a tendency to acidify relatively quickly. This affects the availability of nutrients for plants. Soil pH can be adjusted by applying lime to the fields. Improving the pH of soil helps to maximize yield potential, particularly for vegetables. It may take up to six months before the pH is affected by the application of lime. However, the long-term effects of lime application may be up to ten years (DFWT, 2006). Increasing the productivity of fields is likely to benefit both farmers and wildlife. Communications The DFWT provides advice and shares data with other organizations or companies involved in land management in Delta. The DFWT is also involved in public éducation and communication, co-operating with various government and non-government organizations to promote the benefits of farm stewardship and wildlife habitat conservation. The DFWT has a website (, produces a regular newsletter, program fact sheets, information pamphlet, and has a static display for events. DFWT représentatives also présent lectures and slide shows to local and régional organizations (DFWT, 2006). The DFWT recognizes that "the environmental services, cultural identity and wildlife habitat associated with farms are attributes that are important to society" (DFWT, 2004, p. 2). 4.5 Summary Agriculture is an important industry in the GVRD and Delta. Soil-based agriculture provides vital habitat for many species of wildlife in Delta, particularly migratory birds and raptors. However, farmers are faced with significant challenges associated with expropriation of farmland, development, compétition with imported agricultural products, and financial losses due to wildlife prédation. Despite thèse challenges, farmers continue to find innovative ways to 31 work the land in harmony with nature. Over the past sixteen years, the DFWT has worked with farmers and conservationists to improve agricultural viability and wildlife habitat. They have shown that agricultvire and wildlife can coexist. My research takes place on a terrain of investigation (a microcosm) that has strategic significance beyond Delta because many of the global trends in agriculture and biodiversity are found in Delta. For example, population growth, increased development pressure, and competition for resources are affecting the viability of agriculture and wildlife habitat in Delta. There are also some factors affecting Delta that are not typical in the global context. For example, the ALR helps to protect farmland in Delta. The ALR acts as an urban growth boundary, helping to discourage urban sprawl into agricultural areas. In addition, while other commimities also struggle with wildlife-agriculture conflicts. Delta is unusual in that it provides vital habitat for migratory and over-wintering birds. Consequently, while some of the findings from my research may be applicable at a broader scale, other findings may be specific to Delta (or similar communities). These findings are discussed in greater detail in Chapter 14. The next chapter discusses the theoretical context of my research. 32 CHAPTER 5 Theoretical Frameworks 5.1 Introduction This chapter provides an overview of my rationale for choosing an interdisciplinary approach as well as descriptions of the theoretical frameworks I use in my research. There are five theoretical frameworks that I use in an integrated manner to bring different streams of knowledge into my research. They are: sustainable agriculture, agroecology, agricultural extension, ecological economics, and adaptive policy. I discuss each framework below and explain how they relate to my research. 5.2 Interdisciplinary Rationale The Cartesian paradigm, also known as positivism, reductionism, or rationalism, has dominated scientific thought since the early seventeenth century (Pretty, 2002). This paradigm asserts that there is an objective external reality which is driven by immutable laws (Woodhill and Roling, 1998). Through the process of reductionism, the complex world can be broken down into discrete parts. These parts can then be studied separate from their surroundings in order to establish imiversal generalizations that have no reference to time or context (Costanza et al.. 1997; Pretty, 1995). Positivist science has traditionally been viewed as the source of truth (Woodhill and Roling, 1998). This section explains why I have taken an interdisciplinary approach to my research by examining the shortcomings of the Cartesian paradigm and the benefits of a holistic approach. The reductionist approach has provided some good insight into how different pieces of a system fiinction, but it has done so at the expense of understanding the whole system, particularly the relationships between humans and natiire. This separation of nature and society emanated from modernist thinking and is known as Cartesian dualism (Pretty, 2002). This perspective has affected the manner in which agriculture and the natural environment have been viewed (Pretty 2002; Ashby, 2001; Woodhill and Roling, 1998). Pretty explains that this has led to 'enclave thinking' where nature is seen as having boundaries. This is manifested in our society by the creation of parks or protected areas. However, at the landscape level this creates problems because the whole is more important than each part. Enclave thinking further entrenches our separation of people and nature. It suggests that nature 33 can be located in one place while agricultural production is situated in another place. Pretty notes that these enclaves will always be threatened at the borders and may be too small to be socially or ecologically viable. In addition, protection of enclaves may actually perpetuate an ideology that justifies destruction over the wider landscape based on the premise that we have protected some areas (Pretty, 2002). Within the Cartesian paradigm, environmental concerns are valued merely as externalities to the system where infinite growth within the economic system is viewed as both desirable and possible. It posits that economies and societies can succeed without regard to the preeminence of environmental (Marmo, 2000) and agricultural systems (Pretty, 2002). Our knowledge about certain parts of agricultural systems is very high (e.g. maximizing yield) but we need to increase our understanding about how society and the environment affect, and are affected by, agricultural systems (Ashby, 2001). The reductionist approach has focused on how components of the system operate, but not on how the system operates as a whole or how social systems interact with ecological systems (Pretty, 2002). Rather than reducing Delta's complex agroecological system into its component parts and studying these in isolation, I am examining agri-environmental stewardship as a holistic system involving social, institutional, environmental, and economic elements. I draw on the theories and practices of various disciplines to help identify the threads that link public policy and community action to agri-environmental stewardship. 5.3 Sustainable Agriculture The term 'sustainability' is being used with increased frequency throughout the world due to a growing awareness of the negative environmental and social impacts of population growth and economic development. More and more people are begirming to realize that without better management of our resources, the planet will be unable to sustain humanity's present living standards. Sustainable agriculture is one very important component of overall sustainability because humans rely on food for basic survival. First, I discuss the mounting interest in sustainable agriculture that came about as a response to the environmental and social damage caused by industrialization of agriculture. Then, I explain why I chose sustainable agriculture as one of my theoretical frameworks. 34 Over the last sixty years, interest in sustainable agriculture has risen in response to various environmental crises, rural socio-economic decay, and food safety concerns (Schdler, 1993). Gold and Gates (2007) traced the evolution of organic/sustainable agriculture back to 1580 to a book by Thomas Tusser called Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry. The book includes advice on crop rotation and observations of human behaviour in farming. Many books related to various aspects of agricultural productivity and resource conservation were written through the following centuries, but it was an essay written by economist Thomas Malthus in 1798 that propelled the concept of sustainability to new heights. This landmark work predicted that the planet would be unable to support an ever-increasing human population (Malthus, 1798). This prediction may have both hindered and helped the concept of sustainable agriculture. It helped the cause by identifying the finite ability of the planet's resources to sustain life, but it may have also hindered the path to sustainability by providing a rationale for increasing agricultural productivity at any cost. Malthus' work is important because it initiated discussion over the finite resources and carrying capacity of our planet. However, Malthus' ideas also prompted a heated debate over population control. Critics pointed out that it is not population growth that is the problem, but inequitable distribution of resources (including food) and a lack of understanding of the role of social organization in resource use that are at the root of environmental degradation (Taylor and Garcia-Barrios, 1999; Feeny et al., 1990). These are important factors to consider when discussing the impact of population growth on natural resources. The key Malthusian concept I draw on in my research is that our planetary resources are finite, so there will be increased pressure to convert agricultural land and wildlife habitat to other uses as the population grows (notwithstanding issues related to inequitable distribution of resources). As a society, we need to learn how to share our resources equitably and use our resources as efficiently as possible so that fixture generations (in all parts of the world) will continue to thrive. Agriculture changed dramatically after World War II. The production of food and fiber surged due to increased specialization and technology. The Green Revolution appeared to repudiate Malthus' predictions by dramatically increasing crop yields. The Green Revolution began in the 1940s when University of Minnesota researcher Norman Borlaug developed a high-yielding wheat plant at a plant-breeding station in Mexico. Wheat production increased significantly as a result of the new wheat variety combined with controlled irrigation and addition of 35 petrochemical fertilizers (Rosset et ai., 2000). This sudden boost in productivity appeared to hold promise of feeding the world, and farmers were encouraged to switch from labour- intensive, knowledge-based farming to chemical-intensive mechanized industry (Lyson, 2002; Pretty, 1997; Grove and Edwards, 1993; Ikerd, 1993). Although the increase in production was impressive, there were an alarming number of negative impacts associated with the industrialization of agriculture. Industrial farming practices led to a number of serious environmental problems including groimd and surface water contamination, declining water tables, soil erosion, and loss of wildlife habitat (Stauber et al. 1995; Grove and Edwards, 1993). High yields have been achieved primarily through increased agricultural inputs (Gliessman, 2000). Inputs such as inorganic fertilizers, pesticides, and machinery are substituted for natural processes (Roling and Pretty, 1997). Inputs derived from nonrenewable resources (e.g. fossil fuels) are not sustainable because the supply of the resources is finite. Purchased inputs also leave farmers vulnerable to supply shortages and price increases (Gliessman, 2000). Reducing the use of external inputs and regenerating internal resources are important components of sustainable agriculture (Gliessman, 2000; Roling and Pretty, 1997). Industrial agricultural practices have resulted in soil degradation issues including waterlogging, loss of fertility, erosion, contamination, and decline in soil structure. Protection and regeneration of soil is another crucial aspect of sustainable agriculture (Gliessman, 2000). The use of in-organic fertilizers has led to the eutrophication of water bodies. This reduces the amount of oxygen available for organisms living in the water and can lead to the death of some or all of those organisms (e.g. fish) (Gliessman, 2000). Pest control poisons were developed as part of the war effort during World War II. The intent of the poisons was to completely aimihilate pests. Unfortunately, this form of pest control had a number of negative effects on the environment including the destruction of non-target species, pest resurgence, and secondary pest outbreaks. Farmers responded to pest resurgence, resistance, and secondary pest outbreaks by increasing the amount of pesticide applied. This came to be knovm as the "pesticide treadmill" (Vandermeer, 1995, p. 179). Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as DDT posed particular problems for animals higher up in the food chain because pesticides accumulate in prey species. Predators eventually ingest so many contaminated prey that they succumb to the poison. These chemicals also disrupt 36 endocrine systems leading to reproductive problems in wildlife and in humans. Top carnivores, such as hawks and eagles, can have up to 10 million times more POPs than herbivorous species further down the food chain (Vandermeer, 1995). Pesticides also pose a hazard to farmworkers who may inadvertently ingest the pesticide during application (Gliessman, 2000). In 1962, Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring sounded an alarm about the environmental hazards of chemicals, particularly DDT. While early environmental movements initially focused on wilderness preservation and pollution control, it became apparent that agricultural activity was having a significant environmental impact on both land and water, and attention expanded to include the agriculture industry (Buttel, 1993; Schaller, 1993). Social impacts were also being felt in agricultural communities. Farm industrialization led to an increase in corporate-owned farms, a corresponding decrease in family farming, and deterioration of the social fabric of rural communities (Ashby, 2001; Pretty et al., 2001; Gliessman, 2000; Stauber et al., 1995). Concern about the sustainability of agriculture heightened in the mid-1980s as a series of crises hit the agricultural sector. These crises included heavy debt loads, high interest rates, over- production of grain, and collapse of the North American export market (Stauber et al. 1995; Buttel, 1993; Schaller, 1993). Family farms fell into bankruptcy across North America. The promise of the Green Revolution appeared to be faltering. Crop yields began to fall off, and it became apparent that the industrialization of agriculture threatened to compromise future productivity. The development of high-yield crops increased dependency on energy-intensive fertilizers and pesticides, and resulted in rapid degradation of soil (Gliessman, 2000). Mainstream farmers and agricultural researchers began to look more seriously at alternatives to conventional agriculture. In the 1970s, grassroots sustainable agriculture organizations emerged. Farmers began experimenting on their farms by reducing the amount of chemical pesticides and fertilizers they were using. They began to explore strategies that worked with nature instead of against nature (Stauber et al., 1995). Sustainable agriculture appeared to hold promise for a better way to grow crops and a better way of life (Buttel, 1993; Grove and Edwards, 1993; Ikerd, 1993). Another milestone for sustainable agriculture was reached in 1987 when the Bnmdtland Commission investigated the concept of sustainable development, defining it as: "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to 37 meet their own needs" (WCED, 1987). Three fimdamental components of sustainable development were identified: environmental protection, economic growth, and social equity (WCED, 1987). These three components have come to be the cornerstones on which many definitions of sustainable agriculture are built. Edwards et al. (1993) explain that while there are hundreds of definitions of sustainable agriculture in the literature, virtually all definitions of sustainable agriculture "...promote environmental, ecological, economic, and social stability and sustainability" (Edwards et al., 1993, p. 100). As such, sustainable agriculture provides a useful overarching integrative framework for examining agroecosystem sustainability. Sustainable agriculture integrates natural processes, such as nitrogen fixation, natural pest control, nutrient cycling, and soil regeneration into food production processes (Pretty, 2002; Gliessman, 2000). The amount of non-renewable inputs is minimized and farmer knowledge and skill are utilized to help make "...productive use of people's capacities to work together in order to solve common management problems" (Pretty, 2002, p. 56). Sustainable agriculture should also have minimal negative impacts on the environment, use water prudently, conserve wild and domestic biodiversity, and provide equality of access to agricultural practices, knowledge, and technology to enable local control of agricultural resources (Gliessman, 2000). Roling and Wagemakers (1998) explain that the transformation to sustainable farming has the following interlocking dimensions: 1. Changing agricultural practices at both the farm and higher system levels 2. Learning the practices 3. Facilitating the learning 4. Supportive institutional frameworks 5. Supportive policy frameworks 6. Managing change from conventional agriculture to sustainable agriculture across each of these dimensions (Roling and Wagemakers, 1998, p. 7) Roling and Wagemakers' insights on the transformation to sustainable farming are particularly relevant to my research because they illustrate the practical challenges associated with converting to more sustainable agricultural practices. These challenges cannot be met by 38 farmers alone, but require a supportive institutional framework, including supportive policies and effective transfer of knowledge. Pretty points out that: Most policies still actively encourage farming that is dependent on external inputs and technologies. It is these policy frameworks that are one of the principal barriers to a more sustainable agriculture. (Pretty, 1998, p. 28) Pretty also explains that many policy measures that are meant to support agriculture actually act as "...powerful disincentives against sustainability" (Pretty, 1998, p. 35). Without appropriate policy support sustainable agriculture is likely to remain localized and sustainable agriculture may not spread beyond these local successes (Pretty, 2002; Pretty, 1998). The crux of my research revolves aroxmd these challenges because it examines sustainable agriculture in the context of policy. The broad theory of sustainable agriculture also allows for the integration of other theoretical frameworks such as agroecology, ecological economics, agricultural extension, and adaptive policy. These frameworks are discussed in the following sections. 5.4 Agroecology Agroecology is an approach to agricultural production that incorporates ecological principles into the study, design, and management of agroecosystems (Gliessman 2000; Altieri 1995). Interest in applying ecological principles to agriculture began in the 1960s and 1970s with heightened environmental awareness, the growing influence of systems-level approaches, and increased research into community and population ecology. Agroecology emerged as a distinct methodology and conceptual framework for the study of agroecosystems by the 1980s (Gliessman, 2000). Gliessman (2000) describes an agroecosystem as a site of agricultural production, such as a farm, although he explains that it could also include a collection of farms (Gliessman, 2000). Vandermeer explains that a persistent idea in agroecology is that an agroecosystem should mimic the functioning of non-managed ecosystems, including features such as tight nutrient cycling, vertical structure, and the preservation of biodiversity (Vandermeer, 1995). Gliessman defines an agroecoystem as "an agricultural system understood as an ecosystem" (Gliessman, 2000, p. 339). Ecosystems are constantly changing due to birth and death within the system, but maintain an internal dynamism that provides stability to ecosystem structure and function. Ecosystem complexity and species diversity contribute to this overall stability. 39 Natural ecosystems evolve toward the most biologically complex structure in order to optimize resources and nutrient cycling within that system. This leads to an environment that is comprised of dynamic populations of organisms that demonstrate stability over time (Gliessman 2000). Gliessman (2000) compares natural ecosystems and agroecosystems by identifying the following distinguishing characteristics: Energy flow: Agroecosystems tend be open systems. They lose a great deal of energy as a result of biomass loss due to harvesting, and rely on energy inputs by humans. Nutrient Cycling: Nutrients are lost from agroecosystems as a result of leaching or erosion due to biomass removal and exposure of bare soil which results in nutrient leaks. Population Regulating Mechanisms: Trophic interactions are reduced as a result of simplification of the system. Humans determine population size and composition by planting seeds and applying control agents. Pest outbreaks are likely to occur because of a lack of natural predators. Stability: Agroecosystems are less resilient than natural ecosystems because of reduced functional and structural diversity. Stability is compromised due to harvest and can only be sustained with human inputs. An agroecosystem should mimic the function of non-managed ecosystems (Vandermeer 1995). A sustainable agroecosystem is: that maintains the resource base upon which it depends, relies on a minimum of artificial inputs from outside the farm system, manages pests and diseases through internal regulating mechanisms, and is able to recover from the disturbances caused by cultivation and harvest (Gliessman, 2000, p. 299). Gliessman explains that an agroecological approach focuses on specific aspects of a cropping system within the context of alternative ecological management strategies. At a broader level, an agroecological approach identifies and incorporates knowledge about historical ecological systems into current fanning management approaches (Gliessman 2000). The theory of agroecology provides a direct link between agriculture, society, and ecology: "A web of connections spreads out from every agroecosystem into human society and natural ecosystems" (Gliessman, 2000, p. 26). Our current dominant industrial model of agriculture is not sustainable because it is eroding natural resources (e.g. soil, water, air, biodiversity) and 40 requires high inputs that come from non-renewable resources (e.g. fossil fuels). If we destroy our ecosystems we will undermine the sustainability of our existence. One step towards sustainability is to model agricultural systems on ecosystems. The theory of agroecology, therefore, provides an important foundation for my research because it provides a framework for understanding how agricultural production can be successful while enhancing, rather than degrading, natural ecosystems. 5.5 Agricultural Extension Agricultural extension is a useful theoretical framework in which to situate my research and examine the information exchange system that is needed to put the theories of sustainable agriculture and agroecology into practice. Agricultural extension is a system that includes public, private, and semi-public institutions that fund and provide agricultural information services (Alex et al., 2004). Although agricultural extension has been around for centuries, its history is largely unrecorded (Jones and Garforth, 1997). There is evidence that the concept of exchanging information about agriculture goes as far back as 1800 B.C. in Mesopotamia where clay tablets have been found with advice about watering crops and controlling rats (Jones and Garforth, 1997). Approaches to agricultural extension differ. Roling and Wagemakers (1998) explain that: "Within the realist-positivist epistemology, extension is looked upon as a necessary delivery mechanism of the results of scientific research" (Roling and Wagemakers, 1998, p. 15). On the other hand: Within the constructionist epistemology, extension is a means for socially (re)constructing agrarian reality through communication and information sharing activities. More generously and truly constructionally, extension can be seen as a societal mechanism for facilitating social learning of appropriate responses to changing circumstance. (Roling and Wagemakers, 1998, p. 15) The latter interpretation is consistent with the approach I have taken in my research. There are a number of themes in agricultural extension that directly relate to my research. In terms of sustainable agriculture and agroecology, agricultural extension provides a conduit through which theories can be put into practice. Roling and Pretty, (1997) identify three major lessons to help achieve sustainable agriculture through agricultural extension. The first lesson is that extension can be used to help explain environmental issues and to show farmers how present farming practices are unsustainable. Extension also offers the opportunity to test the feasibility 41 of sustainable practices. Extension can provide farmers with the tools to observe and monitor the sustainability of their own farms. The second lesson is that extension must make use of farmers' knowledge. They explain that: "The location- specific nature of sustainable agriculture implies that extension must make use of farmers' knowledge and work together with farmers" (Roling and Pretty, 1997, p. 186). The third lesson emphasizes facilitated learning. Rather than transferring knowledge to farmers, extension should seek to facilitate the learning process, drawing on expert advice when needed. The creation of learning groups to help farmers adapt to sustainable practices is an important part of this process. They explain that the success of sustainable agriculture "...depends not just on the motivations, skills, and knowledge of individual farmers, but on action taken by groups or communities as a whole" (Roling and Pretty, 1997, p. 181-182). Agricultural extension is in a state of transition. There has been a move away from public extension towards decentralization of extension, cost recovery, participation by stakeholders, privatization, and delivery of extension through a pluralistic approach to financing and delivery (Alex et al., 2004). Rivera and Gary (1997) explain that: The primary issue may not be whether a certain function would be entrusted to public or private organizations, but, rather, what configuration of organizations, both public and private, is needed and what arrangements between them provide the most effective outcomes.. .(Rivera and Gary, 1997, p. 208). This is an important consideration in my research as it touches on the role that non-government organizations do play (or could play) in agricultural extension. Rivera et al. (2000) characterize agricultural extension systems based on the entities that carry out three major functions: financing, purchasing of services, and provision of services (Rivera et al., 2000). They explain that each of these functions can be split between public (national, regional, or local government) and private sectors (farmers, agribusiness, NGOs, and for-profit firms) (Rivera et al., 2000). Demand driven extension is increasingly being driven through central government which provides financing for local government or through farmer groups to contract services from the private sector (Rivera et al., 2000). Non-government organizations are playing an increasingly important role in agricultural extension (Alex et al., 2004; Roling, 1988). Alex et al. (2004) point out that NGOs are useful partners in agricultural extension because they adapt to local situations, are often quite flexible, 42 and are able to provide assistance to grass roots community organizations (Alex et al., 2004). However, NGOs also face some barriers in providing agricultural extension services. They must be careful to maintain good relationships with governments to maintain government funding and support. In addition, local NGOs usually focus on the efficacy of their work at the local level and are generally not capable of expanding their operations to a national scale. Their ability to deliver projects is constrained by the size of the organization and the funding they receive (Roling, 1988). Agricultural extension provides a valuable theoretical framework in which to conduct my research because it is one of the tools that can be used to put the theories of sustainable agriculture and agroecology into practice. The transition to sustainable agriculture will require investment in, among other things, strategies to exchange information with farmers about the techniques and benefits of sustainable agriculture, incentives for farmers to experiment and initiate transitions to sustainability, as well as strategies to include NGOs in delivery of extension services. 5.6 Ecological Economics Ecological economics began in the 1980s vwth a group of scholars who realized that improvements needed to be made in environmental policy and management in order to protect the well-being of future generations. Throughout most of the 20* century there has been an increasing separation and reductionism within and between the disciplines of economy and ecology (Costanza et al., 1997). This gap between economy and ecology was (and is) driven by the dominant economic paradigm which does not accept that the economic system is embedded v^thin the ecological system. Ecological economics acknowledges that humans and economies are embedded within natural ecosystems and that energy flows within and between economies and ecosystems (Ropke, 2004). This dominant economic paradigm began in the 1700s with Adam Smith's seminal work The Wealth of Nations (Smith, 1776). Adam Smith proposed that individual decision making benefits society at large. He suggested that each individual is guided by an 'invisible hand' that will make them act in a way that benefits society, although their intention is to maximize their own gain (Smith, 1776). Smith's theory contributed to a dominant paradigm in economics that is based on the premise that the sum total of individual decisions will provide the greatest benefit to society. This perspective has provided the rationale for our current market driven 43 economy and has resulted in an individualistic society motivated by materialism and personal greed (Costanza et al., 1997). Around the same time that Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations, Thomas Malthus wrote his provocative essay on population growth (as noted in Section 5.3). He predicted that if the population continued to grow geometrically there would not be enough food for everyone, because agricultural production could only increase arithmetically (Malthus 1798). In other words, the population would grow faster than food production. Unfortunately, Malthus' predictions were largely dismissed as a result of the technological advances made by the Green Revolution. Human ingenuity and the success of the market economy appeared to support Smith's theory and discredit Malthus' theory. However, the collective impact of individual decision-making had a serious impact on the sustainability of natural resources. Hardin described this impact as the "tragedy of the commons" (Hardin, 1968, p. 1244) whereby each individual seeks to maximize their own personal benefit without regard for the cumulative impact on the resource being exploited. Each individual looks at their gain in the context of a limitless world without consideration of how their decision will affect others. Hardin uses a metaphor to illustrate this theory. He describes a hypothetical scenario where many herdsmen graze their animals on a common pasture. Based on the rationale that an individual should seek to maximize their own gain, a herdsman would add another animal in order to earn more income. He would not consider how adding one more cow would affect the ability of the pasture to feed 31 animals (for example) instead of 30. The herdsman would gain by one (+1), and all the other herdsmen would share the loss (-1) of the resource equally. Each herdsman would attempt to maximize their own gain by adding one more animal, eventually rendering the pasture barren from overgrazing (Hardin, 1968). Hardin explains that the same scenario could play out in the global commons if every individual was to act as a rational being who sought to maximize his/her own gain (Hardin, 1968). Critics have argued that Hardin did not consider the possibility of excluding individuals from communal property and that the evidence suggests that exclusion under such communal property regimes is the rule rather than the exception (Feeny et al., 1990). Ostrom et al. (1999) explain that the farmer-managed irrigation systems in Nepal are good examples of communal resovirces that have been well managed using locally crafted rules and evolved norms (Ostrom 44 et al., 1990). They also say that: "The empirical and theoretical research stimulated over the past 30 years by Garrett Hardin's article has shown that tragedies of the commons are real, but not inevitable" (Ostrom et al., 1999, p. 281). Pretty (2003) explains that successes in communal property management have been largely at the regional to local level where institutional conditions and market pressures are supportive and access to resources can be controlled. However, a greater challenge exists in applying these principles to large scale (i.e. global) open-access commons where appropriate conditions must be created so that social capital can work (Pretty, 2003). The main criticisms of Hardin's theory appear to revolve around a literal translation of Hardin's metaphor. However, I have drawn on Hardin's metaphor here to illustrate Smith's (1776) free market economy theory. According to Smith (1776), if each person acts in a manner that optimizes their own gain, they are acting in a way that ultimately benefits the public interest. Hardin illustrates the flaw in this theory using the commons metaphor by describing what would happen if everyone in a commons pasture did operate in a manner that optimized their own gain (as opposed to the collective gain). Research has shown that people do not always act in this way, illustrating that both Hardin's and Smith's theories are overly-simplistic, ignoring the social (and behavioural) component of managing public goods such as natural resources. This ties in to my discussion in Chapter 2 which postulated that humans (individuals and societies) can choose to behave in a manner that helps to sustain natural resources or they can choose to behave in a manner that degrades natural resources. In Limits to Growth, Meadows et al. (1972) (aka The Club of Rome), modeled the consequences of a growing world population and predicted that economic growth could not continue indefinitely because of the limited availability of natural resources, particularly oil. The Club of Rome brought the issues of population growth and finite natural resources to the forefront renewing debate about whether technology was really capable of overriding the Earth's finite resources. Simon (1981) argued that the conclusions drawn by the Club of Rome were incorrect and that human ingenuity could overcome any resource limitations we may face now or in the future. He claimed that society will be better off by increasing wealth and technology and that resources can be viewed as infinite because they will be either recycled or new alternatives will 45 be found. He also argued that population growth is desirable because it will contribute to our ability to solve problems and will contribute to the overall wealth of society (Simon 1981). Despite the fact that human society depends on natural ecosystems and agro-ecosystems for sustainability, these systems are typically undervalued in the current market economy. Costanza et al. (1997) explain that a standard assumption in neoclassical economics is that factors of production are highly substitutable. A shortage of one factor does not significantly impact the productivity of the other factor, if the factors are good substitutes. However, Costanza et al. (1997) argue that human capital and natural capital should be seen as complementary because human-made capital is dependent on natural capital (Costanza et al. 1997). They point out that as human-made capital increases, the demand on natural capital also increases due to the complementarity of the two factors. Productivity of the scarcest (limiting) factor should be maximized and supply increased. Costanza et al. (1997) provide an example of the complementary nature of natural and human-made capital by asking: "...what good is a sawmill without a forest?" (Costanza et al. 1997, p. 85). Costanza et al. (1997) explain that the traditional indicators of economic success, such as GDP, GNP, and other national income accounting measures, typically overemphasize market transactions because they imdervalue resource depletion, ignore the damage caused by pollution, and do not accurately measure changes in well-being (Costanza et al., 1997). This approach does not adequately value environmental or social costs in the economy. However, Daly and Cobb (1989) developed an Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW) which combines income inequalities, social factors, and environmental deterioration. The ISEW includes, among numerous other factors, cost estimates for the loss of farmlands and wetlands, long-term environmental damage, and depletion of non-renewable resources (Costanza et al., 1997; Max-Neef, 1995). When the ISEW was compared to the GNP of various countries, researchers foimd that the GNP and ISEW ran parallel to each other until a threshold was reached, at which point the ISEW began to decline while the GNP continued to rise (Costanza et al, 1997; Max-Neef, 1995). This threshold was reached in the early 1970s in the US and the mid-1970s in the UK (Costanza et al , 1997; Max-Neef, 1995). The ISEW indicates that economic welfare per capita has been declining despite continued growth of the GNP (Max- Neef, 1995). In other words, the costs of additional growth outweigh the benefits (Costanza et al., 1997). The ISEW is not a perfect measure of total welfare. Like the GNP, it also measures 46 what is being produced and consumed. However, it does adjust for the sustainability of consumption, its negative impact on natural resources, and its distribution across different income classes (Costanza et al., 1997). The ISEW illustrates that traditional measures of economic success (e.g. GNP) do not capture the social and environmental costs that come as a result of a growing free-market economy. Brown (2005) explains that throughout history humans have lived on the sustainable yield of the planet, in other words, the interest from nature's endowment. However, we are now consuming the endowment instead of just the yield. In economic terms we are drawing down the principal as well as the interest. This situation is not sustainable over the long term. Eventually the resources will run out entirely and we will be left bankrupt (Brown, 2005). In order to get off this path that is leading towards ecological collapse, the emphasis needs to shift from using technologies that increase productivity of labour and human-made capital to those that increase the productivity of natural capital. This could occur if market forces captured the value of natural capital. But natural capital is not usually owned and therefore it is not marketed. As a result, there is no explicit price for natural capital, so it is exploited as if its price was zero. In cases where natural capital is priced, it tends to be undervalued by the market because the market excessively discounts the value of future scarcity (Costanza et al., 1997). Discounting takes fixture dollar benefits and costs to determine their present value. Discounting is used to estimate the stream of benefits and costs over the life of a public project or policy to determine if the present value of the benefits is worth the present value of the costs (Loomis and Helfand, 2001). High discount rates favour the present over the future. Low discount rates favor the future and conservation of resources (Costanza et al., 1997). Costanza et al. (1997) use the exploitation of biological resources to illustrate the impact that a high discount rate can have on biological conservation. They explain that by economic logic, if biological resources are not increasing in value as quickly as the interest rate, then those resources should be exploited and the revenues invested in industrial capital markets. A lower interest rate would result in less discounting and make the conservation of biological resources economically rational (Costanza et al., 1997). Ecosystems, agroecosystems, and agri-environmental stewardship are undervalued by society in the current economic paradigm because they lack the characteristics of a good or service that 47 can be sold as a commodity. Manno (2000) refers to this concept as commoditization. A commodity is an object outside of oneself that satisfies human wants. The easier it is to package, transport, standardize, and assign property rights to the object, the easier it is to sell as a commodity (Manno, 2000). Commoditization does not work well with unique, knowledge based, cooperative, process- oriented systems (Manno, 2000). These characteristics describe some of the key elements of ecosystems, agroecosystems, and agri-environmental stewardship. Commoditization focuses on detaching things from their cultural and ecological contexts rather than focusing on the systems of which they are a part (Manno, 2000). The agricultural industry has taken advantage of commoditization by creating inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. These products can be developed and owned by chemical companies, mass produced in factories, then packaged and transported to farms around the world. More knowledge based, system oriented, natural forms of pest control, such as integrated pest management, are more difficult to commoditize and lose out in the competitive market economy (Manno, 2000). Marmo (2000) explains that commoditization acts like a selection pressure where certain types of goods and services are chosen over others. This process occurs as a result of the laws, institutions, and cultural practices in place to support a growth economy (Manno, 2000). Ecological economics acknowledges that non-market goods, such as natural capital, are undervalued in our current economic framework. Sagoff provides an interesting perspective on valuing non-market goods: The things we cherish, admire, or respect are not always the things we are willing to pay for. Indeed, they may be cheapened by being associated with money. It is fair to say that the worth of things we love is better measured by our unwillingness to pay for them (Sagoff, 2005, p. 158). Therein lies a conimdrum. Should we attempt to value nature and all the 'services' she offers or should we simply nurture non-human entities and protect them out of a sense of moral obligation? Protecting nature because it provides a 'service' to humanity illustrates a utilitarian view of nature. In other words, we are protecting nature for our own benefit (Rees, 2004). Unfortunately, the current state of the environment seems to indicate that society does not feel a moral obligation to protect nature for 'nature's sake'. I explore this question in further detail in 48 Chapter 14. Ecological economics provides a holistic theoretical framework in which to conduct my research, linking economy, society, environment, agriculture, and policy. 5.7 Adaptive Policy I am using adaptive policy as one of my theoretical frameworks because it is a method of policy making and implementation that embraces learning as a key concept of reform. It also acknowledges that we often do not know enough about systems to make policies that are effective across a range of conditions so we need to monitor and adapt policies over time to ensure they are achieving their desired outcomes. Adaptive policy is an important component of my research because it provides a framework to understand policy issues, identify policy objectives, and design policies that address those issues. Adaptive policy evolved out of the theory of adaptive management. The concept of adaptive management was defined in the mid-1970s by an interdisciplinary team of biologists and systems analysts led by Canadian ecologist C.S. Rolling (Lee, 1993). Their work identified the need to understand how natural systems respond to human disturbance and to learn to adapt to the unexpected (Lee, 1993). Adaptive management involves learning while doing. The approach acknowledges that action should not be postponed until all is known about a system (Lee, 2005). Lee explains that: "Adaptive management is grounded in the admission that humans do not know enough to manage ecosystems" (Lee, 2005, p. 105). Lee appears to have been one of the first to use the term 'adaptive policy' (Swanson et al., 2006). Adaptive policy is based on the same premise as adaptive management. We simply do not know enough about the complex interactions between society, economy, and ecology to develop policies that remain stagnant over time. In the context of adaptive management, Lee (1993) states: "Adaptive management is an approach to natural resource policy that embodies a simple imperative: polices are experiments; learn from them..." (Lee, 1993, p. 9). Roling and Wagemakers (1998) explain that developing and using knowledge are our main mechanisms for surviving rapidly changing conditions. An adaptive response requires creativity and the capacity for collective learning and innovation (Roling and Wagemakers, 1998). Adaptive policies should encourage and enable positive action through participation and information exchange with multiple actors (Swanson et al., 2006). Agroecologically guided 49 agricultural extension could play an important role in adaptive policy by facilitating participation and information exchange. In terms of typical policy approaches, Swanson et al. (2006) note that: "Policies intended to enable local responses to national issues often do not recognize the diversity of contexts and conditions in which they will be applied" (Swanson et al., 2006, p. 24). The distance between decision-making and service delivery may be very large (both organizationally and geographically) when policies are developed at the federal or provincial level of government but applied at the local level. It may be difficult for those dealing directly with policy at the individual or community level to provide feedback to decision-makers. One way to make a policy more adaptive is to decentralize decision-making as much as possible to allow policies to respond to local circumstances (Swanson et al., 2006). These are important concepts in my research, as I explore the vertical and horizontal integration of policy between governments and the impact on agri-environmental stewardship. In Chapter 9,1 use the theory of adaptive policy to develop a process to review existing policy and identify policy options. 5.8 Summary I draw on a variety of theoretical frameworks in my research in order to provide the depth and breadth needed to interpret my topic in a holistic and interdisciplinary manner. By incorporating these frameworks into the conceptualization of my research I will be able to better understand the inter-relationships between agriculture, environment, society, economy, and policy. The next chapter summarizes the literature I reviewed for my research. 50 CHAPTER 6 Literature Review 6.1 Introduction This chapter provides a summary of the Uterature I found that relates to my research. The interdisciplinary nature of my research meant that it was necessary to cast a wide net in my literature review in order to capture useful studies and reports. I have attempted to keep this chapter as succinct as possible by summarizing a relatively small (but representative) number of recent studies and reports that are most relevant to my research. I have divided the chapter into six key sections: agri-environmental collaborations, ecosystem goods and services, wildlife habitat availability on farmland, research conducted by the DFWT, research involving the DFWT, and competing interests in Delta. 6.2 Agri-environmental Collaborations A review of the literature revealed that there are few studies that have investigated the formation and development of agri-environmental NGOs and I could find no studies that examined the role of policy in the formation and development of agri-environmental NGOs. There have been numerous studies examining community involvement in agroecology, particularly in Latin America and developing countries (see However, the focus tends to be on specific agroecological issues such as improving the productivity of agroecosystems, demonstrating that agroecology is effective, ensuring that local people are involved, and that local knowledge is integrated into agroecosystem management. While these are important aspects of agroecology, they are not the focus of my research, so I have not included such studies in my literature review. As part of my literature review, I searched for case studies written in English that met the following criteria: • Community based NGO in a First World industrialized nation • Formed as a result of ongoing conflict between farmers and environmentalists • Identified enhancement of both wildlife habitat and agriculture as a goal of the NGO • Discussed the role of policy in the formation and development of the NGO 51 While I could not find any studies that met all of my criteria, I did find two studies that examined conflict and collaboration in ecosystem management and the NGOs that formed as a result. These studies are discussed below. 6.2.1 Malpai Borderlands Group Keough and Blahna (2006) reviewed ecosystem management and collaboration literature in an attempt to identify how social and ecological factors are integrated in collaborative management and why they are effective. They identified eight factors important for integrative, collaborative ecosystem management: integrated and balanced goals, inclusive public involvement, stakeholder influence, consensus group approach, collaborative stewardship, monitoring and adaptive management, multidisciplinary data, and economic incentives. They then examined four successful ecosystem management cases from western United States to show how the principles were incorporated and to explain the role these principles played in each success. They conducted interviews with key informants and reviewed secondary data (e.g. planning and decision documents, published media and academic accounts). The four case studies ranged in scale from site-specific to eco-regional. All of the cases involved controversial issues and agreement between stakeholders emerged over time. They discovered that successful collaborative efforts resulted from meaningful stakeholder participation, development of plans that were economically feasible, and involvement of stakeholders in monitoring key social, ecological, and economic issues as they emerged. They also found that stakeholders were willing to trade off some of the value of economic incentives for recreational and environmental benefits. Although all the case studies examined collaborative management, one case study seemed most relevant to my research, because it involved an organization that formed due to agri-environmental issues. This study is summarized below. The Malpai Borderlands Group is a nonprofit organization led by ranchers in New Mexico, USA. It was formed to address ongoing conflicts between ranchers and government personnel in favour of livestock grazing and environmental groups who were opposed to the grazing. Both sides were locked in a cycle of conflict that impeded management actions. Eventually two local ranchers realized that a common goal was needed to protect the grasslands so they organized meetings between environmentalists and ranchers. Over a period of flve years the 52 group engaged other stakeholders including state and federal government personnel, academic organizations, as well as local and national environmental groups. The leaders of the group created a forum for open discussion where participants were asked to set aside their immediate concerns and focus on what they wanted the landscape to look like in the future. Stakeholder groups shared in the decision making process and a formal power-sharing system including a board of directors, planning teams, and advisory groups was established. This led to a shared vision for preserved unfragmented open spaces and improved rangeland conditions. While the research conducted by Keough and Blahna (2006) does not examine the role of policy in the formation and development of any of the cases, it does provide some useful insights for my research. The methods used are similar to mine (i.e. interviews, review of secondary data), the formation of the Malpai Borderlands Group came as a response to agri- environmental conflicts, and the findings of Keough and Blahna (2006) provide a useful comparison to my research findings. 6.2.2 Cameron County Agricultural Coexistence Committee Drawing on nearly ten years of research, WondoUeck and Yaffee (2000) discuss the benefits of collaboration in resolving natural resource conflicts. They explain how people have worked together to resolve conflicts, solve problems, and build partnerships. They studied nearly 200 cases of collaboration in natural resource and envirormiental management and identified eight themes they found to be critical to successful collaboration: • Build on common ground established by a sense of place or community, mutual goals or fears, or a shared vision • Create new opportunities for interaction among diverse groups • Employ meaningful, effective, and enduring collaborative processes • Focus on the problem in a new and different way by fostering a more open, flexible, and holistic mind-set • Foster a sense of responsibility, ownership, and commitment • Recognize that partnerships are made up of people not institutions • Move forward through proactive and entrepreneurial behavior; and • Mobilize support and resources from numerous sources (WondoUeck and Yaffee 2000, p. 20-21) The most similar case study to my research that is cited in this book is the Cameron County Agricultural Coexistence Committee in South Texas, USA. Formation of the group came as a response to a proposal in the late 1980s by the United States Environmental Protection Agency 53 (EPA) to significantly restrict pesticide use on agricultural crops surrounding a wildlife refuge. This action was being taken in order to protect the endangered Aplomado falcon (Falco femoralis septentrionalis). At first farmers were angry and frightened by the EPA's proposal, so they formed an ad hoc group to discuss the issue. They decided that they needed a broader coalition to generate ideas. The group grew into the Cameron County Agricultural Coexistence Committee with farmers, environmentalists, and government personnel involved in the committee. WondoUeck and Yaffee (2000) explain that a critical part of the group's development was a joint learning process in which everyone contributed their own expertise to the problem. For example, the group discussed alternative means of controlling pests that would not harm the falcons. Granular pesticides were poisoning the birds, but the same pesticide could be injected into the ground. A technique which, the group agreed, would not harm the birds. They worked through a process of mutual learning focusing on the problem rather than on historic or predetermined positions. The group adopted a holistic perspective linking economic and environmental issues across the landscape and used scientific information to help in their decision making. Government representatives also contributed by expanding their traditional roles defined by their agency to contribute to a process of joint problem solving. WondoUeck and Yaffee (2000) explain that a critical component of the success of the Cameron County committee was the willingness of the members to try a different approach. While WondoUeck and Yaffee (2000) do not delve into the role of policy in the formation and development of the committee, they do point out that differences in the goals and missions of organizations can hinder cooperative efforts. They also explain that a lack of administrative flexibility among agencies in implementing agreements can result in frustration for individuals involved in collaborative efforts (WondoUeck and Yaffee, 2000). These findings provide valuable insight into some of the issues non-government organizations face in formation and development. 6.3 Ecosystem Goods and Services This section discusses two reports that examined ecosystem goods and services on farmland in and around Delta. They provide insight into the value people place on wildlife habitat on farmland as well as an indication of the difficulty of attempting to estimate or capture that value. 54 6.3.1 Fraser Valley Natural Capital Olewiler (2004) conducted four case studies to demonstrate how the preservation or restoration of natural areas in settled areas of Canada would generate considerable net benefits to society. The case studies demonstrate how inefficient allocation of land use by governments may be destroying or degrading natural capital. One of these cases studies focuses on the Lower Fraser Valley. Olewiler (2004) says that: Valuing the natural capital fi"om the Fraser Valley could help improve land use planning and save British Columbians millions of dollars in avoiding the construction of costly substitutes for the services of natural capital and the loss of these valuable goods and services. (Olewiler, 2004, p. 9) However, Olewiler (2004) does not estimate the actual value of the ecosystem services provided by agricultural land (including wildlife habitat) due to a lack of data. She explains that a lack of data on the amount of natural capital in Canada is a serious and pervasive issue that is hindering our ability to make informed land use policies that reflect the value of natural capital. Olewiler (2004) suggests four roles for government: • Provide data reflecting the amount and attributes of natural capital and how it has changed over time • Coordinate and fiind efforts to measure and value natural capital in order to improve decision making • Recognize and capture the benefits of natural capital when valuing Crown land • Design policies that provide incentives for landowners to conserve their land when the natural capital from that land equals or exceeds its value for other uses Olewiler's (2004) study is useful in the context of my research because it illustrates how agricultural land is undervalued in our current market driven economy. Non-market goods, such as the provision of wildlife habitat, are simply not documented or valued. As a result, the provision of ecosystem services (including wildlife habitat) by farmers is generally uncompensated. Olewiler (2004) explains that: ...because farmers typically receive no payment for the ecosystem benefits generated by their lands and farming techniques, they have little incentive or ability to protect nature. (Olewiler, 2004, p. 17) 55 6.3.2 Public Amenity Benefits and Ecological Services of Farmland A recent study conducted by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands (2007) examined the public amenity benefits and ecological services provided by farmland in Abbotsford. Abbotsford is located in the Fraser Valley approximately 55 kilometers from Delta. The study used intercept interviews, a postal survey, and a focal group to identify the public benefits individuals placed on farmland in Abbotsford. The interviews were conducted outside a mall in Abbotsford. Individuals were asked: "Is it a benefit to have farmland in the community?" Ninety-eight percent of the respondents answered yes. They were then asked: "What would you say are some positive associations you have with farmland in your commimity?" The responses are indicated below: Table 6.1 Positive associations witli farmland Theme Access to local food Greenspace/Nature Lifestyle Cheaper food Others Responses 75% 4% 4% 4% 13% Source: (BCMAL, 2007, p. 3) A postal survey was created based on these initial responses and sent to 2500 random addresses in Abbotsford. Addresses in the Agricultural Land Reserve were excluded from the postal survey. The survey was intended to identify residents' willingness to pay for specific attributes of farmland and general farmland preservation. 377 surveys were returned (15% response rate). One of the questions asked respondents to indicate the three most important attributes of farmland from a list of potential attributes. The responses are shown in the following table. 56 Table 6.2 Most important attributes of farmland Theme Access to local food Greenspace Rural lifestyle Job opportunities Wildlife habitat Scenic value Farm animals Cultural heritage Other Responses 84% 62% 38% 34% 28% 19% 18% 14% 2.8% Source: (BCMAL, 2007, p. 4) A focus group drawn from the postal survey was used to confirm how respondents interpreted the questions in the postal survey. Since my research focuses on the provision of wildlife habitat on agricultural land, I will only discuss the findings related to wildlife habitat. The postal survey results showed that 111 (31.4%) of the respondents would contribute annually to a non-profit trust to protect wildlife habitat on 1000 acres of farmland (BCMAL, 2007). It is important to note that this is 31.4% of the self-selected minority that chose to answer the questionnaire, so their responses may not be representative of the broader population. The study notes that the postal survey question related to wildlife habitat may have been confusing for respondents, so this figure may not be accurate. The author(s) explain that respondents may have had difficulty "unbundling the farmland attributes" (BCMAL, 2007, p. 50) from those that contribute to wildlife habitat and therefore contributed a similar amount to wildlife habitat as they did to farmland preservation as a whole. The author(s) then go on to explain that: "Using aerial photos and the Land Use Inventory it appears the amount of farmland that could be used as wildlife habitat in Abbotsford is in the 10 percent range" (BCMAL, 2007, p. 50). This statement is disconcerting because it appears to separate farmland from wildlife habitat when, in fact, farmland itself provides wildlife habitat. The author(s) do note that the individuals who took part in the focus group had a difficult time separating specific benefits of farmland (e.g. wildlife habitat) firom the overall value of farmland and that most postal survey respondents appeared to take a holistic view of the benefits of farmland (rather than focusing on specific attributes). 57 While this study does shed some light on the value respondents place on the non-market goods and services provided by farmland, the confusion over whether all farmland or only a small percentage (the area that is presumably unfarmed) should be considered as potential wildlife habitat is problematic. However, the study does illustrate the difficulty in measuring the 'value' of wildlife habitat on farmland. The mere fact that people acknowledge the non-market goods and services that farmland provides indicates that there is potential to capture the value that people place on farmland and its provision of wildlife habitat. The challenge is in determining: a) what wildlife habitat is 'worth' (and if it is even possible to assign a value to wildlife habitat); and b) if wildlife habitat can be valued, how can that value be captured from the public and transferred to the farmers who are providing the wildlife habitat. While there are methods to estimate the value of wildlife habitat (e.g. contingent valuation), these methods are controversial because they may not capture the full value of wildlife habitat (i.e. both intrinsic and economic) (Farber et al., 2006). There are also methods to transfer the value of wildlife habitat to farmers who provide wildlife habitat (e.g. direct payments), but the challenge lies in developing a system that is equitable and affordable over the long term (Swinton et al., 2007). 6.4 Wildlife Habitat Availability on Farmland Neave et al., (2000) developed an 'Availability of Wildlife Habitat on Farmland' indicator for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for the seven main ecozones in which agricultural production occurs in Canada. The indicator was developed to track changes in agricultural habitat types between 1981 and 1996. Between 1981 and 1996 cropland grew by 28% in the Lower Mainland (Neave et al., 2000). This is considered to be a negative trend for wildlife because much of this expansion came from the conversion of tame or seeded pasture (which is more favourable for wildlife habitat) to cropland (Neave et al., 2000). This provides a good example of how a gain in agricultural production can result in a loss of wildlife habitat. The report acknowledges that, in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, "urbanization, agriculture, and wildlife habitat are often conflicting land uses..." (Neave et al., 2000, p. 151). The DFWT is cited by Neave et al. (2000) as an excellent example of how agricultural productivity does not have to come at the expense of wildlife habitat: 58 All of the programs promoted by the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust provide benefits to both the exceptional wildlife resource in the Fraser Valley and the agricultural community. (Neave et al., 2000, p. 152) This information is useful for my research because it shows that wildlife habitat on farmland in the Lower Mainland is declining and specifically identifies the DFWT as an organization that has been successful at providing programs that benefit both wildlife habitat and agriculture. This helps to validate my decision to use the DFWT as a case study. Javorek et al. (2007) examined changes to wildlife habitat on agricultural land in Canada. They derived land use patterns from Statistics Canada's Census of Agriculture and applied these at the soil polygon level. They found that there was a 5% decline in habitat capacity on Canada's agricultural land between 1981 and 2001. This decline was associated with an expansion in cropland and decline in pasture. In British Columbia they found a decrease in habitat capacity of less than 2%. They explain that this negative trend is mostly due to a decline in the relative share of farmland in pasture. They recommend that information should be collected locally and regionally where planners can work with landowners to set habitat goals and objectives for a variety of species. They explain that the use of extension and incentive programs can help farmers to imderstand how they can implement land management practices that benefit wildlife. They conclude by saying that a holistic approach is needed in policy development to address environmental and economic sustainability in agriculture. They state that: Policies and programs designed to sustain biodiversity should not be developed independently of socioeconomic factors of policies favouring agricultural intensification. (Javorek et al., 2007, p. 225) This study links the provision of wildlife habitat on farmland to policy, incentive programs, and agricultural extension. These are all important components of my research. 6.5 DFWT Research This section describes some of the research carried out by the DFWT in 2005-06. The DFWT conducts an ongoing research program to study the impacts of their agri-environmental stewardship programs to ensure that objectives are being met and to adjust programs as needed to meet those objectives (DFWT, 2006). Since I chose the DFWT as my case study, the results 59 are included here to give a sense of the type of research carried out by the DFWT and to show how their programs benefit both agriculture and wildlife over the long term. 6.5.1 Cover Crops Grazing surveys were conducted three times on all cover crops registered in the program over the winter of 2005-06. Field surveys were conducted by an observer who walked through each field to visually estimate the proportion of field that had been grazed by waterfowl as well as the intensity of the grazing. Weather conditions were particularly bad during this season. Bad weather, combined with extremely high tides and high waterfowl population densities resulted in heavy waterfowl use in the upland areas on the Eraser River delta. By the end of March 2006, 82% of 1034 ha of cover crops showed evidence of grazing and 51% of those crops were either extremely grazed (only cover crop stubble remained) or completely grazed (no evidence of cover crop) (DFWT, 2006). The field surveys revealed that late planted wheat crops were particularly vulnerable to waterfowl grazing with 98% of the total area planted with wheat showing evidence of grazing. Timothy fields were also grazed off early in the season, although only 22 ha were planted this season. In many cases there was little wheat or timothy crop to plough down at the end of the season. Waterfowl appeared to use barley fields less, with only 8 out of 64 fields extremely grazed. The biomass in barley fields tended to be high at the end of winter allowing for significant incorporation of organic carbon after ploughing (DFWT, 2006). In many cases, cover crops were grazed before they could provide full soil cover. These cover crops usually do not siuvive early grazing. The young plants provide excellent nutritional value for waterfowl, but do not provide enough forage through the winter for waterfowl or enough residual crop for plough down. Cover crops will continue to be monitored and evaluated to determine if planting guidelines need to be adjusted (DFWT, 2006). 6.5.2 Trumpeter Swan Habitat Use Study The trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator) was nearly driven to extinction in the early 1930s. In 1970 the winter population of swans on southern Vancouver Island and the Fraser River delta was estimated at 947. This population grew to 7,570 by 2005. As populations grow, it is 60 expected that medium to large estuaries associated with agricultural lands will continue to provide important habitat for wintering swans (DFWT, 2006). These large grazers can be difficult to acc9mmodate on agricultural lands because they can cause significant damage to economically important fields. Cover crops can be used as lure areas to draw swans away from economically important crops such as perennial forage. Over the 2005-06 winter season a pilot study was conducted to determine habitat preferences of Trumpeter swans across three regional areas containing mixed field cover. The goal of the study was to better understand the relative importance of cover crops in sustaining wintering swans (DFWT, 2006). Surveys were conducted between mid-November and the end of March. Swan flocks were observed in all three areas. The crop type, swan numbers, and the fields in which they fed were recorded. This information was compared to the availability of different field types to determine if swans demonstrated any habitat preference. The results revealed that swans only used winter cover crops, com stubble fields, and potato residue fields within the surveyed areas. The results indicate that crop residue and cover crops provide important foraging areas for Trumpeter swans while economically important perennial forage fields do not appear to provide significant habitat for swans (DFWT, 2006). 6.5.3 Grassland Set-asides The DFWT documents patterns of habitat use at the landscape level to help identify habitat types that are important to different species. Winter landscape level use by raptors was studied in 2005-06 to identify critical areas and habitat types. Censuses of diurnal birds of prey were conducted along six transects covering an area of 2800 ha. Biweekly surveys were conducted between mid-November and early March. The location and behaviour of the raptors as well as the field type were recorded on each 1.6 km (1 mile) wide transect (DFWT, 2006). There were sufficient numbers of red-tailed hawk and northern harrier detections made over the survey season to estimate habitat preferences. Both showed highest preference for tall grass habitat (grassland set-asides, old fields, and some tall forage fields). A number of owl species also used grassland set-asides in the winter. Some owl species used grassland set-asides year- round (DFWT, 2006). 61 Tall grass habitats made up 9.7% of the upland areas included in the surveys. Seventy percent of the area covered by these tall grass habitats was part of the DFWT funded grassland set- aside program. The results of the research indicate that tall grass habitat is important for grassland raptors wintering on the delta. Set-asides provide dense populations of their preferred food (Townsend's vole) as well as thermal and hiding cover (DFWT, 2006). 6.5.4 Raptor and Small Mammal Densities in Selected Grassland Types Small mammal and raptor surveys were conducted in the winter within selected grassland set- asides and forage fields. The objectives were to identify relative densities of small mammals within these field types and to measure the relative use of selected grass field types by wintering raptors. Twenty live traps spaced at 10 m intervals (index lines) were used to monitor small mammal relative density at three replicates of perennial forage fieilds and three set-aside age classes. Three two-day trapping sessions were conducted over the 2005-06 winter season. Five trapping sessions had been planned, but heavy rain and excessive field flooding prevented this from occurring (DFWT, 2006). The results showed similar trends in Townsend vole (Microtus townsendii) relative density in relation to age of set-asides as data collected from previous years. Older set-asides have higher vole densities relative to first year set-asides and perennial forage fields. Grass cover and height was greater in second and fourth year grassland set-asides relative to the other field types studied. Raptor use was also assessed within the same fields using four 60 minute field surveys over the 2005-06 winter season. More surveys had been planned, but poor weather interfered with many of the planned surveys (DFWT, 2006). The data collected from the grassland surveys indicate that these habitats are populated by Townsend's voles and are used by many raptors, most notably the northern harrier. Ninety-five percent of all observations were northern harriers {Circus cyaneus). Other raptor species observed included red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), bald eagles {Haliaeetus leucocephalus), merlin {Falco columbarius), rough-legged hawks {Buteo lagopus), American kestrel {Falco sparverius), and short-eared owls {Asio flammeus). The DFWT grassland set- aside program has contributed to the winter raptor habitat capacity in the Fraser River delta. The program provides between 50 to 60% of tall grass habitats on farmland in the delta. 62 Without the financial incentives provided by the DFWT grassland set-aside program these fields may have been left bare during the winter or remained in crop production (DFWT, 2006). 6.5.5 Hedgerow Songbird Surveys The hedgerows installed as part of the DFWT Farmscape program are all under ten years old so they have not yet developed into the complex structures that some of the older hedgerows in Delta display. Some of the DFWT's older hedgerows (5-8 years old) are beginning to show some vegetative complexity. Spring breeding bird surveys were conducted in 2006 to assess the development of the hedgerows particularly with respect to bird species richness (DFWT, 2006). Bird surveys took place along 21 field margins throughout Delta. These field margins were stratified into four groups: those with no hedgerows (control), those with 1-4 year old hedgerows established imder the DFWT Farmscape Program (new), those with 4-8 year old hedgerows established imder the DFWT Farmscape Program (old), and those with hedgerows of approximately 20 years or older (mature). A combined total of 37 songbird species were identified along surveyed field margins. Mature hedgerows appeared to demonstrate the highest species richness (number of species) as well as overall relative abundance (total number of bird detections/100 m). The 'old' DFWT hedgerows appear to be increasing in species richness and density compared to the 'new' and 'control' field margins. DFWT hedgerows have been designed to develop relatively quickly into structurally complex hedgerows with a well developed shrub layer and intermittent tall tree canopy. Structurally complex hedgerows have been shown to increase the density and diversity of songbirds in hedgerows compared to less complex hedgerows (DFWT, 2006). 6.6 Other Research Involving the DFWT This section summarizes two studies involving the DFWT. I have included these studies because they identify some of the cultural and economic benefits that come as an indirect result of the DFWT programs. They are useful for my research because they illustrate that the DFWT programs have a broad impact on the community that extends beyond the direct benefit to agriculture and wildlife habitat. 63 6.6.1 Hedgerows Oreszczyn and Lane (2001) compared cultural perspectives of hedgerows in Canada (specifically Delta) and England. The authors found that people in Delta and England shared many similar perceptions of hedgerows. However, they also found some differences in cultural perceptions. The authors point out that these differences have implications for the planning and management of hedgerows in Delta and have affected the manner in which the DFWT has managed its hedgerow program. This is discussed in greater detail below. In order to gather data about people's perceptions of hedgerows in England, the authors conducted 45 interviews (using open-ended questions) with farmers, members of the public, and professionals. They used a questionnaire to survey 70 people and also used secondary data sources. Less data was collected for the Delta portion of the study due to time and financial constraints. They collected information from the DFWT, the local museum, and the University of BC library. They also spoke with some Delta farmers and members of the DFWT. A small sample of BC residents completed the same questionnaire provided to participants in the English study. The data was analysed using a computer program (QSR NUD*IST (1997)) which sorted the qualitative data into categories so that relationships within the data could be identified through a grounded theory process (Oreszczyn and Lane, 2001). The researchers found that farmers in England and in Delta shared similar concerns about providing "free board" for wildlife on their farms (Oreszczyn and Lane, 2001, p. 4). Farm economics was identified as the main barrier to conservation by farmers in both countries. Farmers from both countries also felt that their contribution to wildlife conservation was not adequately recognized by the broader community. Trust and relationships were identified as being important to farmers in both coimtries (Oreszczjm and Lane, 2001). One of the key findings of the English study was that farmers did not trust the experts and members of the public did not trust the farmers. English farmers were also very critical of the bureaucracy involved in government-led agri-environmental programs such as the Countryside Stewardship Scheme administered by the Department of Environment and Rural Affairs. Within these schemes farmers receive grants for adopting more environmental friendly farm practices including hedge laying and planting. Their key criticisms related to the amount of time and commitment required by the farmer, lack of program flexibility, inadequate ftinding, 64 and a lack of appreciation of the farmer's knowledge of their own farm. The researchers found that "...whereas the English schemes appeared to act against trusting relationships conceming hedgerows, the scheme run by the DFWT specifically aimed to build trust" (Oreszczyn and Lane, 2001, p. 6). The researchers found that people viewed hedgerows in England as a historical part of the landscape. However, in Delta, hedgerows are a relatively new feature on the landscape and do not generate the same feelings of heritage or sense of place as those in England. Hedgerows have been in place in England since prehistoric times, whereas the oldest hedgerow in Delta is thought to be about 100 years old. However, Canadian respondents did indicate that hedgerows were important for their aesthetic, visual, and wildlife aspects (Oreszczyn and Lane, 2001). The researchers note that these cultural differences create a different climate for hedgerow establishment and management. In England, some farmers care for hedgerows with no financial assistance or recognition while others take advantage of partial incentives to encourage hedgerow planning and maintenance. There is also legislation in place to protect the most important hedgerows in England. However, the DFWT has taken a different approach, using word-of-mouth and curiosity in the farming community to build trust in order to encourage farmers to take part in their hedgerow program. In addition, the DFWT assumes responsibility for establishing and caring for hedgerows for the first five years (Oreszczyn and Lane, 2001). This research illustrates how important it is to understand, and work with, the local community when designing and implementing agri-environmental stewardship programs. In some cases financial incentives may be needed to encourage agri-environmental stewardship. In other cases, farmers may practice agri-environmental stewardship out of a sense of moral obligation (e.g. tending ancient hedgerows). This research provides a usefiil cultural perspective on the value of agri-environmental stewardship. 6.6.2 Land Tenure Eraser (2004) examined whether farmers need to own their land to conserve it or if long-term leases are adequate. Fraser (2004) used crop management and land tenure data fi"om Delta to identify whether farmers who own their land plant more crops that promote long-term conservation than farmers who rent their land. The research also examined whether farmers 65 with long-term leases plant more crops that promote long-term soil conservation than farmers with short-term leases. The research revealed that farmers who do not own their land plant more crops that provide short-term returns (e.g. annuals) while farmers who own their land manage their farms over a long-term time frame and plant crops (e.g. perennials) that help maximize soil conservation. Fraser (2004) also found that long term leases do not appear to provide the same incentives as land ownership and long-term leases do not necessarily result in farmers adopting a long-term farm management approach. Interestingly, Fraser (2004) foimd that the DFWT grassland set-aside program counteracted the negative impact that land tenure (i.e. leased land) had on long-term farm management and soil conservation. Fraser explains that this occurs because the grassland set-aside program provides incentives for farmers to invest in long-term management practices (i.e. grassland set-asides) that improve soil conservation even though the farmers may not receive any long-term benefit beyond the financial incentives provided. Fraser identifies three accomplishments of the DFWT grassland set aside program: 1. It provides an immediate return on what would otherwise be a long-term investment and would not normally be justified on leased land 2. It creates a monetary value for wildlife habitat 3. It provides farmers with the opportunity to provide wildlife habitat while also improving soil quality Fraser notes that "...this sort of program should be of considerable interest to policy makers as a method of promoting sound environmental management and soil conservation practices" (Fraser, 2004, p. 78). These findings are of value to my research because they show how the DFWT programs can counteract the effects of leased land which might otherwise be poorly managed for soil and wildlife habitat. The study also shows how payment for ecological services can act as an incentive for agri-environmental stewardship. 6.7 Competing Interests This section summarizes some of the other studies that are related to my research that have been conducted in Delta. Since many of the reports are quite lengthy, I only discuss those points that directly relate to my topic. 66 6.7.1 Conflicts in Delta Saddlemyer et al. (2001) examined the past and present conflicts in Delta and provided a number of recommendations on how to resolve these conflicts. This is a lengthy report, so I will only identify a few salient points made by the authors that are relevant to my research. The authors discuss the plethora of conflicts that have occurred in Delta since the 1960s including expropriation of farmland (Back-up Lands) by the provincial government in the late 1960s; construction of roads, hydro, gas, sewer, and water lines; residential subdivision; establishment of the ALR in the 1970s; increased concern in the 1980s and 90s over environmental and wildlife habitat degradation; impact of free trade on local agricultural viability; and initiation of the Tsawwassen First Nations band land claim. The authors sum up the past 50 years in Delta by saying : ...Delta appears to be a classic example of a community which has experienced multi-issue, multi-party, multi-incident conflict. Conflict has remained a near- constant feature of the landscape... (Saddlemyer et al., 2001, p. 20) At the time the report was written Delta was also battling the provincial government over the right to pass bylaws which would place restrictions on greenhouses. As discussed in Chapter 4, the provincial government passed an Order-in-Council (#568) on June 11, 2001 which required Delta to receive Ministerial approval for any zoning bylaws restricting farming in the ALR. The authors explain that the conflict over greenhouses is complex because it involves four layers of government: federal, provincial, regional, and municipal. The authors discovered that the crux of the conflict is centered on competing interests between the provincial and municipal governments with each government attempting to enact laws that will allow them to achieve their own goals (Saddlemyer et al., 2001). The authors solicited comments from community members and found that farmers and environmentalists had similar concerns and interests. They shared a similar vision of the type of community they wanted in the future. The DFWT was identified by provincial representatives as a good partnership model and recommended that similar partnerships be formed modeled after the DFWT (Saddlemyer et al., 2001). The authors found that community members: • Care passionately about their community and its future • Believe it is important to protect farmland 67 • • Understand the need for farmers to earn sufficient income to enjoy a decent standard of living • Believe it is important to protect waterfowl, wildlife and their habitat Believe the rest of society has a vested interest in the preservation of the Fraser River delta ecosystem • Want to be understood, appreciated and treated respectfully by other community members • Want predictability, security and a decent quality of life for themselves, their families and future generations • Want to be able to chart their own future, free from outside interference (Saddlemyer et al., 2001, p. 22) This report provides useful historical information on the range of conflicts and policy issues in Delta both before and after the formation of the DFWT. The information in this report is valuable because I can compare these results to my interview results to determine whether conflicts and policy issues have changed since the report was written. It is also useful for determining whether the recollections of those interviewed are consistent with the information provided in the report. 6.7.2 Land Use Management in Delta Norecol et al. (1994) imdertook a study to develop a set of environmental and land use management strategies for rural lands around Boundary Bay. The main themes of the study were agricultural viability and environmental management. The authors point out that there is a wide range of competing interests in Delta ranging from those who want to maintain the land as farmland, environmental agencies and groups interested in maintaining wildlife habitat, and other groups interested in using the land for recreational purposes. They point out that these interests should be dealt with as a whole rather than in isolation of each other. They explain that the maintenance of soil-bound agriculture is essential for agricultural viability, wildlife habitat conservation, and for recreational opportunities. This is a lengthy report with many recommended strategies and actions aimed at building and strengthening existing cooperative relationships. I have only identified some of the actions that are directly related to my research and the DFWT. The authors recommend that the DFWT should be endorsed and encouraged as a working partnership between wildlife conservationists and farmers. Some of the actions recommended by the authors include: 68 • Encourage the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust as a working partnership between farmers and wildlife conservationists through initial financial support, ongoing liaison, and the provision of appropriate information (Norecol et al., 1994, p. 5-3) • Encourage agricultural enhancement measures, where appropriate, which offer concurrent benefits to wildlife (e.g. set aside and winter cover crop programs) and also encourage habitat enhancement that provides agricultural benefits (Norecol et al., 1994, p. 5-4) • Support government, non-government, and landowner initiatives to manage farmlands in order to maintain and enhance their agricultural and wildlife values (Norecol et al., 1994, p. 5-4) This report provides useful historical information on strategies aimed at enhancing both agricultural viability and wildlife habitat conservation. The report was written about the same time the DFWT formed (in 1993), so it gives a good indication of the atmosphere in the community at that time. The results and recommendations provide information that I can use to triangulate my interview results. 6.7.3 Agriculture in Delta Klohn Leonoff Ltd. et al. (1992) produced a report on agriculture in Delta jointly funded by the federal department of agriculture (Agriculture Canada) and the provincial ministry of agriculture (BC Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food). The purpose of the report was to provide an integrated framework for guiding and promoting farmland protection, land use, and agri-business development in Delta. They divided agricultural problems in Delta into five categories: agricultural land, crop markets and economic viability, transportation, drainage and irrigation, and wildlife and other competing uses. They provided ten recommendations to address these problems. Since this is a lengthy and dated report, I will only discuss some of their findings directly related to my research. The authors conducted personal interviews with 85 out of 105 producers in Delta. This was aggregated to 68 agricultural operations (due to people farming in association with others). The interview results indicated that many farmers were incurring considerable costs as a result of wildlife damage (primarily migratory waterfowl, resident geese and other birds) to crops and soil. Most of the farmers surveyed (87.5%) felt the damage would be easier to accept if they received adequate compensation. Many farmers said they would be willing to produce crops strictly for waterfowl if they were adequately compensated. Farmers also noted that they thought the number of overwintering ducks and geese had increased in recent years. 69 The report suggests an integrated cooperative approach to resolve issues associated with waterfowl and agriculture. It also recommends the establishment of a Steering Committee to "...ensure habitat enhancement is not detrimental to farming activities" (Klohn Leonoff Ltd. et al., 1992, p. 122). Such a committee would advise municipal and provincial governments and have strong representation from the farming commimity. This report provides useful information about agricultural and environmental issues in Delta prior to the formation of the DFWT. The report mentions the idea of a Steering Committee which is also mentioned in the next section. The information in this report provides a useful comparison to my research results. 6.7.4 Ecosystem Protection in Delta The Boundary Bay Conservation Committee (BBCC) (1992) produced a report which identified the issues associated with wildlife habitat protection in Boundary Bay and proposed a framework for ecosystem protection. The report summarizes the importance of Boundary Bay for its agricultural, wildlife, and heritage values. It outlines the threats to the Boundary Bay ecosystem and the challenges in addressing both habitat conservation and farmland preservation. Land use issues are examined and goals to help protect the Boundary Bay ecosystem are identified. The report culminates with a proposal to create a Boundary Bay Biosphere Reserve as a way of cooperatively addressing the issues and goals identified. The report notes that: "The large number of jurisdictions owning the land base makes integrated resource plaiming particularly complex" (BBCC, 1992, p. 16). The biosphere reserve concept is presented as a method of coordinating various land use interests. The report explains that a biosphere reserve would provide a framework for achieving the following goals: • Conservation of wildlife habitat • Preservation of the farming industry • Public education on the importance of living and working in the ecosystem • Improved land use planning • Research initiatives Nine recommendations summarizing the steps that need to be taken to implement the goals of the biosphere reserve are provided. I will only discuss the third recommendation because it is 70 the one that is most relevant to my research. This recommendation is to: "Cooperate with agricultural land owners to ensure a supply of upland wildlife habitat" (BBCC, 1992, p. 36). One of the actions associated with this recommendation is to establish a Steering Committee of wildlife interests and local farmers to explore cooperative schemes to encourage and fund wildlife habitat conservation. Another action is to implement a rotational leasing scheme to ensure a supply of old-field habitat based on similar schemes used in North America and Europe in which farmers are paid to leave fields uncultivated. The report also suggests that the retention of hedgerows should be promoted and funded. This report was completed in the same year and contains much of the same information as the Klohn Leonoff Ltd. et al. (1992) report, although there is a greater focus on the issues associated with wildlife habitat conservation and the concept of developing a Biosphere Reserve in the BBCC report. As noted above, both reports identify the need for agricultural and environmental interests to work cooperatively to solve agri-environmental issues. Both reports also identify the need for a Steering Committee to guide this process. This report is beneficial to my research because it provides an environmental perspective on the issues in Delta around the time the DFWT formed. It also provides me with an opportunity to compare my interview results with the information provided in this report. 6.8 Summary The information from the Malpai Borderlands Group (Keough and Blahna, 2006) and Cameron County Agricultural Coexistence Committee (WondoUeck and Yaffee, 2000) provides insight into some of the opportunities and challenges faced by these organizations in their formation and development. This information will be useful to compare to my research findings regarding the formation and development of the DFWT. The studies conducted on ecological goods and services demonstrate the challenges associated with capturing the economic value of non- market goods such as wildlife habitat on agricultural land. The study on hedgerows in England and Delta shows that the value people place on landscape features can differ across cultures. The research conducted by the DFWT demonstrates the benefits of their programs to agriculture and wildlife habitat. This information helps to validate the choice of the DFWT as a case study because their ongoing research shows that their programs are effective and that the DFWT is a successfial agri-environmental organization worthy of fiarther study. 71 The various studies examining the competing interests in Delta reveal a socio-political landscape that has been riddled with conflict for years. The historical information provided in these reports provides insights into the prevailing issues between agricultural and environmental interests over the years. This information will help me to triangulate my interview results and provide insight into whether the DFWT has helped to ease any of the conflicts that were identified. The next chapter takes the information that has been provided by me up to this point to describe the research problem and identify the research questions I used to guide my research. 72 CHAPTER 7 Research Problem Statement 7.1 Introduction This chapter describes the research problems I identified based on the information provided in the preceding chapters. It also describes the research questions I developed to guide my thesis and provide insight into the research problems. A research problem can be defined as something that is not fiiUy imderstood, or it is something we don't know how to deal with, so we need to find additional information (Maxwell, 2005). The research problem helps to justify my study and show the importance of my research. A research question explains specifically what the research will attempt to understand (Maxwell, 2005). 7.2 Overarching Problem In Chapter 2, I simmiarized some of the global threats to agricultural viability and wildlife habitat, including population growth, resource depletion, and loss of biodiversity. As prime agricultural land is lost to development, marginal lands are brought into production. These marginal lands are less productive and more susceptible to erosion. The loss of marginal lands to agriculture also often means a loss of wildlife habitat forcing wildlife onto remaining soil- based agricultural land where they can cause damage to crops and injure or kill livestock. Without compensation for these damages, farmers are imderstandably reluctant to voluntarily provide wildlife habitat on their farms. The threats to agricultural viability and wildlife habitat conservation combined with the challenges associated with providing wildlife habitat on agricultural land have considerable consequences for the sustainability of society globally and locally. This is the overarching research problem that is guiding my research. The overarching research question that I have derived from this problem is: How can we reconcile the challenges of producing food for a growing population on a diminishing agricultural land base, while still providing wildlife habitat on or around farmland? One of the ways in which this problem can be addressed is through community based collaborative resource management. This leads to the second part of this overarching research question: How can community-based collaborative efforts address this problem and how do policies affect these efforts? 73 7.3 Broad Research Problems In this section I identify a number of broad research problems that help me define four broad research questions. In the following section I refine these broad research questions into four specific research questions. These specific research questions are the questions I try to answer through my research. When I reviewed the literature related to my study I discovered three broad research problems. There were very few studies that profiled how a community in conflict in a First World industrialized nation worked together to form a NGO that specifically set out to provide wildlife habitat and enhance agricultural viability. The two organizations I reviewed appeared to have similar reasons for forming. In both cases there was a conflict in the community between agricultural and environmental interests that was not being resolved by government or any other means, so a NGO was formed to deal with the issues. Conflict and a willingness to work together to resolve the conflict were common driving forces between the two case studies. These case studies provide some insight into the reasons why agri-environmental NGOs form. It is important to document why agri-environmental NGOs form so that individuals or organizations interested in providing wildlife habitat while enhancing agricultural viability can learn fi-om the experiences of these NGOs. This information may help farmers and environmentalists to work together to address agri-environmental conflicts. It may also lead to the formation of additional agri-environmental NGOs and/or more effective agri-environmental NGOs. There also appears to be a lack of research into the role of policy in the formation and development of agri-environmental NGOs. Pretty (1998) explains that agricultural policy often acts as a disincentive to sustainability. While there may be localized successes in sustainable agriculture, Pretty (2002; 1998) points out that without a supportive policy framework these successes may not spread far. If this is the case, then it is important to examine the role of policy in the formation and development of agri-environmental NGOs to determine whether policy is enabling or impeding their ability to promote agri-environmental stewardship. It is also important to understand what sorts of policies encourage agri-environmental stewardship so that policy makers are aware of the policy options that are available to support agri- environmental stewardship. 74 These research problems led me to the following broad research questions: 1. What leads to the formation of agri-environmental NGOs? 2. What role do government policies play in agri-environmental NGO formation? 3. What role do government policies play in agri-environmental NGO development? 4. What sorts of government policies encourage agri-environmental stewardship? In order to keep these questions manageable, I confined the scope of my research to First World industrialized countries with supportive agri-environmental policies, specifically Australia, Switzerland, and England. I explain why these countries were chosen and provide an overview of their agri-environmental policies in Chapter 13. 7.4 Specific Research Questions This section builds on the previous section by taking the broad research questions identified above and honing them down to create succinct research questions that I can explore in this thesis. Based on my experience, I found that the DFWT was well respected in the agricultural and environmental communities for its agri-environmental stewardship programs. A number of reports that I reviewed also identified the DFWT as a good model and/or praised its agri- environmental stewardship programs (e.g. Saddlemyer et al., 2001; Neave et al., 2000; Norecol etal., 1994). •Despite the apparent success of the DFWT, the formation and development of the DFWT has never been documented in an academic manner. The DFWT has been in operation for sixteen years, and many of the founders are getting on in age, so now appears to be a good time to examine what led to the formation of the DFWT. Also, because it appears to have established itself as a successfiil agri-environmental NGO, it seems to be an appropriate time to examine where its successes lie, whether it faces (or has faced) any challenges in its development, and whether policy has played any role in these successes and/or challenges. Based on the broad research questions identified above, and using the DFWT as a case study, I developed four specific research questions. The fourth research question is based on the results of research questions two and three. If no impeding policies were identified through the primary or secondary research, this research question would not be addressed. However, assuming that there are impeding policies identified, this research question is intended to determine whether there are policies fi-om other countries that appear to support agri- 75 environmental stewardship. The intent is to use these policies to develop policy options that support agri-environmental stewardship. The four specific research questions I developed based on the broad research questions are: 1. What led to the formation of the DFWT? 2. Did government policy enable or impede the formation of the DFWT? 3. Did government policy enable or impede the development of the DFWT? 4. What sorts of government policies could be used to encourage agri-environmental stewardship in Canada? Answering these questions may help address the overarching research problem by identifying some of the opportunities that are available to communities to deal with agri-environmental conflicts at the local level. The lessons learned by the DFWT may serve as guidelines for those interested in establishing similar organizations. The policy review may provide policy-makers with some insight into the effect of policies on agri-environmental stewardship. The identification of supportive agri-environmental stewardship policies from other countries may help policy-makers in Canada and BC to amend policies that are currently impeding agri- environmental stewardship. In sum, these research questions will help to address the overarching research question by illustrating how communities can work together to produce food for a growing population on a diminishing land base, while still providing wildlife habitat • on or around farmland. 7.5 Summary There is a lack of academic research on both the formation and development of agri- environmental NGOs in First World industrialized nations and the role that policy plays in their formation and development. The research questions I have identified are based on the premise that the sustainability of society is at risk because of a shrinking agricultural land base, growing population, competition for resources, and loss of wildlife habitat. There is a need for innovative approaches to volimtary cooperative resource management. My research will examine how a community in conflict acknowledged the potential loss of both agricultural and wildlife resources and came together to identify ways to share resources more equitably. This will provide an original contribution to knowledge by documenting how a relatively small community, faced with a long history of conflict, worked through their differences to manage agricultural and wildlife resources cooperatively. As these resources diminish around the world, case studies, such as this one, will provide both a beacon of hope and a blueprint for 76 success that others around the world can use to etch their own mark of sustainabihty on the world. 77 CHAPTER 8 Methodology 8.1 Introduction In this chapter, I describe the theory behind my methodological framework, data sources, interview process and design, validity, reliability, interview analysis, and policy review process. The next chapter describes the specific methods I used to collect and analyse data. 8.2 Framework I decided to take a qualitative, rather than a quantitative, approach in my research because it appeared to be the most appropriate method of capturing and understanding the perspectives of the people who have been involved in the formation and/or development of the DFWT. Qualitative research focuses on specific people or situations emphasizing words rather than numbers (Maxwell, 2005). Qualitative research includes the "...description of an observed situation.. .historical enumeration of events, and account of the different opinions people have about an issue..." (Kumar, 2005, p. 12). In contrast to quantitative research, which emphasizes large sample sizes that can be statistically analyzed, qualitative research tends to involve in- depth investigation with fewer subjects (Kumar, 2005). Qualitative results are not intended to be generalized as they are in quantitative research. Instead, data is collected from a relatively small number of people and interpreted in the context in which the events being documented occurred (Maxwell, 2005). It is often used in exploratory studies and can lead to the formation of robust testable hypotheses where quantitative or combined qualitative and quantitative methods may be appropriate. My research is well suited to a qualitative approach because I explore the history of the DFWT through interviews with people who have been involved in the formation and/or development of the DFWT. I use their opinions, based on their personal experience, to develop a general sense of why the DFWT formed and whether they feel policy has enabled or impeded the formation and/or development of the DFWT. In terms of research typology, this research is 'applied research' because the findings are ".. .being designed either for use in understanding a phenomenon/issue or to bring change in a program/situation" (Kumar, 2005, p. 14). Specifically, the findings from my research will be used to identify whether policy enabled or impeded the formation and/or development of the 78 DFWT and to identify policy gaps and options to address those gaps. My study design includes both a retrospective and case study approach. A retrospective approach investigates "...a phenomenon, situation, problem or issue that has happened in the past" (Kumar, 2005, p. 99). Retrospective studies are "...usually conducted either on the basis of the data available for that period or on the basis of respondents' recall of the situation" (Kumar, 2005, p. 99). A case study approach involves the in-depth analysis of a person, group, process, community, episode, or any other aspect of society. It is a valuable method to use because it provides an opportunity to intensively analyze many specific details about the case (Kumar, 2005). I chose to use a case study approach because it allows for: ".. .a comprehensive description and explanation of the many components of a given social situation" (Babbie, 1990, p. 32). For example, how relationships between community members changed after the formation of the DFWT, how individual personalities hindered or helped the formation of the DFWT, and how those involved learned from each other. A case study approach is an important aspect of my research because of the interdisciplinary nature of my topic. A case study approach allows me to delve into the complex interactions between people, agriculture, wildlife habitat, and policy in the context of the DFWT. The key limitation to the case study approach is that it assumes that the case being studied is typical of cases of a similar type so that intensive analysis of the chosen case will yield results that can be generalized to cases of the same type (Babbie, 2008; Kumar, 2005; Bryman, 2001). However, the data collected from a single case study may be anomalous. In other words, the data may be unique to that example, making it difficult (or impossible) to extrapolate that data to other cases. This limitation can be offset by comparing the findings to other research and/or case studies (Babbie, 2008). 8.3 Data Sources I used primary and secondary sources of data in this research. Sproull (1995) describes primary sources as being "...present during the event, experience or time" (Sproull 1995, p. 155). Data from primary sources are not necessarily accurate even though they come from first hand sources. Primary sources are subject to distortion because of factors such as selective recall, selective perceptions, and intentional or unintentional omission or addition of data (Sproull, 1995). Prerequisites for primary data collection include: motivation to share the required information, clear understanding of the questions, and possession of the required information (Kumar, 2005). 79 Secondary sources are "...sources of information who were not present at the time of the event and whose information about events or physical artifacts was gathered from other sources" (SprouU, 1995, p. 156). Secondary sources also differ from primary sources in that there is the introduction of a second person between the event and the recording of that event. The person recording the event brings a second set of selective perceptions and recollections creating the potential for additional distortion (SprouU, 1995). 8.3.1 Primary Data Collection Face-to-face structured interviews were used to collect primary data from individuals having past and/or present involvement in the DFWT. This was done in order to capture as many different perspectives as possible. Pretty points out that: Who gets to tell the stories matters greatly. Every piece of land or landscape contains as many meanings and constructions as the people who have interacted with it. (Pretty, 2002, p. 23) I chose to conduct face-to-face interviews rather than use a self-completed questionnaire because I wanted to have personal contact with each person. I felt that this would be a better way to interact with people and collect meaningftil data about the DFWT than using a self- administered questionnaire. Interviews also allow for the collection of in-depth information and are more appropriate for complex situations where explanation or probing may be required (Kumar, 2005; SprouU, 1995; Gray and Guppy, 1999). In a structured interview the researcher uses an interview schedule to ask a predetermined set of questions using the same wording and same order in each interview. The interview schedule is a written list of open-ended or closed-ended questions prepared in advance by the researcher (Kumar, 2005). When closed-ended questions are asked, the respondent is provided with a list of acceptable responses. Open-ended questions, on the other hand, allow for the respondent to provide the answers themselves (Fowler, 2002). While closed-ended questions are easier to analyse because the responses are already categorized (Kumar, 2005), open-ended questions allow people to express their answers freely in their own words (Kumar, 2005; Fowler, 2002). Open-ended questions usually require the researcher to go through another process called content analysis in order to classify the data (Kumar, 2005). Content analysis is discussed in greater detail in Section 8.4. An interview schedule with both open-ended and closed-ended 80 questions was prepared by me for this research (Appendix IV). The interview schedule is discussed in greater detail in Chapter 9. One of the key advantages of structured (vs. unstructured) interviews is that they provide "...uniform information, which assures the comparability of data" (Kumar 2005, p. 126). Interviews do have some disadvantages. For example, the quality of the interaction, the time, the location, and the specific circumstances may affect the quality of information obtained. Also, since each interaction is unique (despite using the same interview schedule each time) the quality of responses may vary from one interview to another. The interviewer may also introduce his or her own bias into the framing of interview questions and in the recording or interpretation of responses (Kxmiar, 2005; Sproull, 1995). 8.3.2 Interview Sample Design I used a non-random judgemental or purposive sample design. The key consideration in this type of design is that the researcher judges who can provide the best information to achieve the objectives of the study. The researcher only goes to those people who, in the researcher's opinion, are likely to have the desired information and will be willing to share it (Kumar, 2005). This approach is particularly useful when the researcher wants to "...construct a historical reality, describe a phenomenon or develop something about which only a little is known" (Kumar, 2005, p. 179). Non-random sample designs " not follow the theory of probability in the choice of elements from the sampling population" (Kumar, 2005, p. 178). The population was defined by the number of people who had been involved in the formation and/or development of the DFWT. The criteria I use to define involvement in the DFWT are described in Chapter 9. The entire population that met the criteria of involvement in the formation and/or development of the DFWT was surveyed, rather than a sample, so hypothesis testing was not used. Hypothesis testing, by definition, is used to make inferences about populations from samples (Sproull, 1995, p. 44). 8.3.3 Response Rates The response rate is determined by dividing the number of people interviewed by the number of people sampled. In theory, a higher response rate will yield better and less biased results. However, there is no universally accepted standard for a minimum response rate (Fowler, 81 2002). In this survey, the response rate was affected by the number of people in the population who volunteered to be interviewed. In other words, people could not be forced to consent to an interview, so the number of responses was dependent upon the willingness of individuals to be interviewed. This, along with the actual response rates for this research, is discussed in Chapter 10. 8.3.4 Validity Validity is the "...extent to which an empirical measure adequately reflects the real meaning of the concept under consideration" (Babbie, 1990, p. 133). In other words, validity is a measure of how accurately an instrument measures what it is supposed to measure (Kumar, 2005). Validity is that quality of research that leads us to accept the results as being true (Krippendorff, 2004). There are three common types of validity (although the terms sometimes vary): face and content validity, concurrent and predictive validity, and construct validity (Kumar, 2005; Babbie, 1990). Fowler (2002) explains that there has been little research conducted on how well questions measure what they are intended to measure. However, Fowler (2002) says that most surveys assume face validity, where the answers to the questions mean what the designer of the question thought they would mean (Fowler, 2002). Krippendorff (2004) explains that we appeal to face validity when the findings are plausible and believable 'on their face'. In other words, the findings make sense and we don't need detailed reasons to accept their accuracy (Krippendorff, 2004). However, one of the problems with accepting the face value of the interview responses is that the respondents may intentionally, or unintentionally, provide erroneous responses. Fowler (2002) explains that there are four basic reasons why people do not provide accurate information to survey questions: • They do not understand the question • They do not know the answer • They cannot recall it, although they do know it • They do not want to report the answer in the interview context (Fowler, 2002, p. 95-96) Consequently, I used triangulation to try to confirm the validity of my interview results. Triangulation uses different methods, sources, (Maxwell, 2005), or perspectives (Starrin et al., 1997) to study a phenomenon. This helps to reduce systemic biases or limitations in the 82 methods used. Findings arrived at through different methods, sources, and perspectives can be compared allowing for a broader understanding of the issues being studied (Maxwell, 2005). 8.3.5 Reliability Reliability refers to whether a particular technique, if applied repeatedly to the same object, would yield the same results each time (Babbie, 1990). The greater the degree of stability and consistency in a research instrument, the greater is its reliability (Kumar, 2005). Some of the ways that reliability is enhanced in interviews is by only asking people questions they are likely to know the answers to, asking questions about things that are relevant to them, and by being clear about the questions you are asking (Babbie, 1990) and by rephrasing questions to see if different wording of questions elicits the same answer. In theory, the people I interviewed knew enough about most of the questions I was asking to be able to answer them accurately (because all of the people I interviewed had been involved in the formation and/or development of the DFWT). Some aspects of the interview process are impossible to control and may affect reliability. For example, the respondent's mood, the nature of the interaction, the physical environment, and the regression effect of an instrument (e.g. if a person was given the same interview twice, they may change their answers if they were unhappy with their answers to the first interview) (Kumar, 2005). Although it is difficult to test the reliability of my research instrument (i.e. interview schedule), I think that the triangulation process I used to check the validity of my research also acted as a test of reliability. 8.4 Content Analysis I used content analysis to analyse my interview results. Content analysis involves the identification of themes emerging from the responses given by the respondents (Kumar, 2005). Content analysis is a set of methods used to analyse commimications. It is not a statistical analysis. Content analysis is the most appropriate method to use for analysing open-ended questions. It can be used with existing data (i.e. secondary sources) or primary data (Sproull, 1995). Kumar (2005) suggests four key steps to take in the content analysis process: 1. Identify the main themes 83 2. Assign codes to the main themes (the codes can be numbers or keywords) 3. Classify responses under the main themes 4. Integrate themes and responses into the text of your report I used this relatively simple approach with a few minor modifications: 1. Identify key concepts for each question in each interview response 2. Group key concepts together into themes 3. Display responses in tables identifying theme, number of responses, percent of respondents, brief description of theme 4. Discuss themes and responses in the text of my report I return to these steps in Chapter 9 where I describe how I applied each step to analyse my interview results. 8.4.1 Interview Analysis Interview responses were analysed using a nominal scale of measurement. A nominal scale allows for the classification of responses based on a common property or characteristic (Kumar, 2005; Fowler, 2002; Babbie, 1990). Responses are placed into mutually exclusive and exhaustive categories (Kumar, 2005; SprouU, 1995). Drawing on Kumar's (2005) suggestions for analysis, I developed themes (i.e. categories) that met the following criteria: 1. Themes were mutually exclusive (i.e. a key concept could fit into only one theme) 2. Themes were exhaustive (i.e. every key concept fit into a theme) 3. Use of 'other' themes was kept to a minimum as this reflects a failure of the classification system (Kumar, 2005, p. 231) Similar responses were grouped into themes and each theme was given a name that was descriptive of the responses in that category (Kumar, 2005). 84 8.5 Policy Review In this section I discuss the methodology I use to review enabling and impeding policies identified in the interviews. Since most of the information that was needed to do the policy review was derived from the interview analysis, the policy review was conducted after the interview analysis. The results of the policy review are discussed in Chapter 13. Bobrow and Dryzek (1987) explain that policy analysis is a field that has not been adequately defined and that there are biases inherent in policy analysis. These biases are related to the manner in which policy is examined and the research tradition in which the analysis is rooted (e.g. welfare economics) (Bobrow and Dryzek, 1987). I reviewed a variety of policy analysis techniques, but found none that embraced the holistic nature of my research. As a result, I decided to draw on the theory of adaptive policy (Chapter 5) to develop a policy review process that would suit my research requirements and help to answer my final research question. I draw on Swanson et al.'s (2006) idealized policy cycle for my policy review. The idealized policy cycle is based on a summary of "policy design and implementation insights from the complex adaptive systems literature" (Swanson et al., 2006, p. 18). The idealized policy cycle described by Swanson et al. (2006) is: 1. Understanding the issue 2. Policy objective setting 3. Policy design and implementation 4. Policy monitoring and evaluation 5. Policy learning and adaptation (Swanson et al., 2006, p. 18) The theory behind the idealized policy cycle approach is consistent with the interdisciplinary and holistic approach I have taken in my research. Bobrow and Dryzek (1987) note that: "Policy problems do not respect entrenched disciplinary boundaries..." (Bobrow and Dryzek, 1987, p. 6). hi Chapter 9, I explain how I use this policy cycle to examine enabling and impeding policies and identify policy options. 8.6 Summary The methodology outlined above draws on a number of different sources and perspectives in order to help answer my research questions. A qualitative approach was chosen because I wanted to explore the history of the DFWT through the recollections of a relatively small 85 number of people and also because there was no baseline data available that I could use for a more quantitative approach. Face-to-face interviews appeared to be the most appropriate method of gathering data from those involved and allowed me to make personal contact with each of those contributing to my research. The interview schedule provided consistency to the interview process allowing me to collect and analyse data in a systematic manner without losing the unique perspectives of those involved. Content analysis was used because it is a usefiil method for extracting themes from different forms of communications, including interviews. It allowed for a deep analysis of each interview, taking not only the words and phrases into consideration but also the context in which the comments were made. While the subtleties of the English language may stifle flawless interpretation, content analysis provided me with the opportunity to examine the responses from each interview thoroughly. The results of the content analysis were used as part of the idealized policy cycle to identify policy gaps and policy options. The next chapter describes the research methods I used based on the methodology described in this chapter. 86 CHAPTER 9 Research Methods 9.1 Introduction This chapter explains the methods I used to collect and process my interview data. It is grounded in the methodology discussed in Chapter 8. It includes information on the ethics review process I completed prior to the interviews and a description of the interview schedule. It also includes information on why I chose the DFWT as a case study, how I chose my sample, how I recruited subjects, and how I processed the interview data. The interview results are provided in Chapter 10. 9.2 Ethics Review An ethics review is required by the University of British Columbia (UBC) for any research involving human subjects. As a result, an ethics review application was submitted by me and approved by the UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board (BREB) prior to initiating the interview portion of this research. The Certificate of Approval is attached in Appendix I. The supporting documents required for the approval are also attached in Appendix II (Main Study Consent Form), Appendix III (Invitation letter). Appendix IV (Interview Schedule), and Appendix V (Letter of Contact). 9.3 Case Study In Chapter 4,1 described how farmers in Delta face numerous challenges including high land prices, road and rail construction, and land expropriation. Wildlife add to these challenges, by consuming crops and trampling fields. I also explained that Delta provides vitally important wildlife habitat. It is part of the Pacific Flyway, providing a crucial stopover for migrating birds. The combination of these challenges affects the sustainability of agriculture in Delta. In Chapter 2, I described how agricultural intensification is increasing as the population increases and world food stocks decline. This is resulting in many global issues including resource depletion and loss of biodiversity. The scale of these issues appears to create an intractable problem. However, for the past sixteen years, the DFWT has been addressing some of these issues through its on-the-ground agri-environmental stewardship programs. As mentioned in Chapter 7, the DFWT has been cited in several reports (e.g. Saddlemyer et al., 2001; Neave et al., 2000; Norecol et al., 1994) as being an organization that has successfiiUy 87 worked with farmers to provide wildlife habitat on agricultural land. The DFWT appears to have been successful at mediating the interests of farmers and environmentalists, finding common groimd between the two groups. It has also been identified as a potential model (e.g. Saddlemyer et al., 2001) for the establishment of similar organizations. The DFWT appears to be a good choice for a case study because it is an example of a conflict- ridden commimity that has worked together to address some of these issues at the local level. The DFWT illustrates a community based response to issues that are global in nature. The DFWT uses on-the-ground programs based on an agroecological approach to promote sustainable agriculture. The constitution of the DFWT states that one purpose of the DFWT is: "to undertake projects and research which promote sustainable agriculture and stewardship practices which conserve and enhance wildlife habitat" (DFWT, 1993, Certificate of Incorporation, Part 2 (ii)). The DFWT uses financial incentives to encourage agri-environmental stewardship. In effect, farmers are paid for providing ecological goods and services. The DFWT also maintains and updates a variety of extension materials including (but not limited to) a regular newsletter, program fact sheets, a static display, and an information pamphlet (DFWT, 2006). The approach of the DFWT, therefore, is consistent with the theoretical frameworks in which I am conducting my research. It is important to document the formation and development of this organization in the context of policy so that communities and policy makers around the world can learn from the experiences of the DFWT. 9.4 Interview Schedule An interview schedule (Appendix IV) was created (in Microsoft Word) to ensure the same questions were asked of each individual and to record responses from each interview. The interview questions were created by examining my specific research questions to determine what sort of information I needed to collect to answer these research questions. The interview questions were a combination of closed-ended and open-ended questions. Prior to an open-ended question being asked, a closed-ended question would be asked. For example, the respondent would be asked "Do you know why the DFWT formed?" If the individual answered yes to this question, the follow-up question would be asked: "What or who do you think were the driving forces in its formation?" If the individual answered no, then the foUow- 88 up question would not be asked. This method was used for two key reasons. The closed-ended questions allowed me to determine whether I should ask the next follow up open-ended question or skip to the next question. This technique also facilitated analysis because it allowed me to quickly sum up responses to the closed-ended questions, whereas the open-ended questions required more time to identify key concepts and themes through content analysis (discussed below). 9.5 Population/Sample I identified the population for this study as including all those people who had been involved in the DFWT, past or present, and who met one or more of the following criteria: • Farmers who have participated, or are currently participating, in a DFWT program • Non-government organization representatives who have worked, or are working, in collaboration with the DFWT • Government organization representatives who have worked, or are working, in collaboration with the DFWT • Individuals who have been directly involved in the formation or operation (past or present) of the DFWT as a staff member or director • Other individuals who have been involved in the formation or development of DFWT, but are not identified above These criteria were used in order to gather different perspectives from people who have had direct involvement with the DFWT. The population of people meeting these criteria was 111.1 decided to use the entire population as my sample because it was a relatively small number of people. In addition, it was not possible for me to identify a representative sample from the population since I was not permitted access to the identities of those who were involved (past or present) in the DFWT due to the BREB ethical review guidelines. This is explained in greater detail in the next section. The study population included farmers, conservationists, university researchers, DFWT staff and board members, agricultural business people, non- government representatives, government representatives, and elected officials. 9.6 interview Recruitment The ethical review guidelines provided to me by BREB indicated that I could not approach people directly and ask them to participate in the study. Instead, the Letter of Invitation (Appendix III) was to be used as the first point of contact with potential subjects. As a result, I 89 did not approach people directly. Initially I had hoped to gain access to the list of potential subjects from the DFWT so that I could send the invitation letters out myself However, the ethical review guidelines stipulated that this was not permitted. Fortunately, the DFWT agreed to send out letters on my behalf to all those individuals who fit the criteria identified above. Two batches of letters were sent out. One batch was sent out in April, 2007 and the second batch was sent out in September, 2007. Unfortunately, a misunderstanding between me and the DFWT resulted in the first batch of letters being sent to only 70 out of the 111 potential subjects. I asked the DFWT to send out a second batch of letters in September, 2007. All those people who did not receive the first Letter of Invitation received it in the second mail-out. Consequently, all 111 people who fit the criteria identified above received a Letter of Invitation to participate in an interview. Due to the low number of responses from farmers (discussed in Chapter 10), I contacted the adminisfrator for the Delta Farmers' Institute (DFI) in November, 2007 and asked him if he would send the invitation letters to ten farmers who had been specifically identified by other interview subjects as being people I should try to interview because they had been involved in the formation and/or development of the DFWT. The letters were sent out to the ten farmers by the administrator. I also made presentations at the DFWT Board of Directors meeting in October, 2007 and at the DFI General Meeting in November, 2007. At both these meetings I described my research, the process for recruiting subjects, and requested that if there were any people who met the study criteria, and were interested in participating in the research, to contact me. 9.7 Interview Process Those individuals who were interested in participating in an interview contacted me directly via email or phone. I asked them where they would like to be interviewed. An interview location, date, and time of their choosing was then arranged. Before begiiming the interview I explained the purpose of my research by reading a scripted preamble describing the purpose of my research (see Appendix IV). All interview subjects were asked the same questions in the same order. Interview responses were typed directly into an interview schedule on a laptop computer. Each interview schedule was identified with the date of the interview and a unique alphanumeric code. Interviews generally took between 60 and 90 minutes. 90 9.8 Stakeholder Consultation As mentioned in Section 9.6,1 made presentations at a DFWT meeting in October, 2007 and a DFI meeting in November, 2007. At these presentations I invited questions and feedback on my research. In addition to these meetings, I presented at a DFWT Board of Directors meeting and a DFI General Meeting (both in March, 2008). At these meetings, I provided an overview of my preliminary interview results and the policy gaps I had identified through the analysis. I asked the audience whether they thought the data accurately represented the formation of the DFWT and whether they thought I had identified the right policy gaps. No concerns were expressed about either the interview results or the policy gaps I identified. A few general questions about my research were asked at each meeting. People also provided suggestions on who I should talk to, documents I should read, and countries I should examine for supportive agri-environmental policy. Overall my research was well received and people seemed interested in the topic. At the meetings in March I asked people to contact me if they were interested in reviewing the policy options I was developing or in reviewing any other aspect of my results. Nobody contacted me to review the policy options or research results. 9.9 Data Processing This section explains the procedures I used to process the interview data. Examples are provided in order to illustrate these procedures. The data used in the examples represent typical responses, but are not derived directly from any of the responses since I stated in my BREB application that the identity of all of those interviewed would be kept confidential. The results of the data analysis are provided in Chapter 10 and Appendix VI. The data from the completed interviews was transferred from the interview schedules (Microsoft Word) to a Microsoft Excel workbook. A series of Excel worksheets was created in the workbook. A worksheet was created for each main question from the interview schedule. The manner in which specific questions were processed is discussed below. Questions that were processed in a similar manner have been grouped together to facilitate discussion. 9.9.1 Closed-ended Questions This section describes how I processed the closed-ended questions. Most of the closed-ended questions were processed in the manner described under 'Type 1' below. Some closed-ended questions were not processed in this maimer because they differed slightly from the majority of 91 the closed-ended questions. The manner in which I processed the remaining closed-ended questions is discussed below under 'Type 2' and 'Tj^e 3' . Generally, the possible responses to each closed-ended question were: yes, no, don't know. In one question ("Do you know why the DFWT formed?), 'don't know' was not an option. The only possible responses to this question were 'yes' or 'no'. In my data processing, I also discovered that I had not asked some of the questions. As a result, I included a column called 'not asked' in my data processing. I describe which questions were not asked and why they were not asked in Chapter 10. Type 1 - Majority of Closed-ended Questions Responses for each question were recorded in separate columns in separate Excel worksheets. Responses were coded with a 1 or 0, where 1 indicated the response given and 0 indicated the responses that were not given. This approach was used in order to take advantage of Excel's sum function to add up all of the responses in each column and row. Table 9.1 Type 1: Majority of closed-ended questions Code ea 123 bo 456 Sum 1 Yes 1 0 1 No 0 1 1 Don't know 0 0 0 Not asked 0 0 0 Sum 2 1 1 2 In this case the total number of subjects who responded 'yes' is 1 and the total number of subjects who responded 'no' is 1 (Sum 1). The total number of subjects who responded to this question is 2 (Sum 2). Type 2 - Categorization of Interview Subjects As in Type 1, responses were assigned a value of 1 or 0, (where 1 indicated the responses given and 0 indicated the responses that were not given). These responses were recorded in a table as illustrated below (Table 9.3). Sum 1 provides the total number of subjects in a particular category, while Sum 2 provides the total number of categories into which each subject fits. Table 9.2 shows how the letters (A - E) relate to the categories of DFWT involvement. 92 Table 9.2 Categories of DFWT involvement A B C D E You are a farmer who has participated in a DFWT program You are a non-government organization representative who has worked, or is worl<ing, in collaboration with the DFWT You are a government organization representative who has worked, or is working, in collaboration with the DFWT You have been directly involved in the formation or operation (past or present) of the DFWT as a staff or board member Other (describe) Table 9.3 Type 2: Categorization of interview subjects Code ea 123 be 456 Suml A 0 1 1 B 1 0 1 C 0 0 0 D 1 0 1 E 0 0 0 Sum 2 2 1 3 The Sum 2 column provides the total number of responses. Since individuals may fit into more than one category, the total number of responses in the Sum 2 column adds up to more than the total number of interview subjects. The Sum 1 column gives the total number of responses for each category. Type 3 - Degree of Conflict As in Types 1 and 2, responses were assigned a value of 1 or 0, (where 1 indicated the responses given and 0 indicated the responses that were not given). These responses were recorded in a table as illustrated below (Table 9.4). Table 9.4 Code ea 123 bc_456 Sum1 Type 3: Degree of conflict Conflict Waterfowl damage Tension between farmers and conservationists Degree of sz O) X 1 1 2 conflict E 0 0 0 o 0 0 0 o c o Q 0 0 0 • a CO ro o 2 0 0 0 Sum 2 1 1 2 In this case the total number of subjects who said the degree of conflict was high is 2 (Sum 1). The total number of subjects who responded to this question is 2 (Sum 2). 93 Data Summary After I finished coding the closed-ended responses I created summary tables in order to display the results. An example of one of these tables is shown below (Table 9.5). The summary tables are discussed in Chapter 10. Table 9.5 Are you aware of any conflicts between agricultural and environmental interests that existed prior to the formation of the DFWT? Number of responses % of responses Yes (B) 25 89% No 0 0% Don't know 3 11% Not asked 0 0% SUM 28 100% 9.9.2 Open-ended Questions This section describes the manner in which the open-ended questions were processed. The next section describes how content analysis was used to group the data into themes. All open-ended questions were processed in the same manner. Responses were pasted directly from the interview schedule into an Excel worksheet. For example, a 'PreDFWT Conflicts' worksheet was created and all responses to that question were pasted into rows in the worksheet. Table 9.6 illustrates this example. A separate worksheet was used for each question and all responses for that question from all the interviews were pasted in the worksheet. Table 9.6 PreDFWT Conflicts Code ea 123 bo 456 de 789 PreDFWT Conflicts The farmers and conservationists were constantly arguing. Tlie ducl<s were eating tlie crops and tiiere was no compensation for the wildlife damage. There was a great deal of mistrust between agricultural and environmental interests. Waterfowl were coming in over the winter and causing a lot of damage to farmers' crops. Content Analysis Content analysis was used to analyse the open-ended questions. Content analysis involves the identification of themes emerging from the responses given by the respondents (Kumar, 2005). In Chapter 8 I identified the following steps I took to process the data from the open-ended questions: 1. Identify key concepts for each question in each interview response 2. Group key concepts together into themes 94 3. Display responses in tables identifying theme, number of responses, percent of respondents, brief description of theme 4. Discuss themes and responses in the text of my report (Adapted from Kumar, 2005) Categorization serves at least two purposes. It makes the responses more manageable for analysis, and provides more generalized data (i.e. not specific to Delta) that can then be used, for example, for comparison with other studies. In this section I describe how I carried out steps 1,2, and 3 of the content analysis process. Step 4 is covered in Chapter 11. Step 1: Identify key concepts for each question in each interview response Key concepts (words or phrases) were identified by reviewing the narrative for each response for each question. Table 9.7 illustrates how the narrative was broken down into key concepts. The narrative shown in this table is representative of the type of response I received, but is not derived from an actual interview. A column was added to the Excel worksheet to record the key concept. The response was pasted in the same row as the narrative. Extra rows were added for each key concept identified. The alphanumeric code from each interview was pasted into the row in order to keep track of interview responses. This technique allowed me to retrace my steps to the raw interview results at any point during the data processing and analysis (e.g. to clarify data). Table 9.7 Identification of key concepts from preDFWT conflicts Code ea_123 ea_123 ea 123 ea_123 Narrative The farmers and conservationists were constantly arguing. The ducl<s were eating the crops and there was no compensation for the wildlife damage. Key concept Farmers and conservationists arguing Ducks eating crops No compensation for wildlife damage Step 2: Group key concepts together into themes As discussed in Chapter 8,1 developed themes that met the following criteria: 1. Themes were mutually exclusive (i.e. a key concept could fit into only one theme) 2. Themes were exhaustive (i.e. every key concept fit into a theme) 95 3. Use of 'other' themes was kept to a minimum as this reflects a failure of the classification system (Adapted from Kumar, 2005) After each response was analysed for key concepts, a copy of this worksheet was created and a new column called 'themes' was added to this worksheet. The key concepts were reviewed and similar concepts from different respondents were grouped together (by cutting and pasting rows in Excel). As noted above, the alphanumeric identifier was retained through this process. Once the data was sorted into groups I reviewed the responses in each group and gave the theme a name that was descriptive of the responses in that category. Table 9.8 illustrates how the results were tabulated. Table 9.8 Identification of themes (preDFWT conflicts) Code ea_123 bc_456 ea_123 de_789 Theme Tension between farmers and conservationists Waterfowl damage Key concept Farmers and environmentalists arguing Mistrust between agricultural and environmental interests Ducks eating crops Crop damage by overwintering waterfowl Step 3: Display responses in tables identifying theme, number of responses, percent of respondents, brief description of theme Once all the data was sorted into themes, a series of summary tables displaying key data was created in Microsoft Word for each question. The alphanumeric codes were removed at this point because they were not relevant to the data summary. However, all of the alphanumeric codes were retained in the raw data (in Excel) for fiiture reference. The summary tables included the following information: • Themes sorted into descending order of frequency (based on the number of subjects whose responses fit into a particular theme) • Number of responses that fit into each theme • Percentage of respondents who provided that response (out of the total number of people who provided a response for that question) • A brief description of each theme 96 A partial summary table is shown below (Table 9.9). All of the summary tables are shown in Appendix VI. Table 9.9 Conflicts between agricultural and environmental interests that existed prior to the formation of the DFWT Theme Tension between farmers and conservationists Competing interests in the ALR Waterfowl damage #of responses (A) 11 11 10 %of respondents (A/B) 44% 44% 40% Description Mistrust; Lack of communication; No forum for communication; Disagreement over winter waterfowl use of the land vs. protection of crops for agricultural production Land speculation; Golf courses; Greenhouses; Loss of agricultural land; Wildlife habitat on agricultural land; Loss of soil-based agriculture Farmers unable to grow certain crops; Crop damage by waterfowl; Soil compaction; Loss of forage crops 9.10 Policy Questions Policies and policy descriptions were initially processed using the same content analysis methods described in Section 9.9.2. Like the other open-ended questions, policies and policy descriptions were sorted according to key concepts, grouped into themes, and summarized in tables. Once this process was complete, I used Swanson's idealized policy cycle (described in Chapter 8) to develop a process to understand the issues, set policy objectives, and design policy options. The idealized policy cycle described by Swanson et al. (2006) is outlined below: 1. Understanding the issue 2. Policy objective setting 3. Policy design and implementation 4. Policy monitoring and evaluation 5. Policy learning and adaptation (Swanson et al., 2006, p. 18) I used this framework to develop more specific procedural steps. These steps are outlined below and discussed in more detail in the following section. 97 Step I: Understanding the issue 1. Identify enabling and impeding policy themes 2. Identify policy gaps Step II: Policy objective setting 1. Identify policy objectives Step III Policy Design 1. Identify policy options 2. Describe policy options This approach allowed me to identify policy options in an effective and expeditious manner. I used the first three steps in this cycle to review the policies and policy descriptions that were identified in the interviews, identify policy objectives, and describe policy options. Ideally all steps outlined by Swanson et al. (2006) would be followed in an adaptive policy cycle. However, it was not within the scope of my research to implement the policies, nor to carry out the monitoring, evaluation, learning, or adaptation stages. 9.11 Policy Review This section describes how I defined policy, as well as the steps I took to review the policies and policy descriptions, identify policy objectives, and develop policy options. In a review of the policy literature, I discovered that very few authors explicitly defined policy. The definitions that I did find were very broad and all encompassing. For example, John (1998) defines it as "a process of public decision-making leading to (or appearing to lead to) actions outside the political system" (John, 1998, p. 204). The Canadian Environmental Protection Act (1999) says: "Policies are not law, but may form the basis for laws and regulations. Policies provide a framework which forms the basis for attaining of key management objectives" (CEPA, 1999, act/Introduction.cfm). The Merriam- Webster dictionary defines policy as "a definite course or method of action selected to guide and determine present and future decisions" (Merriam-Webster, 1997, p. 567). Brewer and deLeon (1983) sum up the vagaries of the term by saying that: "Policy is a word with many interpretations and many interpreters. But if a word represents everything, it risks meaning nothing" (Brewer, G. D. and P. deLeon, 1983, p. 6). This description illustrates the breadth of interpretations available and the risk of defining policy so broadly that the term is meaningless. 98 For the purposes of my interviews I felt that I needed to provide respondents with some idea as to what I meant by policy, so that they would be able to identify specific policies. During each interview I explained to respondents that policy could include any one of the following: • An act of legislation (e.g. Federal Fisheries Act) • A government program (e.g. Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization Program) • A government guideline (e.g. Environmental Best Management Practices) However, despite providing this definition, interview respondents had a difficult time identifying specific policies, choosing instead to describe policy themes, which I incorporated into my content analysis. Based on my experience in municipal government, policy refers to any written or unwritten guideline that government staff are supposed to follow. This is a very broad interpretation of policy, but one which seemed to encompass my own experience with policy. It also seemed to capture much of what the respondents alluded to in their policy descriptions. Consequently, this is the definition I used when conducting my policy review. 9.11.1 Step I: Understanding the Issue 1. Identify enabling and impeding policy themes Enabling and impeding policies and policy descriptions derived from the interviews were grouped into themes using the content analysis process described above. Some policies were explicitly identified, so these theme names simply reflected the name of the policy (e.g. Migratory Birds Convention Act). Other policies were described, rather than explicitly identified, so these policy descriptions were grouped together and assigned a representative policy theme name (e.g. federal government staff involvement). Enabling policy themes and impeding policy themes were separated into two tables to facilitate analysis. The tables are shown in Chapter 12. 2. Identify policy gaps I examined the enabling and impeding policy themes as a whole in order to get a sense of any dominant or overlapping issues. I focused on the policy themes that appeared to impede the formation and/or development of the DFWT in order to identify policy gaps. These are areas where policy appears to be lacking altogether or has acted as an impediment to agri- environmental stewardship. 99 9.11.2 Step II: Policy Objective Setting 1. Identify policy objectives I used the policy gaps to develop policy objectives. Swanson et al. (2006) do not provide a definition of policy objective, so for the purposes of this research, I have defined a policy objective as an action oriented statement that addresses the policy gap I identified through the policy review. The policy objectives help me to focus my search for policy options. 9.11.3 Step III: Policy Design 1. Identify policy options Based on the policy objectives identified in Part II, I reviewed policies that met the policy objectives from three countries (Australia, England, Switzerland). The countries were chosen based on references from the literature, word of mouth, and availability of information about their policies written in English. A cursory review of the policies was conducted using the policy objectives as the focus of the review. It was not within the scope of this research to do an in-depth analysis of each policy or each country. 2. Describe policy options Based on the policies I reviewed from the four countries, I selected those policies that I thought best addressed each of the policy gaps identified. This was done in order to highlight those policies that addressed the key issues that were raised in the interview and policy analysis. This information helped to answer my final research question. 9.12 Secondary Data A literature review was conducted in order to gather information related to this research. The key findings from the literature review were discussed in Chapter 6. The research questions were used to help identify information that related specifically to my research. Correspondence from various organizations and individuals written prior to the formation of the DFWT was reviewed. Archival information such as annual reports, fimding reports, and newsletters from the DFWT were also reviewed to gather some of the historical context of the DFWT and to help triangulate the interview results. The internet was used to gather other information such as statistics and information about policies from other countries. 100 9.13 Summary This chapter explained how I applied the methodology described in Chapter 8 to process the interview results. The DFWT was chosen as a case study because it represents a community- based response to issues that are global in nature. All of the people who have been involved in the formation and/or development of the DFWT were invited to participate in an interview. An ethics review was conducted prior to the interviews. An interview schedule was created to standardize the questions that were asked of each individual. Closed-ended questions and open- ended questions were used to make the interview process and analysis straightforward yet comprehensive. Content analysis was used to analyse the open-ended questions, including questions related to policy. Policy themes were then examined in more detail using a process I adapted from Swanson et al.'s (2006) idealized policy cycle. The following chapters describe the results of the interview and policy analysis. 101 CHAPTER 10 Interview Results 10.1 Introduction This chapter summarizes the data limitations and interview results. In order to keep the data manageable and to facilitate discussion, I only summarize those themes that included >20% of the responses. I discuss these results in Chapter 11 and explain how they help to answer my research questions. The remaining data (< 20% of responses) is provided in Appendix VI. 10.2 Data Limitations There are some limitations to the data I collected. In this section I discuss some of the generic limitations that affect the results. I discuss data limitations that are specific to certain questions in the sections in which the results are presented. 10.2.1 Response Rate As I explained in Chapter 9, 111 letters were sent out to those people who were involved in the formation and/or development of the DFWT (and who also met one or more of the criteria listed in Chapter 9). Twenty-eight people meeting one or more of the criteria of the study volunteered to participate in an interview. All 28 people were interviewed. This represents a response rate of 25%. It is difficult to determine whether a response rate of 25% will generate a 'representative range of responses. While a larger response rate would have been desirable, ".. .there is no agreed-upon standard for a minimum acceptable response rate" (Fowler, 2002, p. 42). As noted in Chapter 9, I was bound by the ethical review guidelines, so additional recruitment of individuals was challenging. In addition, I could not expand my sample to include more people from the population because the entire population was sampled. However, I did find that after about the 20* interview I appeared to reach a saturation point. A saturation point is a subjective judgement made by the researcher. It is the point at which the researcher finds that he/she is "...not obtaining any new data or the new information is negligible..." (Kumar, 2005, p. 165). Once I reached this saturation point, I found that responses were very similar to other responses and little new information was being generated by the interviews. I decided to continue on interviewing people, because at that point I had only interviewed three farmers. While I would have preferred to have had a higher response rate, I feel as if I did everything I could to recruit volunteers without breaching the ethical review 102 guidelines. While additional interviews may have provided additional insight into my research questions, I feel that I did reach the saturation point in my interviews. Consequently, I think that the responses summarized here are likely to be reasonably representative of those who were involved in the formation and/or development of the DFWT, notwithstanding the self- selection bias that may have occurred (see Section 10.2.2). In Chapter 11, I use secondary sources of information to triangulate these results, which provides an added degree of validity and reliability to my research. 10.2.2 Self-selection Since individuals were not forced to participate in the research, the results may be skewed by a self-selection bias. For example, it is possible that only those individuals who had positive experiences with DFWT responded. As a result, the data may not fully represent the perspectives of the broader community. However, I did notice that interview subjects identified issues that did not necessarily affect them, but did affect others. For example, non-farmers expressed concern for farmers over the damage that waterfowl were causing and the lack of compensation for farmers. 10.2.3 Policy Questions Most of the questions I asked in the interview had follow-up questions related to policy. Some policies were described in fairly general terms (e.g. allowing government staff to participate in the formation of the DFWT). Other policies were specifically identified (e.g. Migratory Birds Convention Act). Originally I had hoped to identify the specific policies that were alluded to in the general policy responses. However, upon review of the data I realized that this was neither necessary nor feasible. It was unnecessary because the description of the policy is sufficient for the purposes of this research which is to identify whether policy enabled or impeded the formation and/or development of the DFWT (i.e. to identify the role of policy). It was also not feasible for me to identify all of the policies because it would have required me to correctly interpret the policy descriptions made by the interview respondents and link the policy descriptions to a particular policy or policies. Apart from being prohibitively time-consuming, the policy, or combination of policies, identified through this process may or may not have been the one(s) alluded to in the interview. 103 I had also hoped to link the policies to the issues or topics identified in each question. However, upon review of the data I realized I could not do this because the process of content analysis broke the responses down into themes. Once the responses were broken down into themes, it was not possible to determine whether the policy that was identified by the respondent applied to the theme I identified. In many cases, numerous themes were extracted from one statement. For example: "The conservationists and farmers worked together to get on-the-ground programs going, which were very successfiil" has two key concepts which fall into two separate themes: 'Conservationists and farmers working together' and 'on-the-ground programs which were very successful'. If a respondent answered 'yes' policy played a role in this accomplishment, it was not possible for me to determine whether they felt that policy played a role in one or both themes I identified. Policy responses were sorted according to whether the respondent answered 'yes', policy played a role in at least one of the issues (e.g. conflicts) or topics (e.g. accomplishments) they identified. The data was sorted in this manner to illustrate the number of respondents who felt that policy did play some role in the issue or topic. For example, if a respondent indicated that policy did play a role in one of the conflicts prior to the formation of the DFWT, but not all conflicts, then I counted this as 'yes' policy played a role in conflicts. I did not assign the policy to the conflict, but simply summed up the number of individuals who thought policy played a role in at least one of the conflicts they identified. Each individual was only counted once. So, for example if a respondent said yes, policy played a role in three of the conflicts, their response was only counted once, for a maximum possible total of responses of 28 (i.e. the number of people interviewed). All questions related to policy were dealt with in this manner. This approach provided me with a sense of whether or not people thought policy played a role in the issue or topic being discussed. It also provided me with insight into the policies that may have enabled or impeded the formation and/or development of the DFWT. Although this approach did not link specific policies with specific issues, it became apparent upon examining the issues and the policies that there were some policies that were problematic and the issues they were causing were fairly evident. I discuss these connections in Chapter 11. 10.3 Results This section summarizes the interview results in a series of tables. As noted in Chapter 9, key concepts and themes were identified using content analysis. In this section, I provide a brief 104 narrative summarizing those themes that included >20% of the responses. The number of responses indicated for each theme is the number of individuals who provided a response that fit within that theme. Although an individual may have provided more than one response that fit in a theme, the individual was only counted once. In other words, if an individual gave an answer where three of their statements fit into one theme, all of the statements were included in the description, but the response was only counted once. The percentage of respondents is the number of individuals who provided a response that fit within that theme divided by the total number of individuals who were asked that question. The percent of responses sometimes exceeds 100% because of rounding-off errors. This approach was used in order to demonstrate the key themes that arose from the questions. It was not feasible to discuss every theme because of the number of themes that are present in the responses. Eighty percent (i.e. >20% of the responses) was used as the cut off point because this appeared to capture the most dominant themes in the majority of the questions. It also kept the number of themes co