British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Application of SWOT-C analysis and state-and-transition modeling to the design of reclamation plans for abandoned or operating mines in British Columbia Smyth, C. R.; Krebs, V.


SWOT - C (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, and Constraints) analysis is a structured planning method that evaluates the important elements of an ecologically-based project and provides a framework for organizing data collection and synthesizing available information. In terms of ecological restoration, strengths are factors such as remnant patches of undisturbed vegetation that can be considered assets. Weaknesses are deficiencies or stressors such as erosion, sedimentation, and contamination that can cause problems. Opportunities are important factors for the practitioner to restore ecosystem structure and function. Threats are undesirable issues, challenges, or trends that may cause further ecosystem degradation. Constraints are environmental, cultural, and socioeconomic limitations.State-and-transition models (STMs) are compartment diagrams and associated narratives that can be used to describe changes in ecosystem properties (i.e., composition, structure, and function) and the mechanisms by which a developing ecosystem transitions from one developmental state to another. The narratives and diagrams can be generated using (1) historical information, (2) local and professional knowledge, (3) general ecological knowledge, and (4) relevant monitoring or experimental data. These tools when combined can yield effective, holistic, and ecologically based mine reclamation plans.

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