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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Flying on the wings of trust : the story of the Delta farmland and wildlife trust an example of collaborative community based resource management Anderson, Elaine Susan


Competition 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 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. 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 specific 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 themes 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 negative 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 have 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.

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