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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The use of negotiation in coastal zone management : an analysis of the Fraser Estuary Management Program and the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority Saxby, Gillian Elizabeth


As population pressures rise there are associated increases in development, resource use, competition and environmental threats. These increases, contribute to the intensification of conflict within the coastal zone. Dispute resolution techniques must be incorporated into the management of coastal resources. Negotiation use is one means of dispute resolution. The goal of this thesis is to establish whether and how negotiation is used in coastal zone management. Two bodies of literature were reviewed. Literature on North American coastal zone management was examined to characterize management approaches with particular reference to the FREMP and the PSWQA. Literature on negotiation was reviewed to develop a framework for analyzing the use of negotiation in resolving coastal zone management conflicts. The FREMP and PSWQA provide two case studies for examining the use of negotiation in resolving coastal zone management conflicts. In each case, two comparable decision-making bodies were examined: the FREMP Management Committee Executive (MCE) and the Standing Committee on the Water Quality Plan (WQSC) and the PSWQA Authority Board (AB) and Point Source Committee (PSC). Data on the use of negotiation were collected by telephone interviews with people involved in each of the four decision-making processes. The management areas of the Fraser River Estuary and the Puget Sound are comparable in that both are located in the Pacific Northwest of North America with similar climates and natural resources, and are experiencing growing population and development pressures. The management processes differ in the scale of areas covered (estuary versus basin), the size of the populations (the Fraser Estuary is half the population of Puget Sound) and the approach to coastal zone management (coordinator versus player; smaller versus larger budgets; lesser versus greater public involvement). There is no use of "explicit" negotiation in the four decision-making processes examined in the case studies. “Explicit" negotiation use is identified when there is explicit expression of the use of negotiation in the decision-making. "Implicit" negotiation is identified when people make trade-offs to adopt an agreement without explicitly expressing they are doing so (Dorcey and Riek, 1987), and is routinely used in all four decision-making situations. There is no use of any outside third party assistance such as mediators or facilitators in the negotiations; however, the FREMP Programs Coordinator facilitates the MCE negotiations and the PSWQA AB chair mediates the Board meetings. The implicit negotiations of the FREMP and the PSWQA exhibited a high degree of "structure" with the greatest extent in the PSWQA. "Structured" negotiations are identified as negotiations that actively seek to reach agreement by incorporating structure into the decision-making process through: the utilization of preparatory techniques, opportunity for the representation of affected interests, the utilization of explicit agreement criteria, some means to commit to the agreed-upon actions. Future coastal zone management should recognize the “implicit" use of negotiation since it is used so extensively within coastal zone management and evaluate the contribution of "implicit" negotiation in coastal zone management. Finally, consideration must be given to making the use of negotiation in coastal zone management "explicit" so that means are actively sought to resolve coastal resource use conflicts.

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