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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Tripping the traps and pitfalls of community-initiated conservation using good collaborative principles Walls, Timothy Stuart


This thesis analyses a special form of land conservation, community-initiated conservation (CIC). CIC is rooted in communities working to protect lands that they deem biologically or recreationally important. A community starts the CIC process, not government or conservation organisations. To protect spaces, communities may link with governments for institutional recognition and management, or the land and its management may remain in the hands of the community. Social research methods that place the author/researcher within the context of his value system and the values of the community studied form the cornerstone of the thesis. Of the many ways of analysing CIC, this thesis utilises collaboration theory. To apply collaboration theory to the CIC processes on Galiano, the thesis first sets the context: how land conservation in BC is effected, followed by what makes CIC unique. Ultimately, the theory on collaboration is combined with CIC experiences to develop a framework of analysis, which is then applied to two CIC processes on Galiano Island, BC and answers the following questions: 1. Is collaboration theory a relevant tool for evaluating CICs, particularly if CICs are not "as collaborative" as other processes? 2. Can CIC on Galiano Island, BC be considered collaborative? If CIC on Galiano is collaborative, to what extent was it collaborative in a multistakeholder sense? 3. How well did the citizens of Galiano collaborate? 4. How can collaboration theory strengthen CIC? The research concludes that collaboration theory is a relevant tool to analyse CICs, despite their limited inclusion o f potential public stakeholders suggested by other multistakeholder processes such as the B C Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy. CIC as practised on Galiano did not follow the ideal steps for collaboration according to collaboration theorists; however, the groups did ultimately conserve land. The consequences are a continued contentious atmosphere on the Island, reluctance by all parties to enter other collaborative efforts and mistrust within the community. Finally, the thesis recommends actions for other CICs in B C based on the experiences of the Galiano processes. These recommendations are categorised under the headings: the collaborative process, stakeholders and stakeholder interactions and the larger context of the CIC process.

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