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Title: Environmental protection in the Canadian High Arctic : Tallurutiup Imanga/Lancaster Sound as a case study for re-conceptualising governance
Author: Rattue, Kevin Grant
ISNI:       0000 0005 0292 1724
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2021
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The diminishing ice cover has accelerated the ability for commercial shipping through the navigable routes of the Northwest Passage in the Canadian High Arctic. Shipping movement through ecologically fragile marine areas represents new environmental risks that could result from oil spills in these northern waters. Yet, existing preparedness and response systems have not been tested, as no response has been required to a large-scale spill in this region. The empirical research undertaken reveals that the Government of Canada is under mounting pressure to demonstrate how damage to marine ecosystems and northern peoples' lifestyles would be mitigated. Broad actor consensus is that systems are not in place to reduce the risks of detrimental environmental impacts that could dramatically change the community livelihoods and lifestyles. Compounding pressure on the government, research findings indicate conflicting perspectives within indigenous northern communities concerning commercial development of the Canadian Arctic. In confronting this challenge, this thesis introduces a new governance paradigm to the field of Arctic stewardship that applies pre-emption and precautionary logic to protect this vulnerable environment from problems associated with commercial development and the emergence of environmental risks. Existing frameworks for managing unintended impacts are disrupted by repositioning new and existing actors into new constructs of shared knowledge, power over decision-making, responsibility for resource management and wellbeing. The prevailing 'top-down' and rigid hierarchical structure dominated by the federal branch of the Government of Canada is disrupted by a shift towards an emergent arrangement to allow actors to facilitate interactions to operationalise agreed upon measures. This innovative form of governance can enable debate on the merits of reconstructing epistemological scales to conceptualise environmental protection measures in the context of global environmental change and the potential impact to local communities.
Supervisor: Powell, Richard Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Environmental Governance of the Canadian Arctic