Managing Natural Resources in British Columbia: Markets, Regulations, and Sustainable Development

Managing Natural Resources in British Columbia: Markets, Regulations, and Sustainable Development

Managing Natural Resources in British Columbia: Markets, Regulations, and Sustainable Development

Managing Natural Resources in British Columbia: Markets, Regulations, and Sustainable Development

Synopsis

How must natural resource sectors change to achieve sustainable development in British Columbia? What reforms can be made to 'institutions' in order to assist these changes? What new policy instruments can be introduced? What institutions and instruments are no longer useful? These questions are the topic of hot debate in British Columbia and elsewhere. Managing Natural Resources in British Columbia grapples with these questions and suggests some preliminary answers. Interdisciplinary in its approach, the book brings together leading scholars from the fields of law, economics, forestry, and agricultural economics. This book goes one step further than many earlier studies of sustainable development, which have compared, in principle, the merits of market-based versus regulation-based instruments, and examines these policy instruments, their institutional contexts, and the way in which they are implemented in the various resource sectors in British Columbia. Looking in turn at forestry, fisheries, air quality, and the regulation of energy, the authors consider what policy instruments are most appropriate for fostering sustainable development and which institutions will best implement these policies and sustain them in the years to come. Managing Natural Resources in British Columbia offers an innovative and far-reaching contribution to the debate over sustainability at a time when many individuals are questioning the future of the environment in British Columbia.

Excerpt

Richard Barichello, R. Morey Porter, and G. Cornelis van Kooten

Over the past decade, there has been growing concern that the agricultural sectors in most countries have contributed to environmental problems, imposing costs on others through practices that despoil land, air, and water resources. Farmers are thought to degrade their land in the quest for private gain and profit, and there is concern that too much agricultural land is being developed for urban purposes, reducing irreversibly the potential for future generations to feed themselves or enjoy the flow of amenities from that land. the result is a perception that today's agricultural production is damaging various aspects of our 'natural environmental stock.' An emphasis on the future impacts of today's practices, policies, and institutions distinguishes concerns about sustainable development from more general concerns about environmental degradation. in Canada, these concerns can be seen in recent attention given to sustainable agriculture in numerous federal government policy discussions and program initiatives (e.g., Science Council of Canada 1991, 1992). the us Department of Agriculture has also accorded the topic a high priority (e.g., Soil and Water Conservation Society 1990; us Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990). Legislated concern about environmental degradation in agriculture dates back to the dust bowl of the 1930s and the establishment of the Soil Conservation Service in the United States (Heimlich 1991) and the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration in Canada (PFRA undated).

If the political importance of sustainable development is not in doubt, a precise definition of the term is harder to obtain. the sustainable use of resources is tied to their conservation. Since Ciriacy-Wantrup (1952) and Scott (1955), a large number of definitions and dimensions to resource conservation and sustainable development have arisen (Pezzey 1992); recently, such definitions have emphasized 'holism' or systemics (Hileman 1990) and the sociopolitical role of sustainability (MacRae et al. 1990; Robinson . . .

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