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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 62-71

Harnessing Compass to Gyroscope in Protected Areas Planning in Nova Scotia, Canada: The Colin Stewart Forest Forum

1 School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
2 Protected Areas and Ecosystems Branch, Nova Scotia Department of Environment, Halifax, NS, Canada
3 Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Peter N Duinker
School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.161224

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To address the integration of science and politics for environmental conservation, Kai Lee wrote a powerful book in 1993 entitled Compass and gyroscope. The compass represents the science of adaptive management and the gyroscope represents the politics of principled or bounded negotiation. As the twenty-first century dawned, environmental groups and forest-products companies in Nova Scotia intuitively knew that they needed a process combining these two elements to develop joint recommendations to the government on new protected areas in the province while mitigating impacts on the provincial wood supply. They initiated the Colin Stewart Forest Forum for this purpose and engaged in intensive analyses and negotiations from 2004 to 2009. The Forum delivered a report to the Government of Nova Scotia in which some 269,000 ha of land were identified as high priority for conservation, including an initial first slate of proposed protected areas totalling 58,000 ha of land with high conservation value but low impacts on wood supply. To demonstrate the power of linking competent technical analysis with principled negotiations, we describe the Forum process and reflect on several themes important in biasing such a process for success. Our analysis confirms the utility of strong attention to both the compass and the gyroscope in environmental conservation.

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