There is a long history of comprehensive regional land use planning in the Yukon, and in western and northern Canada, though scattered over the region and recent decades. These initiatives have had diverse origins and pursued many purposes, including land and water conservation, sustainability, development, and multiple use management. Planning processes are also increasingly seeking more scientific, monitoring and cumulative effects-based foundations. Recently, comprehensive regional planning initiatives face particular challenges in balancing multiple resource use demands and negotiating complex and conflicting governance relationships. Many forms of planning process and product have been tried: local, regional, special commissions, top-down, partnerships, arms-length agencies. The diverse structures, experiences and lessons from planning processes and frameworks in BC, Alberta, and Yukon increasingly highlight the need for linked, collaborative, and flexible processes, grounded in specific tasks, rights and roles, and knowledge. This is a pointer to thinking about planning in governance terms, for example in terms of fit with planning needs, cross-scale connections, and multiple forms of participation; mobilizing multiple tools in an integrated way. Lessons link governance challenges and opportunities with planning and assessment methods, and facilitating conditions, for successful integration, implementation, effectiveness, and public support.
- Scott Slocombe