SS4.11 Water and Society - Science and Management in a Social and Economic Context
Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Time: 2:45:00 PM
Location: Carson A
 
MathiasJA, Freshwater Institute, Arctic Sciences Division, Winnipeg, Canada, mathiasj@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
 
SOCIETAL ADAPTABILITY FOR ECOSYSTEM-LEVEL MANAGEMENT
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When contaminants enter a large ecosystem, monitoring systems provide an alert. Community concerns then drive science to investigate sources, pathways and sinks. The scale of the revealed ecological processes determines the scale for policy and science initiatives. Community involvement must be linked to the scale at which institutional action and science policy takes place. These points are illustrated in coastal waters of the Beaufort shelf, a large aquatic ecosystem linked to the Arctic Ocean and the Mackenzie River watershed. In the Beaufort Sea coastal ecosystem, communities are linked to science through a bottom-up and a top-down interface. Communities are strongly linked to federal research through a system of legislated co-management, which provides grass roots guidance for national-level science. Communities are also linked to National environmental policy and to multi-national research programs through relationships with national and international advocacy groups. Two characteristics of the 'Community-Science-Policy' matrix are important in the adaptability of social systems to the solution of ecosystem-level problems: 1. The matching of institutional scale to ecological scale. 2. The horizontal and vertical cross-linkages between institutions.