The Grand Falls-Windsor – Baie Verte – Harbour Breton Regional Council identified two priorities for community-based research in their region: community engagement and land use planning. The Council initiated a research partnership with Memorial University to investigate past experiences with community engagement in the region and innovative approaches to citizen and community engagement that might be undertaken in the future. In investigating community engagement a multi-year research agenda was envisioned, with the potential for applying lessons regarding community engagement in the initiation of a dialogue in the region on land use issues and planning for appropriate land use. The ultimate goal is to work towards regional land use plan, which “provides a broad level vision and goals for the allocation, management and use of land and resources, including renewable, non-renewable and water-based resources within a region”. The project has been undertaken in two parts, the first between 2011 and 2012 and the second slated for 2012-2013.
The first phase of the project entailed a thorough scan and analysis of existing literature on land use issues within the province and a focus on those occurring in the Grand Falls-Windsor – Baie Verte – Harbour Breton Rural Secretariat region. The second phase to commence in July 2012 will focus on tying the identified issues of effective community engagement and land use planning together and will entail interviews with key stakeholders as well as community-based consultations. The first phase of the research produced a scoping document entitled A Scan of Land Use Issues in the Grand Falls-Windsor – Baie Verte – Harbour Breton Region which gives an overview of the land use issues present within the region and across numerous topics such as agriculture, forestry, mining, cottage and cabin development, aquaculture, competing waterfront usage, access to Crown Lands, tourism and recreation, and other.
For more information on this project visit: http://ruralresilience.ca/?page_id=109.