Climate change and water governance: an International Joint Commission case study

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Governance has been identified by many scholars as a challenge to managing natural resources in a sustainable way. In addition, climate change is impacting natural resources, and complicating management. In light of these concerns, it is important that key characteristics of sustainable management are not ignored. Scientific legitimacy, an integrative ecosystem approach, long-term monitoring and pro-active governance are all important characteristics of successful sustainable management plans. However, these characteristics have not all been included in the day-to-day functioning of the International Joint Commission. This paper looks specifically at the key characteristics required for sustainable management of transboundary water resources and determines if the International Joint Commission, and particularly the International Rainy Lake Board of Control, are applying them to policies for regulation and management of border waters shared by Ontario (Canada) and Minnesota (USA).

Keywords: Climate change, International Joint Commission, Minnesota, Ontario, Water governance

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