New planning tool could lead to ‘better results, less confrontation’ – by Bryan Phelan (Wawatay News – September 18, 2014)
Representatives of environmental groups and Matawa First Nations Management (MFNM) had preliminary talks earlier this year about Regional Strategic Environmental Assessment (R-SEA) as a new planning tool for the Ring of Fire.
The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment once praised R-SEA as “an inherently proactive approach” and “a means to ensure that planning and assessment for a region support the most desired outcomes rather than the most likely one.”
There are numerous examples from around the world where R-SEA has been used successfully, including in Vietnam, Mauritius, Ghana, and Sierra Leone, says Anna Baggio, director of conservation planning for Wildlands League. “It produces better results and helps avoid confrontations and legal challenges.”
Baggio organized a meeting in February when informal discussion of an R-SEA for the Ring of Fire took place. In addition to Wildlands League, other environmental groups represented at the gathering were Mining Watch, WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) Canada, and Ecojustice. Also present were various Matawa advisors and experts, Baggio said.
She anticipated a follow-up meeting after the nine chiefs of the Matawa tribal council and the Ontario government signed a framework agreement in March for negotiations on development in the Ring of Fire. Read the rest of this entry »