Governing the Environment: Persistent Challenges, Uncertain Innovations


430 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-8020-8406-0
DDC 333.7'2'0971




Edited by Edward A. Parson
Reviewed by Richard G. Kuhn

Richard G. Kuhn is an associate professor of geography at the University
of Guelph.


The development and implementation of policies related to environmental
and resource management in Canada have evolved significantly over the
past three decades. Beginning in the early 1970s with the establishment
of environmental ministries in the federal and provincial governments,
laws, policies, and regulations pertaining to the environment and
resource development have increased, as has the number of organizations
and interests groups able to influence policy initiatives.

Against this backdrop, this book provides an excellent overview and
insightful analysis of the current trends and challenges in managing
environmental issues in Canada. Ostensibly, the volume is centred on two
major themes: key challenges that evolving environmental issues pose for
governance and significant innovations that have been proposed to
address these challenges. Chapters addressing these themes cover
evaluating the role of science in formulating environmental policy,
market integration, the role of First Nations, the impact of NAFTA,
volunteerism, and citizen involvement.

Parson has provided excellent introductory and concluding chapters. In
fact, the introduction provides one of the most succinct and insightful
overviews of the Canadian environmental situation published in many
years. Similarly, Parson’s concluding chapter provides a synthesis of
the major ideas presented throughout the book. He does so in a
thought-provoking and erudite way, particularly in his discussion of
adaptive management.

This excellent book is highly recommended for hose who have some
familiarity with environmental management in Canada.


“Governing the Environment: Persistent Challenges, Uncertain Innovations,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 28, 2024,