The State of Knowledge and Practice of Integrated Approaches to Natural Resource Management in Canada

Natural Resources Canada has asked the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) to undertake an expert panel assessment on the current state of knowledge of integrated approaches to natural resource management in Canada. Integrated natural resource management refers to ways of managing natural resources that consider a comprehensive range of needs and uses and their sustainability over the long term.

The Question

What is the state of knowledge and practice of integrated approaches to natural resource management in Canada?

Progress Report

The Expert Panel on Integrated Natural Resource Management held its fifth meeting on April 18 and 19, 2018 in Ottawa. The Panel reviewed a third draft of the report, came to consensus on the findings and conclusions, and tasked CCA staff with fine tuning it. In the coming months, the report will be sent for external peer review to a panel of individuals whose expertise complements that of the Panel. The results of the peer review process will be considered by the Panel at the sixth and final in-person meeting expected to take place in fall 2018.


Canada is endowed with a diversity of resources. In some regions, energy, forestry, and mining activities, for example, may all occur simultaneously and in close proximity. While each of these activities may on its own have well-understood environmental, social, and economic impacts, when considered together, the impact can be complex and significant. Historically, resource management decisions were made on a project-by-project basis, but there is a growing interest in deploying more integrated approaches that consider the full set of activities occurring in an area to better support decision-making and the sustainable use of all resources.

In recent years, integrated natural resource management has been gaining momentum in Canada. However, progress and barriers are difficult to assess and evaluate. This new assessment by the CCA will bring together a disparate knowledge base to shed new light on how both science and traditional knowledge can be best applied to enhance the management of natural resources in Canada. It will focus on land-based resource management, including agricultural production. Freshwater systems (surface and groundwater) affected by land-based activities are also within the scope of the assessment.

Expert Panel

The Chair of the Expert Panel on Integrated Natural Resource Management is Cassie Doyle, Strategic Advisor and former CEO of the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute. For a complete list of panel members, visit the Expert Panel page.

For further information, please contact:

Jérôme Marty, Project Director at 613-567-5000 ext. 231 or

For media inquiries, please contact:

Samantha Rae Ayoub, Communications and Publishing Director at 613-567-5000 ext. 256 or


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