Integrated watershed management planning in Manitoba: a platform for social learning

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Dykman, Kate Rachel Jean
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Integrated Watershed Management Planning (IWMP) is a new planning model being implemented through the Manitoban Conservation District program since the mid-2000s. This research examined six watershed plans, including two plans completed outside the IWMP structure. A social learning framework was used to examine process attributes and learning outcomes for participants involved in the planning process. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups with stakeholders provided the data. The research found that there are numerous aspects of the current planning approaches that supported participant learning. Learning outcomes included a better technical understanding of watershed issues, as well as a shared problem definition and the ability to communicate common objectives to distinct stakeholder groups, including how this knowledge can support better policy and regulation. Recommendations to improve the IWMP model for enhanced social learning include building greater demographic diversity through financial assistance for participants, and finding ways to create new forums for local input.
watershed, social learning, Manitoba, participation, water, conservation