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Evaluating the Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable Planning Process and the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation Framework

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This study uses an evaluative framework synthesized from the literature on collaborative planning, integrated water resource management, and adaptive governance to evaluate the Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable’s planning process and its application of the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation framework. The Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable was the first organization in Canada to apply the Open Standards framework in developing a multi-jurisdictional collaborative watershed plan, and among the first in the world to apply the Open Standards in a way that integrated ecological and human well-being goals. The evaluative framework consists of criteria in four broad categories: (1) Collaborative Planning; (2) Holistic Approach; (3) Authority and Control; and (4) Learning and Adjusting with Experience. The Roundtable performed well on most criteria. I make seven recommendations to improve the planning process and discuss four key considerations to guide similar community-based initiatives seeking to apply the Open Standards framework for watershed planning.
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