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Overview Assessment

Phase 1
The first phase of this project was carried out in the winter of 2009. An initiative of the Gulf Fisheries Center, with the collaboration of the Southern Gulf of St.Lawrence Coalition on Sustainability (Coalition-SGSL), this project sought to test out methodologies for collecting social economic and cultural values in the Southern Gulf of St.Lawrence region. This project is known as SECOA. The project also focused on developing the methodology that would permit a visual representation of those values geographically on maps. These maps could then be used by decision makers to determine areas of importance to the local populations. Once the methodology is refined, it should be of use to various groups to facilitate the inclusion of values in economic, social and environmental decisions in the region.
Thereport from the first phase of the project explaining the method and what the project entailed is now available in PDF format (2MB) online.
Phase 2


One of the Coalition-SGSL’s academic members, the Institute of Island Studies (IIS) at the University of Prince Edward Island, undertook in collaboration with us and the Gulf Fisheries Center, a second component of the SECOA project. The IIS researchers, with cooperation from the North Shore Municipality and the Prince Edward Island Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry, tested a mail-out survey method for mapping social and cultural values in the coastal zone of PEI, using research tools similar to those used in the Coalition-SGSL's SECOA focus groups in 2009. This has permitted the refinement and extension of a methodology that hopefully can reach a greater audience for collecting values. This second test of the methodology based on the first phase reinforces the importance of this approach to decision making. If decision makers are to make choices that will lead to the sustainability of the region and their communities, gathering social and cultural data becomes essential for holistic resource management and for land use planning and climate change adaptation.
A video explaining the steps taken in the second phase and the results can be viewed online soon.

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