UNBC Leading National Research Project on Impacts of Resource Development
Members of the research team – photo 250News
Prince George, B.C. UNBC is heading up a 5 year research project which involves 60 team members from across the country to come up with ways to mitigate any possible negative impacts from resource development.
A $2 million dollar grant has been secured from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Over the five years, the team will examine ways to better understand and respond to the health, environmental and community impacts of resource development. Dr. Margot Parkes of UNBC and Dr. Sandra Allison, the Chief Medical Health Officer for Northern Health are co-chairing the research.
Dr. Allison says her work with Northern Health has helped to recognize the challenges faced by industry both in positive and negative ways “Our observation was, we weren’t always talking with our partners. This project supports inter-sectoral prevention.” She says that means, all sectors need to start talking to each other “To prevent negative outcomes and promote and help positive outcomes.” One of the actions taken by Northern Health has partners from all the resource ministries come together “So all of the ministries come together at the table and we discuss what our needs are, what our pressures are, what our concerns area, and what opportunities exist.” She says having everyone in the room together really gets people talking about common issues that need action.
While there will be reports written over the course of the 5 years of study, Dr. Margot Parkes says this is not intended to produce a final report that will be left on a shelf somewhere to collect dust “The knowledge to action commitment to this project is really high.” She says they are interested in going through several cycles over the five years “Where we have benefitted from our collective experience we’re putting that into action in different localities, we’re learning some lessons, we’re sharing those and feeding that back in. So you can expect that there will be moments throughout those years in various locations where the projects impact and action is going to be surfaced and shared. ” She says the key is, there are key decision makers on the team who have the ability to put the lessons learned into action.
The 60 member team involves UNBC, Simon Fraser University, University of Alberta, and the University of Moncton New Brunswick.