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October 27, 2017 5:37 pm

UNBC Leading National Research Project on Impacts of Resource Development

Thursday, May 11, 2017 @ 2:12 PM

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.










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