Ross, Linda, & and Lucia Fanning (2021, February). Mobilizing values: Using perceptions of barachois ponds in Nova Scotia to advance informed management. FACETS, 6(1), 215-239. (doi: 10.1139/facets-2020-0060) (Link: https://doi.org/10.1139/facets-2020-0060) (Open Access: https://www.facetsjournal.com/doi/10.1139/facets-2020-0060)

Abstract: Meaningful engagement is increasingly used as a management tool for understanding the multitude of complex values and potential conflicts around marine conservation and the production of conservation strategies deemed acceptable by local communities. Barachois ponds, akin to coastal lagoons, are recognized coastal wetlands in Nova Scotia, Canada, given their distinct ecosystem services, including provisioning, regulating, and cultural services. This study examines the current discourses around the management of barachois ponds and how an increased understanding of these perceptions held by stakeholders and managers might be used to better inform integrated management of these wetland ecosystems. A mixed-methods research design using Q methodology was employed to acquire data on social perceptions surrounding the management of barachois ponds fringing the Bras d’Or Lake in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. Four dominant perspectives were identified: the leave-them-be conservationists, the sustainable developers, the management reformists, and the science-based conservationists. Six key issue themes emerged based on an in-depth examination of these different perspectives and Q sort data. This study found that an increased awareness of the ecological, social, and cultural values attributed to barachois ponds by key stakeholders could play a critical role in better informing wetland management decision-making in Nova Scotia and elsewhere.

Lydia Ross <lydia.ross@dal.ca> and Lucia Fanning <lucia.fanning@dal.ca> are in the Dalhousie Marine Affairs Program, Faculty of Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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