News Release 

Integrated approaches to natural resource management key to Canada's continued prosperity

The expert panel on the state of knowledge and practice of integrated approaches to natural resource management in Canada

Council of Canadian Academies


IMAGE: Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts: Toward Integrated Natural Resource Management in Canada situates the potential contribution of integrated natural resource management (INRM) within Canada's complex natural resource management... view more 

Credit: Council of Canadian Academies

A new expert panel report from the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) finds that conventional methods of natural resource management haven't kept pace with the scale and complexity of 21st century problems. It concludes that we know enough to act on integrated approaches to engagement, planning, and decision-making that will protect the health and competitiveness of Canada's resource industries.

In Canada, natural resource management decisions have historically been made on a project-by-project or sector-by-sector basis. However, decision-makers are finding this approach inadequate in the face of intensifying environmental and social pressures, increasingly global competition, regulatory uncertainty, and evolving legal and social contexts - including commitments to reconciliation. Whereas many existing decision-making systems are challenged by the messiness inherent in natural resource management, integrated natural resource management (INRM) is designed with this complexity in mind and readily adjusts based on local context.

Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts: Toward Integrated Natural Resource Management in Canada sets out a framework for understanding INRM and explores the processes that can support it. The report provides leaders, practitioners, and others with the information they need to apply INRM, exploring barriers, as well as effective and promising practices to overcome them.

Visit to download the report.


"This report speaks to the benefits of taking a more integrated approach to natural resource management. Given the increasing conflicts over resource development in Canada, we need to change the way we do things. We have solid experience of INRM to look to, although limited in its reach, and the report provides a framework and guidance for its broader implementation, drawing from both research and practice."

- Cassie J. Doyle, Chair, Expert Panel on The State of Knowledge and Practice of Integrated Approaches to Natural Resource Management in Canada

"The rich diversity of Canada's natural resources has always played an important role in the culture, health, safety, and livelihood of people in Canada. Our hope is that this report will support implementation of INRM to strengthen the sustainability and legitimacy of Canada's resource management systems."

- Eric M. Meslin, PhD, FCAHS, President and CEO, Council of Canadian Academies


About the Council of Canadian Academies

The CCA is a not-for-profit organization that undertakes independent, evidence-based expert panel assessments to inform public policy development in Canada. The CCA was founded by three independent organizations that represent some of the finest minds in Canada ? the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Their Fellows and senior decision-makers sit on CCA's Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Committee, and they are a key source of membership for expert panels. The CCA's founding Academies also provide key guidance and input throughout the assessment process, including expert panel nominations and dissemination processes. For more information about the CCA or its assessments, please visit

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