Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 52

52 Arctic Yearbook 2015 To fully understand the potential opportunities, risks, enablers, and barriers associated with developing Canada’s maritime Arctic, it is important to gain an understanding of all those involved. Improved stakeholder consideration and integration for more effective governance of maritime activities is being promoted at several scales, but understanding the stakeholder environment and coordinating their efforts is no easy feat. The complexity of the interests for using the marine environment in the Arctic arises from the scope and diversity of stakeholders, ranging from international industries, through national government departments, down to local communities and economies. A holistic view of the wide range of stakeholders involved in marine Arctic activities and the relationships among them appears to be lacking in the current body of literature on these topics. Most studies have focused solely on one or two groups of stakeholders, or one or two sets of interests; it is rare to see work that embraces the diversity of stakeholders and concerns. Furthermore, the reader often can become overwhelmed by the literature that does exist by the level of detail, and the sheer volume of information available makes it difficult to draw connections between stakeholders. The purpose of this research is to investigate the stakeholders involved in maritime activities in the Canadian Arctic, and to document our findings in a user-friendly visualization tool. This research aims to shed light on all those who are involved in one way or another in maritime vessel-based activities in the Canadian Arctic. In addition, it aids in highlighting the major topics of interest at different operating scales, which will help to identify gaps and overlaps between stakeholders, and provides a platform for future collaboration between groups. Why conduct a stakeholder analysis? When decisions about planning and development are made by groups in isolation from other stakeholders, the result is often a fragmented plan with numerous gaps and overlaps. By clearly considering, if not directly including relevant stakeholders in the governance process, conflicts can be avoided and the overall efficiency of the resulting policy can be improved. By identifying and integrating the interests of all stakeholders from the beginning, a better understanding of the social, economic, and environmental systems to be governed can be established and a balance between the interests can be found, thus reducing potential conflicts and maximizing the benefits for each stakeholder (VanderZwaag 1990; Douvere 2008; Halpern et al. 2008; Maes 2008; Pomeroy & Douvere 2008; Beaufort Sea Partnership 2009; Ehler & Douvere 2009; Jay 2009; Ritchie & Ellis 2010; Katsanevakis et al. 2011; Gopnik et al. 2012). Stakeholders are also more likely to support a governance regime when it is clear that their interests have been taken into account (Maes 2008; Jay 2009; Ritchie & Ellis 2010). Demonstrating the common interests between stakeholders can also facilitate cooperation among themselves, as it is more evident where partnerships can be made (Grimble & Chan 1995; Douvere 2008; Pomeroy & Douvere 2008). It provides an opportunity for all stakeholders to gain a better understanding of the environment within which they work, and perhaps a better understanding of the perspectives and interests of others, allowing for greater transparency and potential for relationshipbuilding (Helmick 2008; Reed 2008). Maritime Activities in the Canadian Arctic