Ecological Governance NOW

Our governance systems exist within natural relationships—ecologies—that are dramatically deteriorating at all levels. To develop sustainability, we must re-imagine and re-invent these systems. But how do we create institutions that sit and work within the ecosystem? How do we create governance structures that recognize this relational dimension and allow humans to map on to the world so that we can all flourish?

Ecological Governance NOW was an event-based initiative designed to widen circles of conversation and deepen our understandings about the vital importance of ecological governance today.

Led by POLIS Founder Michael M’Gonigle, and POLIS Co-Directors Kelly Bannister and Oliver M. Brandes, Ecological Governance NOW convened gatherings to explore themes ranging from fundamental theoretical issues (such as the nature of “democracy” and state-of-the-art thinking about ecosystems) to new conceptions and approaches to sectors, such as watersheds and cities.

As part of UVic’s first ever Roundtable on Ecological Governance to launch the initiative in 2012, Michael M’Gonigle offered a keynote presentation entitled “Why Ecological Governance Now More Than Ever?”. Professor M’Gonigle described how three key words—”polis,” “governance,” and “ecological”—encapsulate a way of thinking about a response to our current situation on this planet, and how these three words are fundamental to the research, policy, education, and action-oriented work conducted by the POLIS Project. His presentation compelled us to ask “is there a choice?” and underscored the point that ecological governance is an imperative for the 21st century.

Ecological Governance NOW Events

A number of strategic gatherings were held following the Roundtable event from 2012 to 2015 as part of the Ecological Governance NOW initiative. Through discussion groups and events designed to facilitate productive exchanges among university and community-based scholars and practitioners, Ecological Governance NOW called together diverse perspectives on the meaning and relevance of ecological governance across different social, cultural, geographic, and political considerations and boundaries.

For more information on each event, click the links below. Summaries, transcriptions, power point presentations, and videos from these events are also included where available.

March 2012
Why Ecological Governance Now More Than Ever?

March 2013
Cultural Dimensions of Ecological Governance

January 2014
Making it Real: Going Beyond Including Traditional Knowledge in Watershed Management, Towards Shared Leadership in Watershed Governance

March 2014
Cultural Traditions on Peace and Conflict for Social Justice, Human Rights and Relational Ethics

March 2015
Islands’ Spirit Rising: Reclaiming Forests on Haida Gwaii Book Launch and Panel Presentation






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