Archive for April, 2011

PhD graduate receives international fellowship

April 4th, 2011

Dr Mark Shepheard has recently won a short research grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation. Congratulations Mark!

He will use this to spend 2 months (mid June to mid August) at the Department of Public and Rural Law, University of Lucern working with Professor Roland Norer on water stewardship obligations and lake contracts for farmers. Policy reform is underway in Switzerland to enable sustainable watershed management as an efficient and coordinated approach to managing water resources. The process seeks to balance the requirements of different interests, overcome conflict and achieve cooperation. Water use and water resource protection are assumed as competing targets for resolution. The approach simultaneously supports independent action by watershed stakeholders while pursuing personal responsibility for sustainable development relative to water management.

The process of watershed management raises several issues for effective natural resource management. These are: Who is involved in the process as a relevant stakeholder and what are the avenues for appeal of decisions?
How is the catchment wide strategic planning and management learning cycle turned into legally binding and practical obligations for water access and use? What is the role of the elected legislature (Federal and/or Cantonal)? What is the dispute resolution process in the likely event that competing interests about water cannot be balanced? Is enforcement by judicial and/or administrative means?