Sustainable Environments

Theme Coordinator – Brenda Parlee, University of Alberta


Yukon College Brown Bag Lunch Speaker Series_Page_1Presentation September 24, 2015: Brown Bag Lunch Session at Yukon College
Avoiding the “Resource Curse”: Coping with the slippery slopes of a mining boom

Concerns for a “resource curse” economic pattern are common in many resource-rich regions and countries. Yukon has experienced many boom bust cycles with mining developments, a phenomenon that also affects housing markets, educational attainment and post-secondary education rates, and the viability of small business (e.g., tourism).
What are the symptoms of the “resource curse” and how can it be avoided and managed by territorial and regional governments?
Building on research from the Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic (ReSDA) program, Dr. Parlee, one of the lead ReSDA researchers, will offer perspectives on how resource development can better contribute to the social and economic well-being of the region.


Powerpoint presentation

PP Parlee RESDA BBLcover

Missed Dr. Parlees’s talk?  Click here to view a recording of her presentation.

Theme Background: The Arctic is home to some of the world’s most fragile ecosystems. Local communities, regional governments, and other northern policymakers must ensure that natural resources valued for both subsistence and market economies are developed in ways that sustain those resources and those who depend on them for their social, economic, and cultural well-being.

Subproject research questions include:

  • What is the role of social norms and networks in mitigating the risks associated with climate change impacts on local food sources?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges of improving food security in the context of a changing resource economy?
  • What kinds of multi-scale institutional arrangements are needed to improve local food systems?
  • As some resources decline in health and availability, what alternative resources (options) are available to individuals and households? What choices are individuals making between these options and what are the implications for the health and sustainability of communities and local ecosystems?
  • How can we better manage conflicts between the interests of the tourism industry and resource development?

Theme Coordinator – Brenda Parlee, University of Alberta

Other team members include: Ken Caine (University of Alberta), Harvey Lemelin (Lakehead University), James Ford (McGill University), Chris Furgal (Trent University), Wiktor Adamowicz (University of Alberta)


Projects under this theme: