News Release

Integrated Approaches to Natural Resource Management Key to Canada’s Continued Prosperity

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.


“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


Heather Ennis
Director of Communications, Council of Canadian Academies