A river loved : facilitating cooperative negotiation of transboundary water resource management in the Columbia River Basin through documentary film Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/h702q9339

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  • In transboundary water resources policy and management situations, such as the governance of the Columbia River Basin, complex social, ecological, and economic factors seem to be in irreconcilable competition with one another. However, cooperative negotiation provides an outlet for entities and stakeholders to "expand the pie" and develop creative alternatives for integrated, resilient management. To achieve these goals, it is critical that stakeholders have meaningful dialogue that goes beyond positions to identify the underlying values and interests in the basin. Furthermore, parties must develop a shared understanding of the substantive complexities of the social-ecological system. Collaborative learning allows participants to meet both of these objectives at once, and facilitators can spark collaboration through carefully planned interventions. The goal of this study was to test a carefully crafted "facilitative" documentary film as a facilitation tool to promote dialogue, understanding, and creative scenario development amongst parties. The study has three main components: 1) the resilience and learning analysis of the case study (the Columbia River Treaty) policy situation, 2) the creation of a facilitative film featuring interviews with diverse stakeholders in the basin, and 3) the qualitative and quantitative assessment of the effects of the film in the cooperative negotiation process. The film, A River Loved: A film about the Columbia River and the people invested in its future, premiered at the Universities Consortium Symposium on Columbia River Governance- an informal forum for dialogue held in Kimberley, British Columbia in October 2011. I measured participants' reactions to the film and found substantial support for my hypotheses, concluding that interventions such as facilitative documentary film have great potential to transform complex, multi-stakeholder social-ecological policy situations.
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