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Great Lakes: Lessons in Participatory GovernanceLEAD Canada Fellow Velma I. Grover's co-edited book, "Great Lakes: Lessons in Participatory Governance", looks at the management of the Great Lakes basin of North America. Commenting on a poorly documented area, her aim is to highlight the successes and failures of the management practices so that the lessons learned can be applied to watershed ecosystems around the world. The book also gives a comparative example of the African Great Lakes to help with this aim of sharing best practice internationally.

The book examines how the world has lost sight of the Great Lakes' considerable degradation since the advent of industrialisation and mass scale agriculture. Grover argues that although technology is seen as an attractive solution to the problems it has created,, it is "not the only [one]. We need to change governance and people's behaviour in general". In the book she promotes behaviour change by looking at areas where progress has been made and sharing the lessons learned.

Some of the lessons for best practice include:

  • Identifying problems from scientific, social and policy/institutional perspectives;
  • Creating a framework that links larger lake basin objectives to local priorities in order to engage local partners and citizens;
  • Shifting from current land use practices towards low impact development principles; and
  • Establishing a monitoring plan with a feedback loop to change the plan when needed.

"Great Lakes: Lessons in Participatory Governance" will be published on 8 October 2012 and can be ordered here.