James P. Robson

James P. Robson
University of Saskatchewan | U of S · School of Environment and Sustainability

PhD in Natural Resources and Environmental Management

About

64
Publications
18,156
Reads
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749
Citations
Introduction
Current work investigates how remote and rural communities are impacted by, and respond to, demographic, social, and environmental change. Most of this work takes place in forested landscapes. I'm particularly interested in innovations, especially those targeted at or directly involving youth, to adapt systems of governance and resource use.
Additional affiliations
January 2013 - August 2015
University of Redlands
Position
  • Visiting Research Fellow
September 2006 - September 2013
University of Manitoba
Position
  • Researcher
October 2002 - August 2006
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Position
  • Researcher
Education
September 2000 - October 2001
University of Sussex
Field of study
  • Environment, Development, and Policy
October 1992 - October 1995
University of Liverpool
Field of study
  • Geography

Publications

Publications (64)
Article
Full-text available
Forests managed by Indigenous and other local communities generate important benefits for livelihood, and contribute to regional and global biodiversity and carbon sequestration goals. Yet, challenges to community forestry remain. Rural out-migration, for one, can make it hard for communities to maintain broad and diverse memberships invested in lo...
Article
Full-text available
Interactions with global markets offer development opportunities for Indigenous communities. They also place pressure on the natural resources that communities depend upon for their livelihood and, in many cases, their political and cultural autonomy. These markets often interact with family-based enterprises embedded within commons, with important...
Article
Full-text available
Artisanal products are considered an alternative to industrial production; however, upon entering global commodity markets, pressures are placed on the territories and customary governance of producer communities. Through the lenses of land system science and telecouplings, this paper examines the links connecting global markets and artisanal produ...
Article
Full-text available
Local food systems programs in Canada's rural and remote communities support residents to improve their access to healthy food by strengthening various social practices within the system. Designing programs to strengthen social practices can help address food insecurity by providing a support structure where people can build competencies and access...
Article
Full-text available
In evaluating effectiveness for collaborative environmental governance arrangements, a key concern is describing not just the processes and actors that are a part of these systems, but also the impacts that these processes have on ecological and social conditions. Existing research delineates an emphasis on process variables over outcome variables,...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers and advocates have long argued that on-going engagement by broad segments of the public can help make forests and forest-based communities more sustainable and decisions more enduring. In Canada, public engagement in sustainable forest management has primarily taken one of two approaches – advisory forums through forest-sector advisory...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report provides an updated national overview of how the public has been engaged in forest-sector advisory committees (FACs) in Canada. These committees operate across a wide range of geographic, social and political environments and the study highlights a number of important similarities and differences among the provinces and regions where FA...
Chapter
Full-text available
Migration and associated rural changes separate many commoners from their territories and decreases their reliance on territorial resources for livelihood. Migration also makes it more difficult to maintain the place-based social relationships which embed the commons, decreases the perceived value of the commons, and erodes the internal norms share...
Article
Full-text available
This article reports on the current state of collective migrant organizing for two Indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico. Strained relations between migrant organizations and village authorities combine with small active memberships to limit the level and type of fund-raising in support of village development and governance. These findings highl...
Book
Full-text available
Out-migration might decrease the pressure of population on the environment, but what happens to the communities that manage the local environment when they are weakened by the absence of their members? In an era where community-based natural resource management has emerged as a key hope for sustainable development, this is a crucial question. Buil...
Chapter
Full-text available
Out-migration might decrease the pressure of population on the environment, but what happens to the communities which manage the local environment when they are weakened by the absence of their members? In response to this crucial question, the goal of this book was to present and make sense of findings from over a decade of empirical research in O...
Article
The nature of migration–forest linkages in migrant-sending regions is underreported and poorly understood. In rural Latin America and elsewhere, out-migration, together with agricultural crises and the deterritorialization of rural livelihood, are transforming forests and the communities that manage them. Drawing on research in indigenous communiti...
Article
The decoupling of human-ecosystem relationships in underutilized forested or agricultural regions poses a threat to cultural and biological diversities. Some scholars have proposed transformative strategies involving local-led efforts to reconnect social and ecological systems with the support of bridging organizations (BOs). However, empirically-b...
Article
Full-text available
Migration is of particular concern to Indigenous peoples and communities. It physically separates those who migrate from the land upon which collective processes of labour and ritual practice are often based, it affects congruence between individual and collective rationality (as migrants make the choice to maintain or relinquish community membersh...
Article
This article reviews the current status, trends and challenges of land system science in Latin America. We highlight the advances in the conceptualization, analysis and monitoring of land systems. These advances shift from a focus on the relationships between forests and other land uses to include a greater diversity of land cover and land-use type...
Method
Full-text available
This guide provides an overview of our case study methodology.
Article
Full-text available
Despite high rates of out-migration, Mexican indigenous communities play a crucial role in biodiversity conservation. However, little is known about migrants' role in environmental management. This research brief explores the case of the Purépecha of San Pedro Ocumicho, Michoacán, and its transborder community in the Coachella Valley of California....
Article
Full-text available
Kenora is a small city located in northwestern Ontario, Canada. The study presented here focuses on Tunnel Island, 300 acres of forested land adjacent to Kenora's downtown. The island is used and valued by both city residents and members of three nearby Ojibway nations. As a multiple-use, common-pool resource accessed by different groups for a rang...
Article
Full-text available
Common-property regimes owned and governed by predominantly indigenous communities are widespread in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. The traditional governance systems of these communities are under strain because of transnational migration, which reduces the number of resident adults available to assume public offices and contribute labor to communit...
Article
Full-text available
Kenora is a small city in northwestern Ontario, Canada. No longer a forestry centre of note, Kenora plans to develop a more diversified and sustainable economy, driven by local needs and local decision-making. Yet any collective desire to enjoy a prosperous future is set against a backdrop of historical conflict, discrimination and misunderstanding...
Article
Full-text available
Little is known, in a collective sense, about commons or commons research across the diverse regions and countries that make up Latin America. This paper addresses that knowledge gap by means of a review of communal land tenure data for the region, followed by a detailed analysis of international schol- arly publications and conference presentation...
Article
Full-text available
A ‘commons’ can be considered any resource (environmental or otherwise) that is subject to forms of collective use, with the relationship between the resource and the human institutions that mediate its appropriation considered an essential component of the management regime. Like public goods, common resources suffer from problems of “excludabilit...
Article
Full-text available
New approaches for sustainable development in rural indigenous and local communities have emerged that are rooted in their distinct cultural identities and claims for greater control over land, development and identity. One such approach is that of biocultural heritage, which emerged out of work to document biocultural diversity undertaken in part...
Article
Full-text available
Forest transition theory describes a reversal in land-use trends for a given area, from a period of net forest area loss, to a period of net forest area gain. Some assume that such forest gain necessarily equates with biodiversity conservation. We question this assumption, based on research conducted in Oaxaca, Mexico. In Oaxaca's northern highland...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates the impact of human out-migration on long-standing commons institutions in the Sierra Norte of Oaxaca. Local communities have been increasingly engaged with national and international markets for wage labour, with many losing a significant percentage of their resident populations. This paper shows how demographic and cultura...
Article
Forest transition theory describes a reversal in land-use trends for a given area, from a period of net forest area loss, to a period of net forest area gain. Some assume that such forest gain necessarily equates with biodiversity conservation. We question this assumption, based on research conducted in Oaxaca, Mexico. In Oaxaca’s northern highland...
Article
Full-text available
Resource regimes are complex social–ecological systems that operate at multiple levels. Using data from two distinct cultural and environmental contexts (Mexico and India), this paper looks at the susceptibility and response of such regimes to rural out-migration. As a driver of demographic and cultural change, out-migration impacts both the practi...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we explore the emergence of what we term 'communities of learning' within the context of natural resources and environmental management (NREM). These communi- ties reflect new forms of interaction and cooperation between NREM decision makers that bring together the unique contributions of indigenous ways of knowing alongside academic...
Article
Full-text available
Commons scholarship has done a poor job of studying drivers of change, their impact on commons institutions, and how these institutions and other social arrangements are responding to such change. This paper examines the multiple impacts that demographic and cultural change through human out-migration is having on a commons regime in a high-biodive...
Article
Full-text available
Large areas of Oaxaca, southern Mexico, exhibit high biodiversity in the absence of official protected areas. This paper discusses some of the key mechanisms and practices employed by local communities to help conserve their forest resources. The findings suggest that learning from local resource management systems should become an important compon...
Article
"The Conference was a tremendous success with 662 registered participants from 63 different countries congregating in Oaxaca, Mexico for a 5-day meeting of 128 panels, 9 side events, 35 poster presentations, 8 pre-conference workshops, and 11 field trips. Although not confirmed, we believe this to have been the best attended IASCP conference to dat...

Network

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Projects

Projects (7)
Project
This research project sought to understand the contemporary role of youth in rural, resource-dependent communities, with a specific focus on youth and TEK. The overall purpose was to explore youth held TEK, its transmission, and the importance of youth as TEK holders in knowledge innovation and adaptation. Focusing on youth-TEK linkages in Oaxaca, Mexico – a region famed for its biocultural diversity – the study was guided by three objectives: 1. To identify, map, and classify current youth led TEK projects 2. To explore how and why youth hold TEK and how this knowledge is shared or transmitted 3. To explore opportunities to support youth held TEK in the study region