“They Have Continuous Long-Term Observations, They Know What's Going On, and They Are Concerned”: Connecting Community Stewardship to Water Governance and Social-Ecological Systems in Nova Scotia
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Despite ongoing efforts to involve stewardship groups in decision-making around water, there is still no clear understanding of the importance of or potential roles for stewardship in shaping overall water governance in Nova Scotia, Canada. Rather, stewardship is largely limited to the context of water management, or “on-the-ground” activities. In order to address the complex, multi-tiered interactions between water governance and broader human-environmental issues, I set out two research objectives for this study: (1) Identify the roles of Nova Scotia water stewardship groups in the context of Social-Ecological Systems or SES (a way of conceptualizing human-environmental interactions); and, (2) Determine how individuals involved in stewardship view their roles in water governance. Using an evolving research design, the results of the study provide insight into the ways that individuals involved in stewardship groups view their role in shaping broader water governance and addressing overall issues in human-environmental interactions.