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30 March 2021 Adapting Forest Management to Climate Change: Experiences of the Nisga'a People
J.R. Arias-Bustamante, J.L. Innes
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  • Non-Indigenous forest management was disastrous for the ecology of the Nass Valley area.

  • Non-Indigenous forest management showed no recognition of, or respect for, Nisga'a traditional approaches to land management.

  • Traditional Nisga'a resource management is a resilience-oriented management approach.

  • Future approaches need to be based on Indigenous people's knowledge and rights while at the same time utilising valuable knowledge from non-Indigenous sources.

  • An inclusive management approach focused on restoring ecosystem function can enhance Nisga'a forest resilience.


This study examines and characterizes the potential impacts of climate change on the lands of the Nisga'a Nation in British Columbia, Canada, and how these impacts might affect traditional forest practices. The study results were integrated with a review of current Nisga'a forest policy. The current forest policy has developed an inflexible approach to forest management that perpetuates a top-down decision-making framework inherited from the past relationship with the provincial government. Building from the experiences of the Nisga'a Nation, it is revealed that inflexible forest policies coupled with climate change impacts could lead the forest ecosystems to ecological thresholds. No approach by itself will be sufficient to meet the challenges these changes will bring to Indigenous peoples and society in general. An integrative approach, where the forest management is undertaken from a resilience point of view, is needed if current conditions are to be improved.

J.R. Arias-Bustamante and J.L. Innes "Adapting Forest Management to Climate Change: Experiences of the Nisga'a People," International Forestry Review 23(1), 1-15, (30 March 2021).
Published: 30 March 2021

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