Last Updated October 8, 2017

Northern Contaminants Program

Canadian Arctic Contaminants Assessment Report II (2003)

Volume 3: Knowledge in Action

Full Document



Executive Summary     i

Résumé     v


1 Introduction     1

1.1 Canadian Arctic Contaminants Assessment Report II 1

1.2 The Knowledge in Action report 1

1.3 Contaminants in the North: Understanding the issue 2

Box 1Contaminants of Concern 3

Box 2The Current State of Knowledge 4

1.4 The diverse and changing face of the North 6


2 Addressing the Contaminant Issue     13

2.0 Introduction 13

2.1 History of dealing with contaminants in the North 13

2.2 Phase I of the Northern Contaminants Program 15

Box 3 Setting the Scene for the Northern Contaminants Program 16

2.3 Phase II of the Northern Contaminants Program 17

2.3.1 Shared management and innovative partnerships 18

2.3.1.1 Territorial Environmental Contaminants Committees (TECCs) 18

Box 4 Evolution of a Regional Committee: The NNHC 20

2.3.1.2 Regional Contaminants Coordinators (RCCs) 21

2.3.1.3 Aboriginal partnerships 22

2.3.2 Blueprints 23

Box 5 NCP Blueprints 24

2.3.3 Review process 24

2.4 Summary of key points 25

2.5 Key references and suggested readings 25


3 The NCP Approach to Research     27

3.0 Introduction 27

3.1 Working responsibly 27

3.1.1 Guidelines for responsible research 28

Box 6 Basic Principles of the Guidelines for Responsible Research 29

3.1.2 Consultation requirements for NCP projects 29

3.1.3 Supporting responsible research and community consultation 31

3.1.4 Summary of working responsibly 31

3.2 Identifying and addressing community concerns 31

3.2.1 Local contaminants concerns 32

3.3 Incorporating Traditional Knowledge 34

Box 7 Elder/Scientist Retreats 35

3.4 Responsible research in practice 35

3.4.1 Case Study 1: Community-based monitoring of abnormalities in wildlife 36

3.4.2 Case Study 2: Monitoring contaminant levels in ringed seals 36

3.4.3 Case Study 3: Health effects research in Nunavik 37

3.5 Summary of key points 39

3.6 Key references and suggested readings 39


4 The Practice of Balancing Benefits and Risks     41

4.0 Introduction 41

4.1 The NCP approach 41

Box 8 Basic Steps in Benefit/Risk Management Process: The NCP Experience 44

4.2 Early and ongoing involvement of multiple perspectives 45

4.3 Challenges of balancing benefits and risks 45

Box 9 Benefit/Risk Management in Practice 46

4.3.1 Data challenges: The availability of qualitative and quantitative information 48

4.3.2 Calculating benefits vs. risks: Uncertainties and estimations 48

4.4 Releasing balanced messages on contaminants, health, and harvest information 50

4.5 Summary of key points 51

4.6 Key references and suggested readings 51


5 Communications: Messages, Networks, Materials, and Processes     53

5.0 Introduction 53

5.1 Evolution of communications under the NCP 53

5.2 Messages for key audiences 53

5.2.1 Northern residents 53

5.2.2 The national community 55

5.2.3 International audiences 55

5.3 Regional networks for communication 55

5.3.1 Territorial Environmental Contaminants Committees (TECCs) 55

5.3.2 Regional Contaminants Co-ordinators (RCCs) 56

5.3.3 Frontline workers 56

5.4 Materials for communication 58

Box 10 Guidelines for Producing Effective Communication Materials in Labrador 60

5.4.1 Curriculum development in the NCP 61

5.5 Processes of communication 62

5.5.1 Workshops in the NCP 62

5.5.2 Contaminants tours in the North 64

5.5.3 Informal processes of communication 66

5.6 Assessing communications in the NCP 66

5.7 Summary of key points 68

5.8 Key references and suggested readings 68


6 NCP at the National and International Level     73

6.0 Introduction 73

6.1 Action at the national level 73

6.1.1 Toxic Substances Management Policy (TSMP) 73

6.1.2 Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) — Priority chemical assessments 73

6.1.3 Pesticide Control Products Act – Lindane assessment 74

6.1.4 Toxic Substances Research Initiative (TSRI) 74

6.1.5 Children’s environmental health 74

6.2 The impact of the NCP: International actions 74

6.2.1 Early action: The Arctic environmental protection strategy 75

6.2.2 NCP and the Arctic Monitoring Assessment Programme (AMAP) 76

6.2.3 International controls: Convention on Long-Range transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) 77

6.2.4 UNEP Global POPs Convention 78

6.2.5 The role of Aboriginal peoples in translating science into international policy 79

6.2.6 Ratification and implementation of the Global POPs Convention 80

6.2.7 Knowledge in action in the international sphere: Final words 81

6.3 Summary of key points 81

6.4 Key references and suggested readings 81


7 Assessment and Conclusions     83

7.0 Introduction 83

7.1 Framework for knowledge in action 83

7.1.1 Strategic design of the NCP 83

7.1.2 Adaptability and flexibility 83

7.1.3 Partnership building 84

7.1.4 Quality leading-edge science 85

7.1.5 Responsible research 86

7.1.6 Meaningful participation 86

7.1.7 Open and ongoing communication 87

7.1.8 Commitment of resources 87

7.1.9 Capacity building 87

7.2 Evidence of the success of the framework 88

7.3 Looking ahead 89

7.4 Summary of key points 89

7.5 Key references and suggested readings 89

7.6 Recommendations 90