The Role of Watershed Planning and Governance in Human Health and Well-being in the Credit River Watershed in southern Ontario
The role of watershed planning and governance is crucial in ecosystems health, and human health and well-being. This project particularly focuses on the assessment of the 12 human health and well-being indicators (identified in the governance stakeholders' workshop organized by CVC in collaboration with York University on November 6, 2014) and the identification of the roles of the governance stakeholders in monitoring these indicators. In this project, the indicators have been assessed in light of the information solicited through in-person and telephone interviews with the governance stakeholders working in municipalities, conservation authorities, public health agencies, not-for-profit organizations, community organizations and academic institutions mainly within the Region of Peel. The interviews were conducted using a semistructured questionnaire which comprised questions pertaining to the mandate of the organizations of the stakeholders with respect to human health and well-being, general benefits of measuring these indicators, specific benefits to vulnerable groups for measuring the indicators, weaknesses of measuring the indicators, and uses of these indicators for different purposes. The interviews' results identify the relationships between the indicators and partnerships among different stakeholders in monitoring or implementing these indicators. The results also impart that some indicators (e.g. % people using natural space) are hard to define and measure, some indicators (e.g. air quality index) can be employed at both local and provincial levels, some indicators (e.g. % imperviousness) are quantitative and cannot be easily understood by the general public, and some indicators (e.g. land cover change) are considered master variables and cannot be measured alone. The results also identify the need for defining natural and green spaces for consistent application of the indicators.