MSSI Speaker Series - Professor Kai Chan


Redpath Museum Auditorium, 859 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3A 0C4, CA

Charting a New Path along the Environmental Policy Tightrope: Including and Rewarding Stakeholders without Giving Away the Farm

Professor Kai Chan

Whereas command-and-control approaches to environmental law and policy are out of fashion due to their alienating effects on stakeholders, neoliberal market-based approaches can also be critiqued for gifting rights without sufficient responsibilities, and for perverting stewardship norms and motivations. Is there another possibility? I argue there is, a relational approach that involves actively recruiting landowner and industry stewardship and agency, pursuing fairness and right relationships with stakeholders even at the expense of small-scale efficiency. At larger spatial scales and over longer durations, a relational approach may achieve both efficiency and effectiveness, safeguarding species while transforming the economy. I illustrate this through endangered species legislation and associated market-based tools like mitigation banking and so-called incentive programs.

Kai Chan is a professor at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. Kai is an interdisciplinary, problem-oriented sustainability scientist, trained in ecology, policy, and ethics from Princeton and Stanford Universities. He strives to understand how social-ecological systems can be transformed to be both better and wilder. Kai leads CHANS lab (Connecting Human and Natural Systems), and is co-founder of CoSphere (a Community of Small-Planet Heroes). He is a UBC Killam Research Fellow; a Leopold Leadership Program fellow; a director on the board of the North American section of the Society for Conservation Biology; senior fellow of the Global Young Academy and of the Environmental Leadership Program; a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists; Lead Editor of the new British Ecological Society journal People and Nature; a coordinating lead author for the IPBES Global Assessment; and (in 2012) the Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chair at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Kai on Google Scholar, ResearchGate.

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