Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Environmental Studies (MES)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

D. Scott Slocombe

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This thesis investigates the ways in which oil and gas development priorities and concern for the environment are integrated within strategic planning and management frameworks, and how associated conflict is addressed, in a case study of the Yukon. Because substantial ground-based oil and gas activity is yet to occur in the territory, a thorough understanding of the institutions and institutional arrangements set to govern future oil and gas development is a valuable tool for gauging the capacity to integrate these priorities. Therefore, this thesis employs the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework to analyze the legislation, regulations, policies, and institutions involved in this process, and to identify present and emerging conflicts. In addition, three theory-based literatures in resource and environmental management (Integrated Management, Adaptive Management, and Conflict Resolution) are identified as pertinent to this topic, and are analyzed and discussed for their applicability and utility within the case study.

As development in the Yukon oil and gas sector moves toward more advanced and active stages, it can be assumed that local and regional scale conflicts will arise in response to pressures put on the environment. If the assumption proves true, then planners and decision-makers would be well advised to consider and incorporate strategic mechanisms which acknowledge and integrate multiple priorities as a means of addressing and reducing conflict. Because the oil and gas sector is currently in a formative stage in the Yukon, the present moment may be quite opportune for implementations of this sort.

Convocation Year