Dalhousie Law Journal


Compass and Gyroscope, environment, Kai Lee, sustainability, development, Nova Scotia, Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, management


In his landmark 1993 book entitled Compass and Gyroscope: Integrating Science and Politics for the Environment, Kai Lee outlined the need for stronger processes in support of sustainable development. The science of adaptive management and the politics of principled negotiation were offered as the most promising approaches. The author uses these concepts to evaluate the process used to develop Nova Scotia's natural resources strategies of August 2011, specifically the forest strategy following the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act. The findings show that, by comparison with similar policy-development processes used elsewhere in Canada, the Nova Scotia process lacked both foresight (drawing on adaptive management) and stakeholder consensus (drawing on principled negotiation). The author advocates for stronger analytical and political strategic processes in future policy development in the province.