Mediation and Facilitation
Pacific Resolutions’ forte is mediation and facilitation of constructive and innovative solutions to seemingly intractable issues. Our systematic and structured approach proceeds through a sequence of critical steps that move all parties from determination of whether constructive problem solving is appropriate and feasible to implementing a mutually beneficial result.Our mediation and facilitation services cover the following steps which can be delivered as a package or individually.
Conflict analysis including:
- Issues that need to be addressed and their negotiability
- Parties – stakeholder mapping (interests, readiness, capacity etc.)
- Policy context – gaps, constraints, etc.
- Political context – destabilizing factors
- Identification of process design parameters
- Developing terms of reference, ground rules, workplan, representation models, broader public participation requirements
- Consulting with participants regarding process design
- Handling external communications and advising on media relations
- Preparation of materials for convening
- Initiating the process
- Facilitating agreement on the process design
- Providing training to orient the participants to the process and reinforce an effective interest based approach
- Facilitation of meetings
- Mediation of difficult issues
- Shuttle diplomacy
- Managing a rolling draft
- Working with parties together and separately (in confidence) to ensure issues, interests and key information is clearly understood and the full range of options is considered.
- Facilitating public communications and involvement including media relations
- Assisting with constituency communications and feedback
- Finalizing agreements – ensuring implementation requirements are addressed
- Designing ratification processes
- Facilitating and coordinating ratification processes
- Facilitating establishment of implementation mechanisms and processes
Assisting with the design of pragmatic monitoring and evaluation systems
Alternative Dispute Resolution
In addition to designing and implementing collaborative problem solving and negotiation processes Pacific Resolutions also provides other alternative dispute resolution services including:
- Assessment and design of alternative dispute resolution systems
- Arbitration services
The Department contracted the University of Victoria Institute for Dispute Resolution to conduct an independent public review of its consultation and decision making processes. Pacific Resolutions Directors and Associates provided project management and facilitation support to the initiative and drafted the final report and recommendations.
Member of UN Mediation Support Unit Mediation Stand-by Team. Responsible for assisting with the design and implementation of mediation processes supported by the UN. Principle focus is issues related to transboundary waters in addition to general mediation process design advice. Contract extended beyond the end of the Standby team mandate (April 2009) to December 2009 in order to continue to work with the MSU on a standby basis.
Retained by UNDP to facilitate a special meeting of foreign affairs representatives of countries that contribute to the Nile Basin Initiative.
Pacific Resolutions assisted in the development of a mutually acceptable approach and principles to resolving land and resource issues between the St’at’imc Nation and the Provincial Government. Multiple agreements and functional working relationships were developed. Ultimately negotiations resulted in a milestone agreement which included a land use plan decision, economic measures and a collaborative decision making process.
A Land Act Referral Framework was developed between the Integrated Land Management Bureau (ILMB) and the Wet’suwet’en Nation establishing a mutually acceptable process for consultation on Land Act Decisions.
Expansion of backcountry tourism operations in all regions of the province of BC is resulting in increasing conflicts between different types of tourism activities. Operators are required to develop joint use agreements to increase compatibility and sustainability where operations overlap. Pacific Resolutions was retained to mediate joint use agreements among highly conflicted heli-ski and backcountry ski operations in Golden, among snowmobile operations in Revelstoke, and among heli-ski companies, a cat-ski operation, a hunting guide operation and seven snowmobile operations in the Whistler area. Each of these negotiation processes resulted in agreement.
The Rountable consists of representatives of eight federal government agencies, academia, civil society and the extractive industries (mining industry, mineral exploration industry and oil and gas). Public meetings, facilitated by Pacific Resolutions, were conducted in which the Roundtable heard submissions from over 160 persons.
Forest Industry Associations, the IWA-Canada, and Contract Loggers’ Associations developed consensus recommendations, with the assistance of Pacific Resolutions, to amend to the Timber Harvesting Contract and Subcontract Regulation. These recommendations were adopted by the Provincial Government and the regulation was amended accordingly.
With support from Business Partners for Development, Placerdome Inc. engaged in consensus building activities at the community level in southeastern Venzuela. Key issues and initiatives included improvements to health care services and facilities development, domestic water supply in local communities and ongoing relations with the small mining operators. The negotiations resulted in agreements involving seven aboriginal and criollio communities, three levels of government, the military, a US based Foundation and Placerdome.
Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam are negotiating implementation procedures for the 1995 Mekong Agreement. Pacific Resolutions was retained by the Mekong River Commission Secretariat to facilitate negotiations regarding procedures for notification, consultation and agreement as well as water use monitoring.
The BC Ministry of Water, Air, and Land Protection convened facilitated multi-stakeholder discussions to develop recommendations on a grizzly bear recovery plan for the North Cascade region of British Columbia.
LRMP processes are multi-party round table negotiation processes that address land use issues over large areas of British Columbia. The issues are complex, involving environmental, social and economic variables such as protecting biodiversity and wilderness, while maintaining community stability and economic development opportunities. The processes employ facilitation, mediation and training to assist the parties in resolving these issues by agreement. The Okanagan Shuswap LRMP process reached agreement on their LRMP recommendations in September, 2000. The Lillooet LRMP reached multi-stakeholder agreement to conclude the LRMP on the basis of Final Offer Selection in 2000. Stakeholders coalesced around two options for recommendation to government that reflected an unprecedented degree of common ground. The North Coast LRMP retained Pacific Resolutions to assist in process design, convening and training as well as mediation and facilitation in relation to finalizing recommendations. The Central Coast LRMP Table reached Agreement with mediated support from Pacific Resolutions on an interim plan in March 2001 which resulted in suspension of an international market campaign against coastal forest products from BC and creation of several internationally significant protected Areas – notably the Spirit Bear Protected Area. This agreement was selected by Time Magazine as the “number one” environmental achievement for 1999. More recently, the Central Coast LRMP Process has reached a final Agreement which is now being considered on a Government to Government basis between the Province of BC and relevant First Nations.
The Conservation Investments and Incentives Initiative(CIII) is a joint initiative of the Province of British Columbia and a group of philanthropic foundations to ascertain the feasibility of using conservation based investment and financing instruments in coastal British Columbia. The initial phase of this initiative operated through a Steering Committee facilitated by Pacific Resolutions.
Pacific Resolutions was retained to mediate ongoing discussions between a major Canadian forest products company and an international environmental organization regarding a variety of conservation issues associated with the company’s operations throughout Canada. The parties have successfully dealt with a number of issues.
Coastal forest companies, the IWA-Canada, the Truck Loggers Association retained Pacific Resolutions to mediate discussions to resolve issues related to restructuring of the coastal forest sector.
Five forest companies (Weyerhaeuser, Norske Canada , Western Forest Products, Canfor and Interfor) and four Environmental groups (Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network and ForestEthics) are undertaking a joint initiative (the Joint Solutions Project) to support the development of an ecosystem based framework for forest management and planning on the central and north coast of British Columbia. Pacific Resolutions has played a key role in facilitating and mediating broad coastal agreements in highly conflicted areas.
Research programs within Agriculture Canada and the BC Provincial Ministry of Forests were in conflict in the Opax\Mud Lakes area near Kamloops. Local ranchers and BC Parks were also affected. A mediation process was implemented to resolve the issues by way of a long-term agreement among all parties.
Issues associated with implementation of a provincial regulation requiring streamside setbacks in urban areas precipitated a multi-party review of the implementation of the regulation. The review process was structured to produce both consensus recommendations as well as clear definition of the alternative perspectives of the affected parties.
Heli-skiers and snowmobilers are increasingly coming into conflict in eastern BC as a result of improved access and technological improvements to snowmobiles. Both activities support substantial business investments and opportunities as well as millions of dollars in local and provincial economic benefits. The conflicts undermine the quality of these different recreational experiences and threaten the sustainability of the related businesses and economy. The Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management retained Pacific Resolutions to mediate discussions between two major heliski operators and snowmobile representatives from Valemount. The mediation resulted in a comprehensive agreement between the parties which provides for spatial separation of the activities and joint investment in a Community Development Corporation to help develop the snowmobile industry in Valemount.
Khon Kaen University Institute for Dispute Resolution was retained by the Thai Government to facilitate discussions between officials from Thailand, Laos and Cambodia on energy issues. Pacific Resolutions was retained by the Institute to assist with the design and delivery of the process.
This initiative was a multi-stakeholder planning process to develop an integrated natural resources and environmental plan for the Nam Chuen watershed in northeast Thailand. Primary issues included: forest encroachment and degradation, lack of land title and poverty. The process required ongoing facilitation support and technical planning advice delivered in collaboration with a Thai consulting team. Consensus on the plan was developed and the process is now in the implementation and monitoring phase.
The Forum is a network of practitioners from eight southeast Asian countries that are committed to working together to increase their capacity to facilitate the peaceful prevention and resolution of conflicts in their countries and in the region. In collaboration with the Khon Kaen Institute for Dispute Resolution in Thailand and the University of Victoria Institute for Dispute Resolution in Canada, Pacific Resolutions convened the Forum and provided facilitation support for the discussions at the convening conference in September 1999.
A consortium of Government Energy Agencies and private Corporations constructed a natural Gas Pipeline from the coast of Myanmar to Thailand to deliver gas to a new gas plant in Thailand. Construction of the pipeline raised a number of issues including allegations of human rights abuses in Myanmar, environmental impacts at various locations, and local community impacts within Thailand. Protests against the completion of the pipeline were staged in Thailand. In an effort to initiate a collaborative effort to resolve key issues in Thailand, a representative of the Senate requested that the Khon Kaen Institute for Dispute Resolution meet with the various parties. The Director of the Institute requested that Pacific Resolutions join the mediation team to provide strategic advice. The Petroleum Authority of Thailand subsequently contracted the Team to convene a cooperative negotiation process amongst all parties.
Pacific Resolutions partnered with the Khon Kaen Institute for Dispute Resolution to develop and deliver a course in conflict prevention and resolution – building peaceful solutions to complex problems. This project was supported by Seafield, a CIDA funded initiative in Southeast Asia. This course was attended by 40 individuals from 10 countries in Southeast Asia.
Retained by the CIDA NREM project to provide facilitation support and technical planning advice to a multi-stakeholder strategic planning process for the Nam Chuen watershed in northeast Thailand. Primary issues included forest encroachment and degradation of a National Park, lack of land title and poverty. Consensus on the plan was developed in September of 1998.
Forest products companies and logging contractors, or logging contractors and subcontractors, employed Pacific Resolutions to resolve conflict issues under the Provincial Timber Harvesting Contract and Subcontract Regulation using mediation and arbitration.