Evaluating Social-Ecological Resilience of an Urban Forestry Coalition: Trees for Life
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Meeting observations, literature review, document analysis, and Delphi surveying are used within a “mixed methodology” to tease out emerging patterns of thought in an effort to provide an urban forestry coalition, “Trees for Life” with critical information that could be used to help shape future projects. The purpose of this research is to identify key themes to help direct future Trees for Life (TFL) projects, and to also recognize stakeholders and possible new players to establish more productive partnerships within the coalition. Specific barriers that impede the success of TFL are also outlined. Ecological degradation of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) watershed continues, despite the many initiatives carried out by the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) to protect and conserve ecosystem health. Social change is critical in addressing this issue. The TFL coalition is an umbrella group beneath Green Infrastructure Ontario (GIO), another coalition working towards establishing green infrastructure technologies and practices as required components of urban planning and development to address ecological degradation. This coalition is overseen by a steering committee that includes TRCA. The overarching goal of TFL is to increase tree canopy cover in the GTA to 40%. The TFL is comprised of several urban forestry groups, each with unique roles and perspectives, but all striving to achieve the 40% goal. This research will help TFL to build adaptive capacity and may lead to the adoption of adaptive environmental management techniques. Ultimately, this study will provide some valuable insight into TFL and other programs involved with enhancing social-ecological resilience of the TRCA and the GTA.