A review of environmental mediation: theory and practice
Environmental mediation is a process whereby existing or potentially conflicting parties concerned with an environmental and/or land resource get together with a neutral third party to discuss their positions with regard to the resource. It involves bargaining, sharing of information, and ultimately compromising on original positions so as to achieve a solution acceptable to all parties involved. The final decision is in the hands of the parties. The outcome of mediation may or may not be an enforceable agreement. The aim is to achieve a 'win/win' or 'all-gain' outcome rather than the 'win/lose' outcome possible with the adversarial approach. The objective of this study was to investigate the circumstances under which resource management problems might be more appropriately resolved by mediation than by judicial determination. The approach adopted: (i) prepare an overview of environmental conflict in resource management decision making in New Zealand within a broad general framework, (ii) assess the ability of traditional judicial conflict resolution approaches to deal with environmental conflict, (iii) review international literature on environmental mediation, (iv) outline the mediation approach to conflict resolution, (v) identify United States and Canadian examples of mediated conflict within the framework in (i), (vi) identify essential elements that increase the likelihood of 'success' in mediation.... [Show full abstract]
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