On May 25, the morning after the EPP Conference, a small group of EPP members (and one spouse) rose early to take a run up nearby Sabino Canyon in honor of deceased colleague Rob Williams, who was a dedicated tri-athlete. Laura Sneeringer, recepient of the 2010 Rob Williams Award for Emerging Environment & Public Policy Leaders was among the group. It was a beautiful morning and a fitting way to remember Rob's love of endurance sports (click Read More for photo).
Congress has asked the National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) to analyze organizational options for establishing a Climate Service at NOAA. This study will be used to inform NOAA's ongoing work on this topic. A critical component of the Academy's study is to identify mechanisms to fully engage stakeholders that could be utilized by a Climate Service to effectively fulfill its mission. Everyone is invited to participate.
For 14 days, beginning on Monday, June 14th, the Academy will host an online dialogue to inform the study, which will be delivered to NOAA, Congress, and the public in September 2010.
Nuts and Bolts – Conflict, Violence, and Peacebuilding in the Coalfields: Confronting Mountaintop Removal
Mountaintop removal (MTR) has reduced energy prices and provided corporate income, employment in high-unemployment areas, and taxes to pay for schoolteachers and nursing clinics. It also has destroyed land and streams and divided families and communities. It also lays bare, in stark terms, choices conveniently ignored so that we can keep our current lifestyles.
One factor that makes MTR such an intractable issue is the perceived lack of other economic development options. Wendy Willis, Deputy Director of the Policy Consensus Initiative/National Policy Consensus Center (PIC / NPCC), and Frank Dukes, Director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation, University of Virginia, are partnering on a community capacity building initiative that seeks to positively navigate community and social change and engage communities to reach shared goals. This effort will not address the suitability of MTR, but will help local leadership increase their capacity to address conflict and polarization and examine other community development options.
This session invites participants to consider these questions:
Carri Hulet and Lucy Park will share lessons learned about building trust from their work on a collaborative policymaking process involving five private irrigation companies, four cities, and one county in a developing, but historically agricultural region of northern Utah.
Prior to the start of the collaborative process in 2008, trust between parties was at an all-time low. During the first year of engagement, the trust level grew substantially and the group made admirable headway on three major initiatives regarding storm water management. However, the focus of the project drastically changed in July, 2009 when one of the canals breached and flooded a home, resulting in the deaths of a mother and her two children. The emergency tripped the involvement of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and prompted a statewide debate on canal regulation.
In spite of having one of the best developed, most institutionalized systems of court-connected ADR in the country, Georgia has certainly been a late adopter of ECR. Only in the last 3 years has the state’s Environmental Protection Division (EPD) dipped its toe in the pool of stakeholder participation in policy making processes. However, this did not stop a large group of water stakeholders in North Georgia from undertaking a collaborative effort at monitoring and managing water at the watershed level. The Lake Allatoona-Upper Etowah River Partnership began meeting in the fall of 2003 and has accomplished Georgia’s first comprehensive watershed monitoring, assessment and protection plan. This group includes seven counties and three water and sewer districts. It has been partially sponsored by the US Army Corps of Engineers and has included input from stakeholders in numerous government agencies and civic groups (e.g. FWS, EPA, USGS, TNC, and others). This presentation will discuss the key factors that contributed to the creation and continuation of these efforts, in the absence of regulatory mandates to conduct work at the watershed level.
The EPP Leadership Council is proud to announce Laura Sneeringer as the recipient of the inaugural Rob Williams Award for Emerging Environment and Public Policy Leaders. Laura is a Collaborative Services Specialist with SRA International’s Environmental and Organizational Solutions Group in Denver, Colorado. Congratulations, Laura!
The award was designed to provide a developing practitioner with a platform to build relationships with peers in the field and become involved with EPP, hopefully creating a future leader in the Section and Association. Laura clearly expressed her commitment to the EPP field, as well as an ability and energy to identify a professional challenge and take action to address it in a positive way that builds bridges and betters the field. This is the essence of the award’s intent, as it was established in honor of the late Rob Williams, who devoted an amazing amount of energy and enthusiasm to enhancing the field and the professional development of its emerging practitioners. As the recipient of the 2010 Rob Williams Award for Emerging Environment and Public Policy Leaders, Laura will receive a:
"Trust in Allah, but tie your camel." - Muslim Proverb
Those of us in the dispute resolution field often talk about the resolution and management of conflict as a self-evident good. We continually refine our approaches and improve our skills in order to better help our parties work through conflict and find solutions. But one key element of the work that we do is often overlooked by conflict practitioners, or undervalued in terms of importance to the process: the element of trust.
Trust permeates almost every aspect of multiparty conflict resolution. There's the trust that the participants have in the process design, the trust they have in each other to participate in good faith, and the trust they have in institutions to abide by agreed-upon outcomes. There's also the delicate balance of trust the parties maintain regarding the facilitators tasked with managing the process -- which may fluctuate over time, sometimes very rapidly and unpredictably.
Mediate.com recently posted a series of short videos presenting insights from leading practitioners about different aspects of ADR practice. Examples of videos most relevant to the EPP section include:
- Juliana Birkhoff explaining how her dissertation demonstrates mediation is
in fact a field and that what is uniting among experienced mediators is
the concept of power.
- Greg Bourne talking about being a more directive mediator in public policy
and environmental disputes where the parties want to move forward as
quickly as possible.
- Gail Bingham sharing her views on how up-and-coming mediators should
start mediating from the very beginning, involving all the parties in an
assessment or diagnosis of the dispute.
- Susan Carpenter sharing the concerns she has for the field of public
policy mediation including training, use of concepts, and lack of
Click here to view the videos.
Thank you to Mediate.com for collecting and posting these thought-provoking videos.
I’m sitting in a great session at the ABA Dispute Resolution Section conference focused on public participation under the Obama administration. Panelists include Richard Reuben of the University of Missouri-Columbia, John Kamensky of the IBM Center for the Business of Government, James Fishkin of Stanford University, and Lisa Bingham from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.