UNBC to manage $2M research project

UNBC will lead a $2 million national research project over five years that sees a team of more than 60 people exploring the impact of resource development on health, environment and community specifically on rural, remote and indigenous communities.

There are many groups involved in the project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) including representatives from Northern Health, Aboriginal Environmental Health, as well as the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, Alberta's Battle River Watershed Alliance, the New Brunswick Environmental Network and the First Nations Health Authority, which will work together under the name of the ECHO Network (Environment, Community, Health Observatory).

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"Our research team will be looking at the impacts of resource development as a whole, including health, community and environmental considerations," said Dr. Margot Parkes.

Parkes is the team leader, a health sciences associate professor at UNBC and Canada Research chair in health, ecosystems and society.

"Exploring ways to work together across sectors and jurisdictions is a key part of this project, as well as working with research partners from across Canada and other parts of the world."

The ECHO Network will create tools and methods to detect and prevent effects on health, communities and the environment where resource-based industry is located.

Taking information learned from impact assessments and those who share experiences, research will look at improving responses to what can happen when it comes to resource development.

Parkes said there will be ongoing reports made public as processes are developed throughout the five years of the project.

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