Tian Qi Che, M.Sc.

B.E.S. Environment and Business (Honours, Co-op), Diploma in Environmental Assessment, University of Waterloo (2018); M.Sc. Renewable Resources, McGill University (2020).



Interests: Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Sustainable Development, Cumulative Effects, Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)


MSc. Thesis:





The traditional food system in Eeyou Istchee territory of Northern Quebec is essential for sustainable development in the region, offering significant social, cultural, and health value to the local indigenous Cree communities. With the number of large-scale natural resource development projects within the territory increasing over the past 50 years, so too have the stresses on wildlife populations, including habitat loss, degradation, and alteration, with implications for the local traditional food system. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a formal regulatory tool employed in Eeyou Istchee to assess the potential impacts of proposed development projects on Valued Ecosystem Components (VECs), such as traditional food species, to identify and mitigate negative impacts before projects receive approval. Cumulative Effects Assessment (CEA), as an important component under EIA, has been previously reported to be insufficient in the context of protecting VECs in Eeyou Istchee, with the quality of project CEAs often not meeting best practices standards. This thesis seeks to better understand the challenges and opportunities for enhancing CEA in Eeyou Istchee focussing on wildlife-specific VECs. It begins with a literature and policy review covering the regulatory frameworks associated with CEA and CEA-supporting functions in Eeyou Istchee to examine the institutional capacity to support effective CEA. While there are frameworks already in place to undertake CEA in the territory, many of the key supporting programs are either not in operation or are absent. One of the most crucial but underdeveloped CEA supporting functions is the absence of long-term regional wildlife monitoring programs to supply the baseline data necessary for CEA. Recognizing that many of the challenges identified relate to potential resource and capacity constraints of government agencies, the potential for more decentralized and consensus oriented multi-stakeholder approaches to wildlife monitoring is explored. Drawing on the concept of collaborative governance, an empirical case study is then presented using key informant interviews with policy actors involved with EIA in Eeyou Istchee, including government, non-government and private sector groups. The findings suggest that while Eeyou Istchee has the foundation to initiate multi-stakeholder collaborative governance in support of CEA, in order for it to be successful it will be important to pay close attention to both system context and the drivers for collaboration. Policy implications and future research directions are then identified.


Awards and Scholarships:

Graduate Excellence Award, McGill University (2018)

NSERC-CREATE Environmental Innovation Research and Training Program Graduate Student Stipend, McGill University (2018-19)



Che, T.Q. and Hickey, G.M. (2021). Assessing the potential for collaborative governance to support Cumulative Effects Assessment in the Indigenous Cree Territory of Eeyou Istchee, Canada. Journal of Environmental Management 298(15): 113444.