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Convening for Action in the Vancouver Island Region

INTER-REGIONAL COLLABORATION: Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia lauds the contributions of Debra Oakman as a champion for water and watershed sustainability on Vancouver Island


When she was the Chief Administrative Officer of the Comox Valley Regional District, Debra Oakman was instrumental in helping to lay the foundation for the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education initiative – comprised of 5 regions within the Georgia Basin, exchanging ideas and information on water sustainability. This subsequently led to the recognition of the importance of sustainable water system delivery through asset management.

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FLASHBACK TO 2006: BC’s Green Infrastructure Partnership helped launch “Convening for Action on Vancouver Island” at the Water in the City Conference (held in Victoria)


“The Consultation Workshop held in conjunction with the Water in the City Conference provided a timely opportunity to test and validate an approach that can bridge the gap between talk (interest) and action (practice)in advancing a water-centric approach to community development,” stated Eric Bonham.

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EXPECTATIONS FOR DECADE #2: An announcement about the vision for ‘The Partnership on Vancouver Island – Leadership in Water Sustainability’


“Over the past decade, the ‘CAVI-Convening on Vancouver Island’ model has demonstrated what can be accomplished through collaboration, partnerships, celebration and a regional team approach,” stated John Finnie. “The stage is now set for achieving ‘economy, ecology and settlement in balance’. To launch Decade #2 of the initiative, CAVI has a new name: The Partnership on Vancouver Island – Leadership in Water Sustainability.”

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“CAVI” is moving forward under a new name – The Partnership on Vancouver Island: Leadership in Water Sustainability


“Water-centric thinking, planning and doing have become more than a vision. They are a reality on Vancouver Island and elsewhere in BC. CAVI was a driver in this accomplishment and demonstrated what can be done through partnerships and collaboration. Now, our challenge is to get the right cornerstone firmly set in the right place for the next levels of the initiative,” stated Derek Richmond.

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Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society Spearheads Groundwater Innovation in the Englishman River Watershed


“We are all truly fortunate to count Faye Smith as a fellow resident of Parksville Qualicum Beach,” wrote John Harding. “Smith, like other smart people who are truly working to improve our environment, relies on experts and science. And history. Surely, with the help of people like Smith and organizations like MVIHES, we are smart enough as a society to allow development AND protect fish habitat.”

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“How Managing Water Now…Will Shape the Future” – strong technical program plus tradeshow attract large crowd to “convening for action” workshop held in Victoria (Dec 2014)


Drawing from both the local government and irrigation industry sectors, the workshop registration total was 105. “The turnout from the irrigation industry in providing a strong tradeshow component is a clear indicator of the value that they saw in supporting the workshop. The strength of the technical program attracted an attendance from up and down the east coast of Vancouver Island, as well as from the mainland,” stated Karen van der Gulik.

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A Regional Team Approach: Four Local Governments Collaborate to Tackle Invasive Knotweed in the Comox Valley


Considered one of the world’s worst invaders, this hollow stem shrub (which resembles bamboo), can destroy fish and wildlife habitat, penetrate pavement causing damage to infrastructure such as roads, walls and drainage systems. “This is a great opportunity to work with our local governments region-wide to proactively implement the treatment of knotweed species,” said Edwin Grieve.

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FLASHBACK TO 2009 (video): Eric Bonham introduced an international audience to “Convening for Action on Vancouver Island” at the Resilient Cities Conference


“We are being bold in using the mantra: What do we want Vancouver Island to look like in 50 years? Rather than being guided by 3-year municipal and 4-year provincial government election cycles, we are saying….look 50 years out and backcast to determine what decisions we need to make now to create the future that we want,” stated Eric Bonham.

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“Bowker Creek Watershed Blueprint is a provincial game-changer,” Kim Stephens informs Capital Region elected representatives


“Bowker Creek is provincially significant and precedent-setting. It is also inspirational. In my 40-year career as a professional engineer, there is nothing that equals it. And the reason it is so important is that it gave the rest of us a vision of what can be. The experience of what this region has done is informing others, from Metro Vancouver all the way up to the Comox Valley,” stated Kim Stephens.

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