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Partnership for Water Sustainability Annual Workshop Series

BLUE ECOLOGY WORKSHOP: A testimonial to Michael Blackstock – “The interweaving of First Nations cultural knowledge and Western science is long overdue,” wrote Eric Bonham


The Partnership looks forward to an on-going connection with Michael Blackstock as he advances the three bold action items of Blue Ecology Education, Blue Ecology Architecture and a Blue Ecology City project. As Michael noted, the education initiative is especially significant, particularly at the elementary school level, as this will serve the young student well in their later years, namely understanding the central role of water and respecting it not simply as a commodity, but rather the life force it truly is.

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Perceptions of Worth, Perceptions of Value: “Testing EAP through two demonstration applications resulted in this defining conclusion – EAP is a process, not a protocol,” stated Tim Pringle, Chair of the Ecological Accounting Process Initiative, when he reported out at the Blue Ecology Workshop (Nov 2017)


“Initially, we saw EAP as a tool (i.e. ‘the protocol’) that would help practitioners calculate the opportunity cost of balancing ecological services with drainage infrastructure. However, our thinking has evolved over the past year: EAP is a process, not a protocol. Thus, we are rebranding EAP as the Ecological Accounting Process,” stated Tim Pringle. “The term ‘Process’ more accurately describes the challenge of working with multiple stakeholders in order to accurately describe the ecological services made possible by the watershed hydrology.”

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BLUE ECOLOGY WORKSHOP (November 28, 2017): Download the PowerPoint storylines for all four modules


Blue Ecology is an ecological philosophy developed by Michael Blackstock, professional forester and scholar. Blue Ecology looks at the water cycle differently to interweave First Nations and Western thought. Michael Blackstock has a vision: British Columbia water managers would embrace the Blue Ecology water cycle; our communities would become more water-resilient; and we would successfully adapt to a changing climate.

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BLUE ECOLOGY WORKSHOP: “The ‘new normal’ is a recurring pattern of floods, droughts and especially wildfires. Impacts of wildfires on watershed hydrology in the Fraser Basin will be far-reaching,” wrote Kim Stephens in a co-authored opinion piece published by the Vancouver Sun


“For years to come, Fraser River water levels (high and low) and quality will be affected,” stated Kim Stephens. “At the mouth of the Fraser, the consequences of summer droughts and rising sea levels combine to impact river water quality while at the same time increasing the need for irrigation water. The Fraser River would be able to supply much of the water required for expansion of the total irrigated area. But delivering the water would require a huge investment in infrastructure.”

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BLUE ECOLOGY WORKSHOP: “Water is THE issue of the 21st century, both around the world and even here in Canada where we have more water than anyone,” wrote Bob McDonald, national science commentator for CBC Television, in a co-authored opinion piece published by the Vancouver Sun


“No longer is climate change a future scenario. It has happened more quickly than predicted. The real story is the accelerating rate of change, especially since extreme events create their own weather,” stated Bob McDonald. “As glaciers disappear and droughts become more frequent, it is vital, in every sense of the word to manage our most precious resource wisely. Actually adapting requires transformational changes in how we apply hydrologic understanding.”

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BLUE ECOLOGY WORKSHOP: Transformational program for raising awareness of Michael Blackstock’s vision for interweaving of Indigenous and Western thought is sponsored by Metro Vancouver Regional District, governments of Canada and British Columbia, and the Real Estate Foundation of BC


“Founded on a water-first approach to setting priorities, Blue Ecology is an ecological philosophy that looks at the water cycle differently to interweave First Nations and Western thought. It is is a message of hope,” stated Kim Stephens. “Interweaving is a collaborative process where apparently contradictory ways of knowing water, such as Western Science and Indigenous Knowledge, are brought together as coexisting threads to produce a new cooperative theory called Blue Ecology. “

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BLUE ECOLOGY WORKSHOP: “Metro Vancouver along with other local governments currently provide support to the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative and Partnership for Water Sustainability,” wrote Peter Navratil, General Manager, Liquid Waste services


“The Blue Ecology Workshop builds on previous initiatives undertaken by the Partnership and supported by Metro Vancouver. It is aligned with and supports Metro Vancouver’s Sustainability Framework and Board Strategic Plan.” wrote Peter Navratil. “The workshop would build community capacity and knowledge in the Metro Vancouver region. In addition, the workshop benefits Metro Vancouver and its members by fostering dialogue on sustainable watershed systems, asset management and climate change.”

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BLUE ECOLOGY WORKSHOP: “The BC Water Funders Collaborative is a group of funding organizations working together to facilitate the strategic use of collective resources to advance freshwater protection in British Columbia,” stated Jack Wong, Real Estate Foundation of BC


The Real Estate Foundation of BC is a sponsor of the 2017 Blue Ecology Workshop. “Water is central to ecological health and supports our communities and economies,” stated Jack Wong. “Land use and real estate practices have significant impacts on the quality and supply of freshwater. By using research, education, law and policies we can support sustainable land uses and promote freshwater governance to ensure that British Columbia has enough clean water to meet current and future needs.”

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Blue Ecology Workshop (November 2017) – An event to raise awareness of the vision for “Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management”, a program funded by the governments of Canada and British Columbia


“Successful implementation provincewide of ‘Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management’, would represent an evolution in how infrastructure is planned, financed, implemented and maintained in British Columbia,” stated the Hon. Peter Fassbender, (former) Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. “Work needs to be done today to ensure we have a secure water future. Benefits are long-term.”

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Blue Ecology Workshop (November 2017) – British Columbia Ministry of Environment is an event sponsor because the interweaving theme aligns with desired provincial outcomes


“Moving beyond traditional engineered infrastructure asset management to also account for nature’s services will help influence ‘standards of practice’ and represent a leading-edge evolution in how infrastructure is planned, financed, implemented and maintained in BC. The long-term success of the IREI program will be measurable when community development activities and alterations of the built environment result in cumulative benefits, not impacts,” stated BC Deputy Minister Wes Shoemaker.

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