“Our objective in hosting the workshop was to raise awareness about ways to better manage rainwater runoff, maintain stream health and support watershed-based plans. The workshop introduced community members to a vision for Sustainable Watershed Systems and what it means to value watersheds as infrastructure elements," stated Barbara Frisken. “Breakout groups then identified possible community actions that can support a sustained focus on improving watersheds.”
“Blue Ecology is an ecological philosophy, which emerged from interweaving First Nations and Western thought. It is just a starting point in this new era of interweaving,” states Michael Blackstock. “Our children’s children will be faced with daunting, complex, and urgent environmental problems. The impending crisis requires us to begin to lay a foundation for our children’s children to have a starting point, and some options to grasp in the urgent moment. We owe them hope.”
"The journey to a water-resilient future starts with Western science acknowledging water for its central functional and spiritual roles in our world," states Michael Blackstock. "Blue Ecology has five guiding principles and aligns with the whole-system, water balance approach. Adoption of the principles – Spirit, Harmony, Respect, Unity and Balance - would move Blue Ecology from theory to practice, as an aid for water managers."
The Symposium will introduce participants to Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management. “The purpose of the Symposium is to build local knowledge and interest in how to apply eco-asset management principles at the local level,” states Tim Ennis, Executive Director, Comox Valley Land Trust. “The Symposium is very much about setting in motion a mind-set change. It is therefore essential that everyone steps back and sees the big picture.”
"Over the past year, we have improved the logic of the Ecological Accounting Protocol. In a nutshell, it is about specific values (pricing) - not imputed, generalized values," wrote Tim Pringle. "Since cost-avoidance, at least perceived cost-avoidance, motivates much of the decision-making process about infrastructure, and development in general, why has the obvious role of natural assets been omitted to date? The Ecological Accounting Protocol suggests it is the lack of measurement."
"At the dawn of 2017, the purpose of this article is two-fold: take stock of our progress in 2016 to inform and educate; and foreshadow where we may be at year-end," stated Kim Stephens. "Early uptake of the vision for Sustainable Watershed Systems has exceeded our expectations. There is clearly interest and an appetite to learn more. It is an idea whose time has come."
“As we learn more about what influences early salmon life history, stewardship groups are asking questions of their local governments about the linkages between small stream habitat destruction and land developments. Now, the scope of their involvement and influence is expanding beyond the creek channel," stated Peter Law. “Looking ahead, an informed stewardship sector may prove to be the difference-maker that accelerates implementation of the whole-system approach."
"The laws of physics provide a reality-check: the warmer the global temperature becomes, the more water the atmosphere can carry," wrote Bob Sandford. "The risk is that, until we stabilize the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, phenomena such as atmospheric rivers are likely to cause greater flooding and related economic damage widely - forever making sustainability and adaptive resilience a moving target. So what will we do?"
"Every author (who contributed an article to the October 2016 issue of Sitelines) has emphasized how intertwined the social and economic dimensions of our 'watershed assets' are with their ecological benefits. In his article, Kim Stephens draws parallels between made-in-BC solutions and those 'Down Under', noting cultural differences but the common need to adapt," explained Julie Schooling.
"Over time, the Stormwater Utility provides the City of Victoria with the capability to foster a watershed stewardship ethic and influence landowner actions on the ground for the common good. These outcomes can be achieved through education in combination with financial incentives. It is about connecting the dots," wrote Kim Stephens. "In the case of Victoria, the dream is a Water-Resilient Future. The City’s goal: use rain as a resource and mimic the function of natural systems."
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