Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Formal launch took place in a study session co-led by the Ministry of Environment at Annual UBCM Convention (Sept)
Forging Gold Medal Standards for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia
The formal rollout of Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Implementing a New Culture for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia commenced on September 27th at the 2010 annual convention of local governments, held in Whistler. The convention theme was Forging Gold Medal Standards in keeping with the Olympic spirit of the Whistler venue.
A pre-convention study session co-hosted with the Ministry of Environment was the setting for the presentation on Beyond the Guidebook 2010. The session spoke to the theme of moving communities forward, and equipping local governments with new tools and fresh approaches to the challenges of local government leadership.
Glen Brown and Ray Fung represented the provincial and local government perspectives, respectively, in delivering an integrated presentation to a packed study session (180 attendees). They spoke on behalf of the “convening for action” partnership that is responsible forBeyond the Guidebook 2010, released under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia.
To Learn More:
Download a PDF copy of the Integrated presentation by Glen Brown and Ray Fung at the 2010 UBCM Convention to view their PowerPoint storyline.
Convening for Action in British Columbia
“The 2010 UBCM Convention is took place in beautiful Whistler, BC. This is a place that is synonymous with high-level achievement. Now is the time to apply the momentum of these gold medal achievements to local governments success,” stated Harry Nyce, President of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities in his President’s Message to delegates.
“The spirit of collaboration and newfound bonds that we have fostered in 2010 are undeniably valuable. But without action, we cannot move our communities forward. This year’s Convention will offer an opportunity to…. take our goals, and forge them into tangible outcomes….and continue to build gold medal standard communities.”
Collaboration, Partnerships and Alignment
The Province of British Columbia has provided a ‘design with nature’ policy framework that enables local governments to build and/or rebuild communities in balance with ecology. A key message in Beyond the Guidebook 2010 is that the future desired by all will be created through alignment of federal, provincial and local policies and actions.
Regional Team Approach
“The philosophy behind the Action Plan is quite simple: bring local and regional stakeholders together where there is a desire and energy to make some form of change,” explained Glen Brown when he elaborated on the ‘regional team approach’.
“As we move forward with the Action Plan, it is making sure that we provide the people on the ground with the tools and resources that they need to help support action at the local level.”
“A top-down approach does not work. It is all about being bottom-up… that is to say, the regional team approach. When a community shows interest or a desire to move something forward, that is when we mobilize. The Action Plan purpose is to engage, listen, understand and support the local interests in moving forward. That is where we have been successful.”
Embracing Shared Responsibility Leads to Outcome-Oriented Actions
The case study experience presented in Beyond the Guidebook 2010 shows that a new land ethic is taking root in British Columbia. Changing the culture requires a process. This takes time to complete. There is no short-cut; however, lessons learned by those who have done it can help those who want to do it.
Ten Guiding Principles
Beyond the Guidebook 2010 synthesized a set of ten guiding principles that provide a framework for a successful local government implementation process. Ray Fung spoke to these principles in his part of the integrated presentation.
“There are a lot of times when we in local government like to blame or put on senior governments the responsibility to provide the framework for doing something…but there are things that we in local government can do. We need to choose to be enabled,” stated Ray Fung.
“So, what we mean by shared responsibility is that everyone has a role, and everyone can act…. all levels of government, developers, regulators, bureaucrats, consultants, planners, engineers…. we all have a role.”
Shared Responsibility Matrix
Shared responsibility is a foundation piece for Beyond the Guidebook 2010. The law and policy component of the Outreach & Continuing Education Program described in the document produced a decision support tool that was branded as the Shared Responsibility Matrix.
Between 2007 and the end of 2009, the Matrix evolved from a set of generic “what we would like to do” questions that were framed through the eyes of practitioners in local government.