“Beyond the Guidebook 2015 introduces Dr. Daniel Pauly’s Shifting Baseline Syndrome to explain why communities unwittingly accept incremental and cumulative environmental degradation. It then adapts this thinking to focus on how communities can turn the clock back to replicate desired conditions. This outcome would be achievable through an approach that is being branded as Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management,” explains Kim Stephens.
Shifting Baseline Syndrome refers to a gradual change in the accepted norm for ecological conditions. “Every generation will use the images that they got at the beginning of their conscious lives as a standard and will extrapolate forward. And the difference then, they perceive as a loss. But they don’t perceive what happened before as a loss. You can have a succession of changes. At the end you want to sustain miserable leftovers. And the question is, why do people accept this?,” stated Daniel Pauly.
In BC, a ‘learn-by-doing’ process is opening minds and building confidence that communities can re-set the ecological baseline and can replicate a desired watershed condition. According to Kim Stephens: “The Guidebook vision is that community development activities and further alteration of the Built Environment will result in cumulative benefits, not impacts. In 2002, the Guidebook identified a path forward for local governments.”
The pioneer work of Richard Horner and Chris May provided a reason and a starting point for revisiting urban hydrology in BC.“So many studies manipulate a single variable out of context with the whole and its many additional variables,” states Horner, an adjunct professor at the University of Washington. “We, on the other hand, investigated whole systems in place, tying together measures of the landscape, stream habitat and aquatic life.”
Beyond the Guidebook 2015: "This is a true gift to everyone, individually and writ large," says Erik Karlsen
“This is superlative work. It records so much in visual and conversational ways that everyone who reads it will see how changes are informed and guided towards collaborative action to achieve real results. You have connected the dots enabling those who were part of the stories to see how they have contributed in so many meaningful ways for themselves and their communities of place and practice,” stated Erik Karlsen.