Convening for Action in the Comox Valley Region of Vancouver Island
The Comox Valley is demonstrating a ‘regional team approach’ because a convergence of interests has created an opportunity for all the players to set their sights on the common good, challenge the old barriers of jurisdictional interests, and make water sustainability real.
The paradigm-shift is being accomplished through annual Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series, the first of which was hosted by the City of Courtenay in 2008. The regional team approach was an outcome of that series.
Regional Team Approach
The regional team approach is founded on partnerships and collaboration; and seeks to align actions at three scales – provincial, regional and local. The term ‘regional approach’ has been part our vocabulary for a generation or more, but it has never resonated the way ‘regional team approach’ has resonated in the Comox Valley. The core members of the regional team comprise:
City of Courtenay
Town of Comox
Village of Cumberland
Comox Valley Regional District
Comox Valley Land Trust
Participating agencies and organizations include:
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC
In November 2010, the four local governments and the Comox Valley Land Trust decided that the time had come to brand their collaboration as the CAVI-Comox Valley Regional Team. This decision recognized their relationship within the over-arching Convening for Action on Vancouver Island (CAVI) initiative.
Leadership in Water Sustainability
The Comox Valley is a case study on how to meet the targets and commitments in Living Water Smart. In April 2011, the British Columbia Water & Waste Association (BCWWA) awarded the second Leadership in Water Sustainability Award to the CAVI-Comox Valley Regional Team.
“The major outcome from this initiative has been the demonstrated effectiveness of the regional team approach, a model that has broad application potential throughout Vancouver Island and beyond,” observes Eric Bonham, a founding member of the CAVI Leadership Team and a former Director in the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Municipal Affairs.
“It demonstrates that when the parties reach for a common vision and work through their jurisdictional differences it is possible to accomplish mutual goals and implement sustainable practices within an overriding watershed context.”
To Learn More:
The story of the CAVI-Comox Valley Regional Team is told elsewhere on this community-of-interest. Click on the links below to read about the annual Learning Lunch Seminar Series.
- 2008 – Change the Way We Develop Land to Protect Stream Health and Create Liveable Communities
- 2009 – Getting Ahead of the Wave: An Integrated Watershed Approach to Settlement
- 2010 – Comox Valley Developers Dialogue
- 2011 – A Regional Response to ‘Infrastructure Liability’: Collaboration, Adaptation and Risk Management
During the period 2008 through 2011, the series were open to all. In 2012, however, the process was an internal one. The goal was to move from awareness to action. An outcome was a Draft Landowners Guide for Water-Wise Development in the Comox Valley. The 2012 Series contributed to the ‘proof of approach’ for the Inter-Regional Education Initiative involving four regional districts on Vancouver Island.