Note to Reader:
On March 14-15th 2017, the 22 environmental and ratepayer groups comprising the Comox Valley Conservation Partnership are hosting a symposium on spotlight on the potentially powerful and cost-effective role that ecosystem services can play in an infrastructure strategy.
To support the outreach and communication efforts for this milestone event, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia has produced a document titled Comox Valley Eco-Asset Management Symposium –Discovering Nature’s Infrastructure Potential.
Look at Development Differently
According to David Stapley, Program Manager with the Comox Valley Conservation Partnership, “The Comox Valley on Vancouver Island is facing a long list of challenges as more frequent and intense winter storms and summer droughts overwhelm engineered infrastructure and natural systems (that have been degraded over time by land use activities).”
“It is feast AND famine! Now, the four local governments in the valley are facing a total cost approaching $200 million for proposed engineered infrastructure solutions to these problems,” he reports.
“To address the long list of escalating challenges, the Eco-Assets Symposium will promote measures that capture the value of ecological assets to address infrastructure and climate change issues by integrating them into land use planning and practice.”
Moment of Truth for a Changing Climate
“The purpose of the Symposium is to build local knowledge and interest in how to apply eco-asset management principles at the local level,” adds 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. The climate is changing and the valley is at a cross-roads. An over-arching issue is the impact of various land uses on the natural water cycle.”
Sustainable Watershed Systems,
through Asset Management
“The Symposium will introduce participants to a whole-system, water balance approach for restoration of watershed health. Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management is based on this premise: natural watershed systems are infrastructure assets – we must manage and protect them as such,” states Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC. He is one of the keynote speakers.
“Starting in November 2015, the Partnership has presented the vision for Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management to an array of audiences in variety of forums and media.”
“Resetting the ecological baseline would take time, inter-generational commitment, and perseverance. This is the essence of ‘cathedral thinking’ which describes our BC vision for Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management.“
“The foundation for cathedral thinking is a far-reaching vision, a well thought-out blueprint, and long-term implementation.”
To Learn More:
Download Comox Valley Eco-Asset Management Symposium – Discovering Nature’s Infrastructure Potential to read the complete story.