1st IN A SERIES – BLEND SERVICES FROM NATURE WITH ENGINEERED SOLUTIONS: Quotable Quote – “While we can’t put a price on nature, we can put a cost to ruin it”

At the World Forum on Natural Capital held in Scotland last November, Emanuel Machado shared the story of the Town of Gibsons Eco-Asset Strategy with an international audience. “The World Forum brought together government, business, science and academic leaders from 46 countries to discuss the most up-to-date developments on this rapidly evolving field, with a focus on risk management and innovation,” reports Emanuel Machado, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Gibsons. “After two exciting days, I walked away with a sense that we in Canada, and BC in particular, are heading in the right direction and, perhaps, even leading in some ways. In terms of how best to address natural capital in the context of cities and urban areas, Canada is ahead of the game.”

Introducing Salmon-Safe BC

Salmon-Safe certification provides a seal of approval that land and water management practices implemented across the entire site protect water quality and habitat for salmon and other native species. “Salmon-Safe is now active across the entire Pacific Northwest region with more than 38,000 hectares of urban and agricultural land certified from Northern California to British Columbia. Following introduction to BC in 2011, Salmon-Safe has certified more than 45 agricultural properties and recently in 2015 certified the first urban site in BC – the Mountain Equipment Co-Op (MEC) Head Office in Vancouver,” stated Naomi Robert.

Watershed Health: game-changers enable local government action in BC

The Province of British Columbia has long recognized that communities are in the best position to develop solutions which meet their own unique needs and local conditions. Furthermore, the emphasis in BC is on progressing towards a desired outcome. Three landmark initiatives came to fruition in 2014. All embody the enabling philosophy. "Looking into the future, collaboratively developed Water Sustainability Plans can integrate water and land use planning and can be combined with other local, regional or provincial planning processes to address water-related issues. “The scale and scope of each plan – and the process used to develop it – would be unique, and would reflect the needs and interests of the watersheds affected," states Jennifer Vigano.

Guide to Water-Wise Land Development in the Comox Valley

The Joint Staff Training Workshop held in December 2015 commenced the internal rollout of the Water-Wise Guide in each of the partner jurisdictions – Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD), City of Courtenay, Town of Comox and Village of Cumberland. “Collaboration is an important part of ‘developing water wise’. And collaboration with the stewardship sector is crucial,” stated Jack Minard, (former) Executive Director of the Comox Valley Land Trust. “Community stewards have the long-term knowledge of how a watershed is functioning on the ground. They know and understand the whole watershed. Collaboration with stewardship groups can save local governments and developers money both in the short term and long term.”