Note to Reader:
The Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC mainstreams big ideas in a pragmatic way. Through an approach that is inclusive, we draw attention to leading thinkers and to ideas that would transform how communities tackle critical issues.
Held in the Okanagan, FLOWnGROW showcased three “big ideas” – Whole Systems Approach, Blue Ecology and Cathedral Thinking. These ideas were the threads that linked the workshop storyline from start to finish. Because he was both thought-provoking and inspirational, Michael Blackstock’s presentation on Blue Ecology was especially powerful.
Blue Ecology – another “big idea” whose time has come
The International Association of Hydrological Sciences accepted Blue Ecology into mainstream science in 2008. Their peer review gave Blue Ecology credibility and profile, but there has been little awareness in British Columbia of what Michael Blackstock has accomplished.
Looking ahead, in 2017 the Partnership for Water Sustainability aims to mainstream Blue Ecology in the local government setting. Blue Ecology is an idea whose time has come.
Blue Ecology aligns with the whole-system, water balance approach that the Partnership champions for restoration of watershed function within the built environment.
To Learn More:
Download Blue Ecology Practitioners Guide
Thought-Provoking and Inspirational
Michael Blackstock’s message truly resonated with the audience, namely the interweaving of Western Science and First Nations Cultural Knowledge.
The essence of Michael’s vision is ‘embrace a water first approach’ because water is a living entity. It is the sacred centre from which all other activities radiate.
Western science and Blue Ecology are truly partners. It is time the marriage was made official.
This was one of the most important take-away messages of the workshop. Indeed the Partnership has been saying something similar, but it is far more powerful and meaningful when it comes from Michael with his First Nations background.
To Learn More:
Michael Blackstock says….
“Hydrologists and water managers could also communicate complex climate change impacts to the public, using common sense terms.”
“Hydrologists and water managers can use the hydrological and Blue Ecology cycles to help explain how and why the climate is changing.”
“Water is a core human interest upon which we can build collaborative cross-cultural climate change strategies.”
“There is hope for future generations if we take a water-first approach.”
An Open Letter to the Next Generation
“You are probably now embroiled in a life-threatening ecological and social crisis, due to climate change,” wrote Michael Blackstock in providing his reflections on a takeaway message from FLOWnGROW.
“I sadly knew you would have little time to make informed urgent decisions. So I have done my best to prepare you by repairing a flaw in Western Science’s definition of water.”
“I created Blue Ecology, by interweaving the best threads of Indigenous and Western Science, to lay a new foundation, to make water-first decisions.”
“We have learned from our mistakes. We learned we are stronger together by interweaving our knowledge, to solve the incredibly complex and dynamic ecological problems you are now facing.”
“I did my best. You are now our hope,” concluded Michael Blackstock.