Implementing a New Culture for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia
Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Stories of those Leading Change in BC
Released in June 2010, Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Implementing a New Culture for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia describes how a ‘convening for action’ philosophy has taken root in British Columbia. It also provides a history of the grass-roots initiatives that led to incorporation of the Partnership for Water Sustainability as a not-for-profit society in November 2010.
The Partnership’s efforts over time in bringing together local government practitioners in neutral forums has enabled implementers to collaborate as regional teams. Their action-oriented focus has resulted in ‘how to do it’ examples that help decision-makers visualize what ‘design with nature’ policy goals look like on the ground.
People learn through stories. Beyond the Guidebook 2010 is a ‘telling of the stories’ of how change is being implemented on the ground in British Columbia. The practitioner and community culture is changing as an outcome of collaboration, partnerships and alignment. Changing the culture requires a process. This takes time to complete. There is no short-cut.
“It is a great resource, well written … Down to earth, and in line with what the Water Sustainability Action Plan speaks about… The new business as usual, connecting the dots and giving useful tools and road maps for success. It is an easy read, and captivating with the stories, quotes and pictures,” stated Kathy Bishop, Curriculum Chair for Leadership BC – Central Vancouver Island, when Beyond the Guidebook 2010 was released.
How to Achieve Desired Watershed Outcomes
Lessons learned by those who have done it can help those who want to move to a ‘design with nature’ strategy:
- Choose to be enabled.
- Establish high expectations.
- Embrace a shared vision.
- Collaborate as a ‘regional team’.
- Align and integrate efforts.
- Celebrate innovation.
- Connect with community advocates.
- Develop local government talent.
- Promote shared responsibility.
- Change the land ethic for the better.
What ‘Outcome-Oriented’ Means
“Systemic change is possible, as the case study experience in Beyond the Guidebook 2010 demonstrates, even in the complicated sphere of planning for use and conservation of land. It requires understanding and pursuit of holistic outcomes,” states Tim Pringle, Past-President of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC.
“Outcome-oriented planning is a problem-solving PROCESS. It is not a procedure. It is not a matter of applying a regulation or a checklist. Going through a process becomes talent development. Participants have to be committed to an outcome. To get there, they have to function as a team. It is the talent development process that enables development of outcome-oriented plans. It is very definitely a grounded process.”