Informing Change Through Outreach Presentations and Regional Events in 2005
Challenging Practitioners to Do Things Differently
The Convening for Action (CFA) initiative is informing change in British Columbia through implementation of an outreach and continuing education program (OCEP).
“This program has a number of elements. While the main focus is on events organized under the CFA umbrella, the program also includes making presentations at events organized by others. The significance of the latter category is that the collaboration process advances partnership-building and helps to promote a shared vision for sustainable use of water resources,” reports Kim Stephens, Program Coordinator for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for BC.
CFA was formally launched in February 2005 in Kelowna at a 3-day conference organized by the Canadian Water Resources Association and titled “Water – Our Limiting Resource” – Towards Sustainable Water Management in the Okanagan. In 2005, the Kelowna kickoff event was followed by four workshops organized specifically as CFA events. In addition, four outreach presentations were delivered at workshops and conferences organized by others.
2005 Regional Events
Regional events organized under the CFA umbrella in 2005 were held in Pentiction (April 2005), Surrey (May 2005), Vancouver (May 2005) and Victoria (June 2005). Briefly, these events are introduced as follows:
- The Penticton Workshop was organized as an adjunct to the Annual Conference of the BC Water & Waste Association; involved a partnership with Land & Water British Columbia; and was titled “Demand Management Strategies – Achieving Water Balance” – A Workshop on Dealing with Uncertainty and Managing Risk.
- The Surrey Workshop was keyed to collaboration with the Green Infrastructure Partnership; was designed to engage the Regional Engineers Advisory Committee (REAC) of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD); and was titled “Green Infrastructure: How Can We Help You Help Us”.
- The Vancouver and Victoria Workshops were part of a cross-Canada series of events sponsored by Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation; were built around visiting experts from Australia and Germany; and were titled “Rainwater Harvesting: A Two-Date Workshop Series on Thinking Outside the Pipe”.
2005 Outreach Presentations
Outreach presentations in 2005 were made at conferences and/or workshops held in Richmond, New Westminster, Burnaby and Abbotsford:
- Richmond: In March 2005, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities organized a conference on local government and environmental issues. It was titled “Integrated Environmental Management: Building Effective Partnerships”, and was held in Richmond. CFA was the focus of one of the concurrent workshops hosted by Environment Canada under the umbrella of the Georgia Basin Action Plan, and titled New Tools for Local Government Decision-Making.
- New Westminster: Also in March 2005, the Institute of Urban Ecology at Douglas College in New Westminster hosted “Let It Rain: A Conference on Managing Rainwater Runoff with Low Impact Development Methods”. This event was undertaken with a grant from the Vancouver Foundation.
- Burnaby: In May 2005, the scope of the CFA initiative was outlined to REAC as the first step in securing the support of City Engineers in the GVRD for the Water Sustainability Action Plan as a whole, and the Green Infrastructure Partnership in particular.
- Abbotsford: In August 2005 the Ministry of Environment, Department of Fisheries & Oceans, and the City of Abbotsford collaborated in organizing a “Workshop on Land Development on Sumas Mountain”.