COVID-19 PANDEMIC / WORDS OF WISDOM FROM THE WORLD’S TOP FISHERY SCIENTIST: “We transform the world, but we don’t remember it. We adjust our baseline to the new level, and we don’t recall what was there,” states Dr. Daniel Pauly when he explains the Shifting Baselines Syndrome, a term that he coined for an essay in 1995, and that helped to start the field of historical ecology

These are challenging and life-altering times as all of us cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. In a very real sense, the situation parallels how it must have felt in 1940 when WW2 changed everything. Our COVID-19 response proves British Columbians can mobilize in a common cause when confronted with a life-altering emergency that impacts all. Viewed in this context, Dr. Daniel Pauly offers timely words of wisdom for “bending the curve” in the years and decades ahead to achieve ecological restoration and, in the process, adapt to a changing climate. When there is a will, there is a way. Keep calm and carry on.

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FLASHBACK TO 2011 AND THE VANCOUVER ISLAND ECONOMIC SUMMIT: “We have moved beyond continuing education solely for the purpose of professional development. We are exploring what implementation of regional policy means on the ground,” stated Glen Westendorp at a pre-summit forum about the unfunded infrastructure liability as a driver for sustainable service delivery

Comox Valley local governments are aligning efforts, building leadership capacity and striving for consistency. “The four Comox Valley local governments and the Comox Valley Land Trust are ‘convening for action’ around a water-centric approach to land development,” stated Glenn Westendorp. “All those involved in land development have a role to play in achieving Sustainable Service Delivery. The players include land use and infrastructure professionals.”

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FLASHBACK TO 2010: “Implementing a New Culture for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia” – rollout of the second in the Beyond the Guidebook Series of guidance documents commenced with a presentation to elected representatives at Union of BC Municipalities Convention

“We will use this coming together of BC's local leaders to share and learn from each other's experiences, and gain ideas to move our own communities forward,” said Harry Nyce. “The spirit of collaboration and newfound bonds that we have fostered in 2010 are undeniably valuable. But without action, we cannot move our communities forward. This year’s Convention will offer an opportunity to…. take our goals, and forge them into tangible outcomes….and continue to build gold medal standard communities.”

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DOWNLOAD: Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate – Vancouver Island Symposia Series At a Glance (released January 2020)

The first two symposia were held in Nanaimo (2018) and Parksville (2019), respectively. The third is in the Comox Valley (2020). “The Symposia programs are built around success stories – inspirational in nature, local in scale, and precedent-setting in scope and outcome. In short, these precedents can be replicated and/or adapted in other communities,” stated Paul Chapman. “The symposium format provides a neutral forum for local elected representatives, local government staff, stewardship groups and others to ‘convene for action’ to improve where we live.”

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LEGACY DOCUMENT: Re-Cap and Reflections on Parksville 2019, second in the Vancouver Island Symposia Series on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate (released October 2019)

Close to 200 delegates came from far and wide to participate in the Parksville 2019 Symposium, the second in the symposia series. “Thank you so much for the immense amount of work you do to protect ecosystem services and teach us all about taking responsibility. The Vancouver Island symposium on water stewardship was so inspiring and informative. It was a wonderful experience. I left Parksville feeling hopeful,” stated Councillor Laura Dupont, City of Port Coquitlam.

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FLASHBACK TO 2006: “The Convening for Action initiative creates an opportunity to turn ideas into action,” stated Erik Karlsen in a magazine article about the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia, and published by Construction Business

The Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia provides a partnership umbrella for an array of on-the-ground initiatives. “We are building on the successful precedent that the former Ministry of Water, Land & Air Protection established in 2002 when the Ministry published . The Guidebook set in motion a chain of outcomes that has resulted in British Columbia being recognized internationally as a leader in implementing a natural systems approach to rainwater management in the urban environment,” stated Erik Karlsen.

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