REPORT ON: “Water – Choosing Sustainability for Life and Livelihoods: Convening for Action in British Columbia” (Water Sustainability Action Plan, September 2006)

Note to Reader:

In May 2005, the Green Infrastructure Partnership organized a Consultation Workshop with local governments in the Metro Vancouver region. The workshop solicited feedback and input on the development of Communication Guides for elected officials and senior managers, respectively.

The workshop set in motion a chain of events. One outcome was a decision to have one-on-one conversations with an ‘ad hoc mayors and chairs focus group’ that had representation from three regions. By listening to what elected officials had to say, this provided an informed basis for framing how to move forward with changes in the way we develop land and use water in British Columbia


Focus Group Views on Settlement, Economic Growth and Designing with Nature

“In September 2006, the Green Infrastructure Partnership and BC Water Sustainability Committee released Water – Choosing Sustainability for Life and Livelihoods: Convening for Action in British Columbia. When it was published, the report was viewed as a prelude to developing a Green Infrastructure Communication Guide for Elected Officials. The vision for such a Guide was that it would fill a gap because what had been lacking was written information on green infrastructure from the perspective of elected officials, for elected officials,” recalled Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia. He was the report author.

“The report distils what we learned through interviews of five elected officials who comprised the Ad Hoc Mayors and Chairs Focus Group. Convening for action starts with a conversation. So we had conversations with a diverse group of individuals to ‘connect the dots’ so that we could begin to create a picture of what ‘Communities in Balance with Water’ means on-the-ground.

“We developed a ‘conversation template’ that guided interviews with these elected officials. It comprised a set of five questions that drilled down from high level to ground level. The questions were open-ended. Their answers influenced the line of follow-on questions. The interview process yielded insights that we believed would help us determine how we could be clear and compelling in conveying key messages in the proposed Communication Guide.”

To Learn More:

Download Water – Choosing Sustainability for Life and Livelihoods: Convening for Action in British Columbia to read about the conversations that Kim Stephens had with members of the Ad Hoc Mayors and Chairs Focus Group, and the insights that they shared with him.