“If we are to control our destiny and create our future, then we need to challenge our fellow Vancouver Islanders to visualize what they want Vancouver Island to look like in 50 years. We have identified two desired outcomes in Convening for Action. We wish to influence Vancouver Island local governments to adopt Design with Nature as the preferred process of approving land development applications,” stated John Finnie,
“We create forums for the conversations that otherwise would not happen. We don’t talk only about water. We challenge our audiences, ‘What do we want this place to look like in 50 years?’ Because the decisions we make now about land development will ripple through time,” states Kim Stephens.
“CAVI is an innovative and precedent-setting approach to partnerships and
collaboration that brings together those who plan and regulate land use
(local government), those who build (developers) and those who provide the
legislative framework (the Province),” wrote Eric Bonham. Vancouver Island is the pilot region for rollout of ‘Beyond the Guidebook: The New Business As Usual’ with the adoption of an innovative approach to practitioner education.”
Creating Our Future – The New Business As Usual: “Visualize What We Want Vancouver Island to Look Like in 50 Years”
At each of three events, Eric Bonham explained how CAVI got started and provided insight as to why this bottom-up approach is resonating with local government and beyond. The goal is to promote networking, inform and educate practitioners, and help local governments move ‘from awareness to action’ in doing business differently.
“In 2002, a provincial group with municipal representation from four regions came together to form an Inter-Governmental Partnership. Champion local governments have made a sustaining financial commitment to ensure the success of the Water Balance Model,” states Ted van der Gulik, Chair.
Water Sustainability Committe provides program delivery for ‘Convening for Action on Vancouver Island’
“Convening for Action on Vancouver Island was launched in September 2006. A consultation workshop that was held as an adjunct to the “Water in the City Conference” in Victoria provided a timely opportunity to test and validate an approach that can bridge the gap between talk (interest) and action (practice)in advancing a water-centric approach to community development,” reported Kim Stephens.
BCWWA Water Sustainability Committee was the genesis for the “Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia”, an autonomous society
“The Partnership is the evolution of many initiatives around water sustainability in BC. The Partnership is building on and continuing the work that has gone on before under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan. Incorporating the Partnership as a legal entity is a natural outcome. This demonstrated record of collaboration is our strength going forward,” states Eric Bonham.
Real Estate Foundation establishes Water Sustainability Endowment Fund to support innovation and collaboration
“The Foundation has had a longstanding interest and involvement in water sustainability. We have provided core funding for the Water Sustainability Action Plan since 2005. So, a logical next step for the Foundation was to establish a Water Sustainability Endowment Fund in support of non-profit initiatives related to water stewardship. The income generated from this fund will support non-profit activities in water sustainability in the province of BC,”stated Karin Kirkpatrick.
Bringing passion and energy to everything he does, the ability of Kim Stephens to build relationships and partnerships with broad water stakeholders has resulted in a positive change to how practitioners understand the relationship between land-use and the true value of water.
Convening for Action in British Columbia has evolved into a ‘made in BC’ process for moving British Columbia practitioners from awareness to action. “Through outreach and education, the guiding vision is to influence land and water practitioners to learn about and use practices that better balance the necessary relationships of settlement activity and ecological assets in local and regional landscapes,” explains Glen Brown.