“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. We intend to facilitate the move from awareness to action in changing the way that land is developed and water is used on Vancouver Island,” stated John Finnie,
“You have to create forums for the conversations that otherwise would not happen,” he says. “You can call a meeting and have people sit around the table, but if they’ve all got their official hats on, you don’t get very far. Creating a situation where you can have a candid conversation is important. “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,” stated Kim Stephens.
“CAVI is an innovative and precedent-setting approach to partnerships and collaboration that brings Together those who plan and regulate land use, those who build and those who provide the legislative framework,” 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. This provincial initiative builds on the foundation provided by ‘Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia’, published in 2002, and incorporates further lessons learned over the past 6 years.”
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. “Early support and sustaining financial support by champion local governments that are Water Balance Model Partners was a foundation block in a building process that has culminated in formation of the Partnership as a legal entity.”
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. “The goal is to educate stakeholders on how to implement a Design with Nature approach to community development. Because how we develop land determines how we use water and how water runs off the land.”
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,” stated Eric Bonham. “We can cross regional boundaries with comfort and draw players together for the benefit of the whole, and as a result, encourage an inclusive sustainability vision for Vancouver Island and beyond.”
Real Estate Foundation establishes Water Sustainability Endowment Fund to support innovation and collaboration
“The REFBC has had a longstanding interest and involvement in water sustainability. We have provided core funding for the Water Sustainability Action Plan since 2005. In addition to our funding role, we have played an active part in programs implemented under the Action Plan umbrella, notably Convening for Action on Vancouver Island. 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. This endowment will support projects which demonstrate the values of the REFBC’s Land Award,”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. He specializes in public policy and integration of perspectives as they relate to urban watershed planning and application of decision support systems, and has had a leadership role in a series of Provincial initiatives in British Columbia related to water sustainability, rainwater management, green infrastructure, and smart development.
The Water Sustainability Action Plan is being delivered through partnerships and regional pilot projects and programs. Convening for Action program 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.