“Water is going to be the trigger for better land-use planning, so they go hand-in-hand,” says 2016 Land Champion award-winner


Award Recognizes Champions for Sustainable Land Use

The Real Estate Foundation of BC (REFBC) has named Deborah Curran, an environmental lawyer and educator, the 2016 Land Champion. The award recognizes the tremendous achievements of an individual who has worked to advance sustainable land use in British Columbia. Past Land Champions include Gary Runka, Carol Newell, Richard Hankin, Mark Angelo and Tim Pringle.

3_Jack-Wong_120pDeborah’s work is innovative, cutting-edge and highly practical,” said Jack Wong, REFBC CEO. “Over the course of her career, she’s helped to create legal tools like green bylaws and sample policies that can be used by local governments. Her work on watershed governance and on smart growth has informed decision makers and changed the way we think about development and sustainability. We are proud to name Deborah Curran the 2016 Land Champion.”

Curran, the recent Hakai Professor in Environmental Law and Sustainability at the University of Victoria, is a national leader in law reform, applied research and education. Through her work as co-founder of Smart Growth BC, acting executive deborah-curran_2015_120pdirector of the Environmental Law Centre at UVic and as a practicing lawyer, Deborah has established herself as a thought leader on sustainable built environments and freshwater governance.

Her current work, in partnership with the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance, matches indigenous water law with the framework of the new Water Sustainability Act.

How Land Use and Water Flow Together

“I am the ‘Land Champion,’ not the water champion. My interest in land is long-standing, and I have gravitated to water because I think water is going to be the trigger for better land-use planning, so they go hand-in-hand,” stated Deborah Curran in an interview by Chris Wood, Tyee Solutions editor.

“I’d make the bold statement that in the next 20 years, water will drive most decision-making — around land, around what industries can locate where, who can do what,”

“We simply will have less water…in the summertime in most communities. So climate will accelerate the sense of water shortage.”

To Learn More:

Download ‘Water Will Drive Most Decision-making’ in BC’s Future, Says Land Champion to read the complete interview in the Tyee.

(Photo: Bulkely River, BC / Hedy Rubin)