VIDEO: “Thinking Like a Watershed: Eco-Assets Explained” – benefits, challenges and ingredients for a successful program (March 2017)

Note to Reader:

The Comox Valley on Vancouver Island is facing a long list of challenges as more frequent and intense winter storms and summer droughts overwhelm engineered infrastructure and natural systems (that have been degraded over time by land use activities). It is feast AND famine! Now, the four local governments in the valley are facing a total cost approaching $200 million for proposed engineered infrastructure solutions to these problems.

On March 14-15th 2017, the 22 environmental and ratepayer groups comprising the Comox Valley Conservation Partnership hosted a symposium on the potentially powerful and cost-effective role that ecosystem services can play in an infrastructure strategy. After the Symposium, the organizers released the video below.

Eco-Assets Explained

“The stewardship and conservation sector has traditionally focused on habitat restoration and protection of lands with high ecological values,” stated David Stapley, Program Manager with the Comox Valley Conservation Partnership. “With cumulative impacts from climate change, urban and resource development escalating, these David Stapley_2009_120pgroups have now become community leaders in educating and supporting improved land use practices.”

“To address these escalating challenges, the Eco-Assets Symposium promoted measures that capture the value of ecological assets to address infrastructure and climate change issues by integrating them into land use planning and practice.”

Four Perspectives

The perspectives of four speakers who played prominent roles at the Comox Valley Eco-Asset Symposium are featured in the video:

  • Bob Sandford – keynote speaker for the public event during the evening on the day before the symposium; Chair for Water and Climate Security, United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health
  • Kim Stephens – keynote speaker on the day of the symposium; Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC
  • Emanuel Machado – Chief Administrator, Town of Gibsons
  • Michelle Molnar – Ecological Economist and Policy Analyst at David Suzuki Foundation

This video is part of the legacy of the event.

Three Questions for Bob Sandford

  1. What kinds of broad climatic changes should we expect to influence the Ecological Assets of the Comox Valley in the coming decades?
  2. What do you recommend communities such as ours do to build resiliency to those changes?
  3. How can protecting and restoring ecosystems help?

Three Questions for Kim Stephens,
Emanuel Machado and Michelle Molnar

  1. What do you think are the main benefits that an ecological asset approach can offer to local governments and the general public?
  2. What do you think are the main challenges in implementing an ecological asset management system?
  3. What do you think is the key ingredient to a successful program of ecological asset management?

To Learn More:


Bob-Sandford_Mar-2017_Comox Valley video

Kim Stephens_Mar-2017_Comox Valley video

Manny Machado_Mar-2017

Michele Molnar_Mar-2017_Comox Valley video