Vancouver Island Water

The island is a demonstration region for the ‘regional team approach’. Communicate. Cooperate. Coordinate. Collaborate. Share resources and learn from each other. CAVI, Convening for Action on Vancouver Island-Leadership in Water Sustainability, started with a conversation in 2005. Formally launched in September 2006, and funded by government, the form of the initiative has evolved over the years. The program has demonstrated what can be done through partnerships and collaboration.

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COVID 19 PANDEMIC RESPONSE: Comox Valley 2020 postponed until October 20-21-22

“The directive from British Columbia’s Chief Medical Health Officer is to cancel events where more than 50 people would be attending. The anticipated registration for Comox Valley 2020 (CV20202) was trending to about 200. In light of that directive, the CV2020) has been postponed until October,” announced Paul Chapman, Chair of the Vancouver Island Water Stewardship Series, on March 16, 2020. “We are pleased to announce that the organizing team has secured venue dates at the Filberg Centre. These are October 20-21-22.”

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CAVI-CONVENING FOR ACTION ON VANCOUVER ISLAND: “In 2015, with past successes as a foundation and some fresh ideas to guide the way forward, the scope of CAVI as a regional initiative of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC was redefined,” stated John Finnie, Past-Chair

“It started with a conversation. In 2005 a group of similar thinking individuals, recognizing a need to balance economy and ecology with the increasing settlement on Vancouver Island, and the critical importance of water in that equation, gathered in Parksville to have a conversation about water sustainability on Vancouver Island. Within a year, that initial meeting evolved into a movement, Convening for Action on Vancouver Island – Leadership for Water Sustainability, known widely by the acronym CAVI,” stated John Finnie.

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DOWNLOAD PROGRAM BROCHURE for “Comox Valley 2020: Third Annual Vancouver Island Symposium on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate –– Climate Change, Collaboration and Landscape Restoration” (POSTPONED to October due to COVID 19 pandemic)

“In October 2020, the third in the series will further open eyes and minds as to ‘what can be’ – because the Comox Valley has emerged as an incubator region for provincially significant precedents. Collaboration, across sectors and among rightsholders and stakeholders, is essential in order for communities to: mobilize and respond effectively to the present climate emergency; reconnect hydrology and ecology; and demonstrate that restorative land development is attainable,” states Kim Stephens.

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WATER, PLACE & RECONCILIATION IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Our vision is to transform an eco-liability into an eco-asset in the heart of the K’ómoks Estuary,” states Caila Holbrook, Project Watershed’s Manager of Fundraising, Outreach and Mapping (Announcement #7, March 2020; register now to learn more at the COMOX VALLEY 2020 SYMPOSIUM – postponed to October due to COVID 19 pandemic)

“Pre-1950 aerial photographs confirm that Kus-kus-sum was indeed a forested streamside area in the K’ómoks Estuary with side-channels connecting it to the adjacent Hollyhock Marsh,” stated Caila Holbrook. ”The restoration process will include removing built infrastructure from the site, removing fill, re-grading the topography of the area, planting native species and removing the steel wall. Nature will come back; it is already trying to – as trees and salt marsh plants are poking through the 1 foot deep rebar-reinforced concrete.”

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WATER, PLACE & RECONCILIATION IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: Implementing Actionable Visions – Are you curious to learn what it means to collaborate to ‘stitch together altered landscapes’, and thus improve where we live? (Announcement #6, March 2020; register now to learn more at the COMOX VALLEY 2020 SYMPOSIUM – postponed to October due to COVID 19 pandemic)

“I am fond of the saying: If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together. This comes from the hiking world but is applicable to many aspects of life and to the unique challenges of adaptation in the face of climate instability,” stated Paul Chapman. “The truth of this adage is apparent when we come together to learn from each other’s water stewardship efforts, glean new ideas to take home from our gatherings and modify and apply in our home watersheds. Comox Valley 2020 promises new opportunities to build our community of stewardship.”

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A ‘ONCE IN A GENERATION’ WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY: “The International Year of the Salmon program has the potential to be a game-changer. It is not just about the fish; it is about humankind creating sustainable landscapes for people and salmon,” say Kim Hyatt and Peter Tschaplinski, the federal-provincial science duo who will inform, educate and engage participants in the finale module at the Comox Valley 2020 Symposium (Announcement #5, February 2020; register now to learn more at the COMOX VALLEY 2020 SYMPOSIUM – postponed to October due to COVID 19 pandemic)

“From an International Year of the Salmon perspective, large efforts of a very large mass of people around the rims of the North Atlantic, North Pacific and likely Arctic oceans will need to ‘come together’ for any real change to occur. From this perspective the requirement in an increasingly interconnected world is closer to ‘humankind’ than to a few of us in the local community. That said, it’s the sum of us in local communities that will move this closer to a humankind undertaking,” stated Kim Hyatt.

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COMOX VALLEY 2020 SYMPOSIUM ON WATER STEWARDSHIP: Series of articles preview the modules that comprise the program for a symposium on “Climate Change, Collaboration and Landscape Restoration”

Comox Valley 2020 is the third in a series on water stewardship in a changing climate. The Symposia Series is a building blocks process. Each builds on the last and points the way to the next. “Designed to paint a picture of the 2-day Comox Valley 2020 Symposium, a series of articles published by the Partnership for Water Sustainability during the period November 2019 through April 2020 delves into the details of the cascading program. The series is designed to inform and educate the reader about what to expect in individual program modules,” stated Kim Stephens.

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IMPROVING THE PROCESS OF IMPROVING PLACES: Should Storm Cunningham’s RECONOMICS be mandatory reading for Mayors, Chief Administrative Officers & Directors of Planning in cities and regions?

“I’ve spent the past 20 years leading workshops, keynoting summits and consulting in planning sessions at urban and rural places worldwide. All were focused on some aspect of creating revitalization or resilience.Most of those events had other speakers who recounted their on-the-ground efforts and lessons learned. I’ve thus spent the past two decades researching commonalities: what’s usually present in the successes, and what’s usually missing in the failures? I’ve boiled it down to six elements. Each of them individually increases the likelihood of success,” explained Storm Cunningham.

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STITCHING TOGETHER AN ALTERED LANDSCAPE: “An ‘Actionable Vision’ translates good intentions into practices on the ground. It is driven by leadership that mobilizes people and partnerships, a commitment to ongoing learning and innovation, and a budget to back it up,” states Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability (Announcement #4, February 2020; register now to learn more at the COMOX VALLEY 2020 SYMPOSIUM – postponed to October due to COVID 19 pandemic)

“Water-centric programs underway in the Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo and Capital regions are foundation pieces for stitching together an altered landscape. Are you aware of the scope, scale and interplay of an array of initiatives and programs underway on Vancouver Island? Do you wonder whether and how these initiatives and programs are making a difference? Join us for a facilitated panel conversation complete with audience interaction segments. An inter-regional team will share and reflect on successes, challenges and lessons learned over the past decade in their regions,” stated Kim Stephens.

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KUS-KUS-SUM RESTORATION ON THE COURTENAY RIVER: “It’s an exciting opportunity to return an industrial site to its former natural state, while also honoring the historical presence of the K’ómoks First Nation,” stated MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard in April 2019 when she welcomed $1 million in provincial funding to support transformation of Kus-kus-sum into wetland habitat

A historic milestone in reconciliation and intergovernmental relations has taken place in the Comox Valley. A First Nation, a municipality and an environmental non-profit have signed an MOU to collaboratively purchase, restore and manage a key property in the heart of their community. “It is a huge win for everyone involved in bringing Kus-kus-sum forward, and for the Comox Valley as a whole,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard. “The project team knocked on my door when I took office and I am pleased that the province is providing this funding for such a complex and inspirational initiative.”

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NATURAL ASSETS AS ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS & SERVICES: “MNAI and EAP – it is great that we have two initiatives in British Columbia that focus on the role of natural assets in supporting quality of life and property enjoyment,” stated Emanuel Machado, CAO, Town of Gibsons (Announcement #3, January 2020; register now to learn more at the COMOX VALLEY 2020 SYMPOSIUM – postponed to October due to COVID 19 pandemic)

“Ecological systems play a fundamental role in a local government’s ability to deliver services to its residents and businesses. Yet the ecological services provided by natural assets are not fully measured or appreciated for their role in supporting municipal infrastructure and property enjoyment. Municipal natural asset management provides a roadmap and tools to incorporate ecosystems services into on-going asset management efforts,” stated Emanuel Machado.

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VANCOUVER ISLAND SYMPOSIA SERIES ON WATER STEWARDSHIP IN A CHANGING CLIMATE: “The Symposia Series is a building blocks process. Each event builds on the last and points the way to the next,” states Paul Chapman, Series Chair

The rhythms of water have changed faster than climate scientists had anticipated: winters are warmer and wetter; summers are longer and drier. “The symposium format provides a neutral forum for local elected representatives, local government staff, stewardship groups and others to ‘convene for action’ to improve where we live,” stated Paul Chapman. “The Symposia programs are built around success stories – inspirational in nature, local in scale, and precedent-setting in scope and outcome. In short, these precedents can be replicated and/or adapted in other communities.”

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