Theme for Panel & Town-Hall Segment at Nanaimo Water Symposium: Community Empowerment & Sustainable Partnerships with Local Government

Note to Reader:

Adapting to climate change requires a paradigm-shift in how we perceive watershed worth and service land. The Nanaimo Water Symposium is designed to draw attention to power of collaboration, and especially to the good things that flow from local government and stewardship sector collaboration.

At the Symposium, the audience will be asked to reflect on this question in a town-hall session: How will communities ‘get it right’ through collaboration as land develops and redevelops?

Atmospheric rivers are likely to cause greater flooding and related economic damage widely

The Rhythms of Water are Changing in British Columbia

“Recently identified and potentially dangerous phenomena, such as atmospheric rivers, demand our full attention. The best known of these great rivers is the famous Pineapple Express,” says Bob Sandford, EPCOR Chair for Water & Climate Security at the United Nations University.

“Until we stabilize the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, phenomena such as atmospheric rivers are likely to cause greater flooding and related economic damage widely – forever making sustainability and adaptive resilience a moving target. So what will we do?

“To make the right choices moving forward, we must understand how and where the rhythms of water are changing. Then we can apply ecosystem-based understanding to adapt our practices to suit a changing climate.”

Why We Must ‘Get It Right’

The panel and town-hall segment is the program heart for the Nanaimo Water Symposium. Panel reflections on project experience set the scene for town-hall interaction. The over-arching theme is: collaboration is necessary for restorative development; and a ‘design with nature’ land and water ethic is key to ‘getting it right’ over time.

Success stories resulting from local government and stewardship sector collaboration are showcased. To inspire tangible and lasting action after the symposium, panel members paint a picture of what collaboration must look like in practice to truly achieve the vision for restorative development.

Convening for Action in the Regional District of Nanaimo

To engage the audience, the moderator poses this challenge: Communication, cooperation, coordination and collaboration – have you thought about the power of the 4Cs? When all four are in play for the greater good, it becomes possible to create a lasting ethic.

To stimulate sharing and learning about how communities will ‘get it right’ as land develops and redevelops, the moderator also poses this question: What beneficial outcomes would you like to see flowing from collaboration between local government and the stewardship sector in the Nanaimo region?

Once We Change Our Attitude, We Will Find the Path to Success

The panel lens is a watershed lens – restore watershed hydrology to prevent increased stream erosion, prevent increased risk of flooding, and protect aquatic habitat.

The panel session shines the spotlight on the role that the stewardship sector can and is playing in building trust and delivering outcomes through effective partnerships with local governments.

Panelists reflect on the value of ‘citizen science’ to educate the local community; and to provide an impetus for action to ‘get it right’ for the ‘common good’ at the local and/or provincial level.

The desired outcome: an audience that is informed, energized and inspired to become champions for restorative development and do what they can to make a difference.