MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: “Parksville 2019 attracted an audience balanced across sectors; demonstrated the power of collaboration between the stewardship sector and local governments; and created an environment for sharing and cross-fertilizing experiences,” stated John Finnie
Note to Reader:
On April 2-3-4, the City of Parksville was the setting for the second in the annual Vancouver Island symposium series on water stewardship in a changing climate. Co-hosted by the Partnership for Water Sustainability, Nanaimo & Area Land Trust (NALT) and the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society (MVIHES), the 3-day event was a watershed moment.
For a re-cap and a synopsis of the eight modules comprising the symposium program, as well as three featured “stories behind the stories”, click on Do You Wonder About the Outcomes Flowing from the Parksville 2019 Symposium?
Embracing Shared Responsibility: Top-Down & Bottom-Up Governance is the New Model for Doing Business Differently
“Parksville 2019 demonstrated that a group of 200 biologists, planners, engineers, streamkeepers, politicians, administrators, students and others, all with different backgrounds and responsibilities, can share a common learning experience and agree on strategies for water and land stewardship, and stream restoration. Truly a magical experience. The stage has been set for more and better things to come. Stay tuned,” concluded John Finnie, Chair of the Parksville Symposium Organizing Committee.
Reflections on What was Accomplished at Parksville 2019
The collaborating organizations set out to achieve three objectives: attract an audience balanced across sectors; demonstrate the power of collaboration between the stewardship sector and local governments; and create an environment for sharing and cross-fertilizing experiences. Mission accomplished!
Five inter-related topics caught the attention of delegates
The Parksville 2019 Symposium confirmed the possible “wins” for both the environment and local government when stewardship groups and local government collaborate effectively on community water initiatives. Five inter-related topics caught the attention of delegates:
- First, the stewardship sector is now in for the “long haul” and is no longer regarded as peripheral in making a difference. When 40% of the attendance is from the stewardship sector, it speaks volumes to their role as “agents of change”.
- Secondly, Citizen Science has brought together the passion of community volunteers with practical “hands on” field training programs.
- Thirdly, Parksville 2019 demonstrated partnerships in spades. The combination of local, provincial and federal government representatives, along with community groups, set the stage for a stimulating information exchange in the Town Hall sessions. The process for facilitating new ideas and bringing together “movers and shakers” often results in creative partnerships and further collaboration.
- Fourthly, the presentation by Tim Pringle on the Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) brought accountability to the process. One could see the “lights go on” when Tim explained that it is not only possible, but practical, to calculate the worth of natural assets and ecological services, and as a result, provide local government and community stewards with an effective planning tool.
- Finally, the public lecture and finale presentation by author Storm Cunningham reminded delegates to “take the path less travelled”… to combine both vision and task and “think outside the pipe”.
In summary, and with the ever increasing role of stewardship groups, the value of the EAP process being realized, the expanding role of Citizen Science, the important role of partnerships and the call to “raise the bar”.…what is on the horizon? The stage is now set for the next leap forward with the third in the Annual Vancouver Island Symposia Series, to be held in the Comox Valley in 2020. Stay tuned!