Archive:

2020

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 on April 22-23-24, 2020)


“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 on April 22-23-24, 2020)


“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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RE-CAP AND REFLECTIONS ON PARKSVILLE 2019 SYMPOSIUM: The ‘story behind the story’ elaborates on how delegates coalesced around the idea of an actionable vision for improving where we live (released in October 2019)


“The Vancouver Island symposium on water stewardship was so inspiring and informative. It was a wonderful experience. I left Parksville feeling hopeful,” stated Councillor Laura Dupont, City of Port Coquitlam. Close to 200 delegates came from far and wide. A survey of delegates provided both a remarkable quantitative measure and gratifying qualitative feedback on how well Parksville 2019 had achieved program objectives and desired outcomes.

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SYNOPSIS DOCUMENT RELEASED AT NANAIMO 2018 SYMPOSIUM: A key message about the power of collaboration – “Changing the way we do business” in urban watersheds requires that local governments partner with the stewardship sector to “get it right”


Anecdotal evidence suggests a groundswell of heightened awareness of the watershed context for ‘the creek that flows through my backyard’. “Within our growing urban areas, as our community becomes more diverse, being able to reconnect through nature offers the chance to reconnect with each other. By working to restore our urban watercourses, new and old neighbours are building connections between our natural spaces that will lead to a stronger sense of stewardship in future,” stated Rob Lawrance.

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BC’S FIRST ASSET MANAGEMENT BYLAW: “A strong corporate culture creates the foundation for asset management that achieves the goals of Sustainable Service Delivery,” states CAO David Allen, City of Courtenay


“The City of Courtenay previously adopted an asset management policy in 2015. The bylaw takes the policy one step further, and formally stipulates that decisions on the renewal, upgrade, and acquisition of the City’s assets must consider the full cost throughout the expected lifespan of the asset. As infrastructure ages, maintenance costs typically increase. And failure to maintain assets can dramatically shorten their lifespans, potentially resulting in the need for costly upgrades,” stated David Allen.

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WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING & ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT: “The only way to approach such a period — where uncertainty is very large and one cannot predict what the future holds – is not to predict, but to act inventively and exuberantly in diverse, adventures in living and experiment,” stated British Columbia’s Buzz Holling (1930-2019), one of the world’s leading ecologists


Buzz Holling had profound and far-reaching influence during his lifetime, having made major contributions to the theory of predation, the concept of ecological resilience, the concept of panarchy, and adaptive management. “The only way to approach such a period — where uncertainty is very large and one cannot predict what the future holds – is not to predict, but to act inventively and exuberantly in diverse, adventures in living and experiment,” said Buzz Holling.

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