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”
Note to Reader:
During the period January through March 2018, the Nanaimo Water Symposium Organizing Committee published a series of e-Newsletters that foreshadowed the scope of the material that would be covered at the Symposium. The Symposium program encompassed watershed stewardship, the water balance and restorative development. These e-Newsletters were consolidated and synthesized to create a seamless storyline that serves as a legacy document for the Symposium.
The Hard Work of Hope: Sharing & Learning from Collaboration Success Stories
“The rhythms of water are changing in British Columbia – winters are wetter and warmer; summers are longer and drier. In short, the water cycle is out of balance. Why is this? The answer is that warming of the planet’s atmosphere is causing water to move more quickly and disruptively through the global water cycle. Local consequences are magnified,” explained Bob Sandford. renowned author and EPCOR Chair for Water & Climate Security at the United Nations University.
The Organizing Committee invited Bob Sandford to set the tone for the symposium at a public lecture on the evening before. His inspirational message was a call to action.
“Recently identified and potentially dangerous phenomena, such as atmospheric rivers, demand our full attention. An atmospheric river is a narrow corridor of concentrated water vapour aloft.
“These great rivers can be 400 kilometers across and thousands of kilometers long. The best known is the famous “Pineapple Express” which unloads heavy rain when it hits the west coast of North America.
“The impact of the Pineapple Express is magnified because 7% additional water volume is conveyed by atmospheric rivers for each degree of global temperature rise!”
To Learn More:
Watch Bob Sandford’s public lecture on YouTube:
Community Empowerment & Sustainable Partnerships with Local Government
The panel and town-hall segment was the program heart for the Nanaimo Water Symposium. Panel reflections on project experience set the scene for town-hall interaction. The over-arching theme was: 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 were showcased. To inspire tangible and lasting action after the symposium, panel members painted a picture of what collaboration must look like in practice to truly achieve the vision for restorative development.
“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, Environmental Planner, City of Nanaimo.
To Learn More:
Watch Rob Lawrance elaborate on how shifts in environmental partnerships have been occurring within the City Parks system. The City has adapted to try and make environmental stewardship a more inclusive activity for residents in order to build connections between residents and natural spaces.
The Story of Nanaimo 2018
To read the complete story, download a copy of Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate: Convening for Action at the 2018 Nanaimo Water Symposium