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,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability, when he foreshadowed the first module of “Watershed Moments, the Video Trilogy Series” (November 19, 2020 at 10:00 AM on YouTube)
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BC’s Climate Reality, Inter-Regional Collaboration & Actionable Visions
What happens on the land matters to water bodies! 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?
In the second module of the Video Trilogy Series, a team of five inter-regional champions share and reflect on successes, challenges and lessons learned over the past decade in their regions. They point the way forward to grow the restorative footprint.
Improve Where We Live: Convening for Action on Vancouver Island
Dating back to 2006 when the CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island program was launched, program managers with four Vancouver Island regional districts and their member municipalities have collaborated under the umbrella of initiatives facilitated by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia. In 2012, CAVI morphed into the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI) when Metro Vancouver was added to the mix.
The purpose of inter-regional collaboration is sharing and peer-based learning, with a goal of adapting water sustainability and ‘design with nature’ concepts to the individual regional contexts. In 2016, the five regional district partners passed Board Resolutions expressing support for IREI program objectives for the 5-year period 2016-2021. Sharing and learning from each other has encouraged consideration, testing, and application of new ideas and approaches.
“A reality is that progress will be incremental when transforming good intentions and high-level policies into standard practices on the ground – especially when success in the local government setting depends so much on alignment of interests, such that all the players embrace shared responsibility,” states Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.
“The 4Cs – communication, cooperation, coordination and collaboration – are also essential ingredients.
“An appropriate analogy is building a bridge across a river. The time to construct the foundation can seem like an eternity. But then, very quickly, the bridge superstructure takes shape as the pace of construction accelerates.”
From Awareness to Action
“When you (the reader) think about BC’s new climate reality, do you wonder what regional governments can realistically do to respond to the challenge?
“Are you aware that there is value in inter-regional collaboration, and that sharing and learning from each other helps the program managers and doers in four Vancouver Island regions adapt concepts and approaches to the local context?
“Before you read the headline at the top, would it have occurred to you that an actionable vision for land and water is driven by leadership that mobilizes people and partnerships, a commitment to ongoing learning and innovation, and a budget to back it up?
“Does it surprise you that moving from awareness to action in the local government setting depends on patience, perseverance and a shared commitment that builds consensus on what must be done?”