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Vancouver Island Water

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Back to the Future – “Decades of in-stream restoration work have not been sustainable because communities have not addressed the root causes of ‘changes of hydrology’. Going forward we will need to think and act more strategically,” observed Nick Leone, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in the concluding module on Symposium Day One


“Look for synergies between programs, systems, policies, disciplines and management objectives. Account for uncertainty through acknowledging what we don’t know, and variability in what we do know. Develop effective partnerships that get the vision right and produce sound strategies,” stated Nick Leone. “The issues around effective water management, and certainly as it pertains watershed planning and restoration efforts, aligns well with fisheries conservation and management considerations.”

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DEMONSTRATION APPLICATION OF ECOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING PROCESS: “The Town of Comox and its collaborators have provided a working example of understanding the worth of Brooklyn Creek, its hydrology, and ecological systems,” stated Tim Pringle, EAP Chair


EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, provides metrics that enable communities to appreciate the worth of natural assets. “The EAP analyses have described what the Town’s residents and key intervenors think the Brooklyn creekshed is worth. The understanding gained will be shared with other local governments,” stated Tim Pringle. “Through use of the commons asset analysis, which applies BC Assessment data for land values, EAP has estimated the financial value of the stream corridor and adjacent set-back areas at about $2700 per lineal metre. This calculation is important for an asset management strategy.”

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Make Better Land Use Decisions – “We really want to keep re-inventing new ways of bringing people together, sharing success, and renewing faith and trust between ourselves to keep moving forward,” stated Richard Boase, Water Stewardship Symposium Series Moderator, when he reflected on what collaboration means to open Day Two of the Symposium (April 2019)


In this video clip, Richard Boase sets the scene for Day Two of the Symposium which had a “Restorative Land Development” theme. RIchard talks about building trust, and why it is so essential for effective collaboration. “There are lots of things we can do to renew, restore and reinvigorate this faith in working together,” stated Richard Boase. “Day One was about the challenges and the what-to-do with the science that we have. We also heard about what we would like to do, but don’t have the resources to do. In contrast, Day Two is all about sharing the success and really good celebration stories of leaders within this region.”

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Make Better Land Use Decisions – “Value the water balance services provided by nature. The worth of a creekshed is a package of ecological services made possible by the hydrology. Looking through the ‘worth lens’ leads to a fundamental shift in philosophy,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC, in his context presentation for the morning session on Day Two of the Symposium (April 2019)


“The goal of making the world ‘less worse’ does not go far enough. Rather, we have it within our power to undo previous damage and make the world better. Shrink our destructive footprint while growing our regenerative footprint. The process of restoring our planet and revitalizing our communities is becoming a rigorous discipline, with the proper education and tools,” stated Kim Stephens, when he quoted from the work of Storm Cunningham, to set the context for Day Two of the Symposium.

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Make Better Land Use Decisions – “In the RDN part of the symposium program, delegates contributed to the visioning of the next decade of Drinking Water and Watershed Protection in the Nanaimo region,” stated Julie Pisani, DWWP Coordinator (April 2019)


“The engagement session for the RDN’s Drinking Water and Watershed Protection program was a great example of the interactive nature of the Parksville 2019 Symposium event, where participants could share ideas and learn from each other, as well as the speakers. The involvement of the graduate students from Vancouver Island University as table facilitators extended the collaboration across the generations, providing an opportunity for future leaders and planners to be involved in the discussions,” stated Julie Pisani.

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Improving Where We Live – “Five exciting Vancouver Island initiatives demonstrate what is possible through a whole-system approach to improving where we live,” stated Richard Boase, Water Stewardship Symposium Series Moderator, when he introduced the Panel / Town-Hall session on Day Two at the Symposium (April 2019)


Richard Boase brings three ingredients to the role of Moderator: passion, enthusiasm and a sense of humour. The unifying theme for the Day Two Panel was that a vision for restorative land development could be guided by the mantra: Sustainable is attainable. We can make where we live better. While communities cannot restore lost biodiversity, they can halt its decline and consciously direct efforts into bending the trend-line in an upwards direction. ‘Getting it right’ is a process that requires long-term commitment, patience and perseverance by champions.

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Improving Where We Live – “We are poised for action in the Cowichan Valley. We went to the public in October 2018 because the time was right for a referendum on water. Our communities have been with us all the way. The referendum passed,” stated Kate Miller, Manager of Environmental Services (April 2019)


“Watershed planning is a way of integrating land use planning for communities with other impacts in watersheds to ensure that all the resources are managed effectively. In October 2018, Cowichan electors passed a referendum (by a decisive 58% in favour) to implement the new regional service. This is the culmination of more than a decade of collaboration to build capacity in the stewardship sector and enhance decision-making,” explained Kate Miller.

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Improving Where We Live – “Collaboration in the Comox Valley – we have come a long way. Yet we have so far to go,” stated Marc Rutten, General Manager Engineering (April 2019)


“The Comox Lake Watershed Protection Plan is truly a collaborative outcome. But a plan is nothing without follow-through and implementation. We’ve got the support. This plan will not sit on a shelf,” stated Marc Rutten. “Along the way, the process fostered relationships and built trust among the many stakeholders, including all four local governments. We will continue to collect data, make good decisions, educate, collaborate, and understand the true value of the most important natural asset – the watershed.”

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Improving Where We Live – “The Comox Valley Conservation Partnership brings together 23 different local groups and associations in one common forum to work proactively with local governments,” stated Tim Ennis, Executive Director (April 2019)


“The only way to get something done is through partnerships and relationships,” stated Tim Ennis. “Decommissioned in 2006, the Field Sawmill was once the economic heart of the Comox Valley. A First Nation, a municipality and an environmental non-profit share a dream and have signed an MOU to collaboratively purchase, restore and manage this key property in the heart of their community. This is an historic milestone in reconciliation and intergovernmental relations.”

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Improving Where We Live – “What are the commons? Those are places in the community that everyone has a right to access, and draw value from,” stated Tim Pringle, Chair, Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) Initiative (April 2019)


“The commons add value to quality of life. They add property value. There are two kinds of commons – natural and constructed,” stated Tim Pringle. “The concept of natural capital and natural assets can be a challenge to integrate effectively into asset management practices. Local governments need ‘real numbers’ to deliver outcomes and support decision making. EAP deals with a basic question: what is a creekshed WORTH, now and in future, to the community and various intervenors?”

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