Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative

    GEORGIA BASIN INTER-REGIONAL EDUCATION INITIATIVE: “History is important. It is important to understand how we got to where we are. And we need to celebrate that work,” stated Brian Carruthers, Chief Administrative Officer (2014-2022), Cowichan Valley Regional District

    “I had a real incentive to come to the Cowichan Valley Regional District in 2014 because water was the primary focus. The region was in the midst of a watershed governance study. It was looking at how the CVRD could take a more active role in watershed governance. The Board Chair and I did tours of First Nations communities and met with their chiefs and councils around the intent of this initiative and what would their interest be. We realized that this was bigger than we could take on at that time. Instead, we turned our attention to the Drinking Water & Watershed Protection (DWWP) model for a regional service,” stated Brian Carruthers.

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    GEORGIA BASIN INTER-REGIONAL EDUCATION INITIATIVE: “One can have implementation without integration, but implementation will likely be ineffective without integration,” stated Tim Pringle, Past-President of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia, when he explained the process for designing with nature in a systems context

    “The purpose of the IREI is to learn and apply what ‘designing with nature’ looks like in practice. Integration means a holistic approach to use and conservation of land and water. The process involves drilling down from the vision and goals of a regional plan to explore the ‘how-to’ details of implementation and integration. It encompasses physical infrastructure, the built environment, and the ecosystems within which we work and recreate. And it includes all practitioners whose profession, work, volunteer role or responsibility as a landowner affects land and water sustainability.”

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    FLASHBACK TO 2013: “Collaboration among Vancouver Island local governments, and with Metro Vancouver and its member municipalities, has grown steadily since 2007. The Inter-Regional Educational Initiative provides a framework for consistent application of tools and understanding on both sides of the Georgia Basin. Everyone benefits from sharing information and experiences,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability

    “Collaboration is the pathway to a consistent approach to implementation and integration of water sustainability and green infrastructure policies and practices within and between regions. Yet there is no formal mechanism to enable or facilitate inter-regional collaboration. The Partnership fills this gap. At the heart of the IREI is ‘Beyond the Guidebook’, an ongoing initiative to provide local governments with the tools and understanding necessary to integrate the Site with the Watershed and the Stream. The IREI will help all local governments bridge the ‘implementation and integration’ gap,” stated Kim Stephens

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