Convening for Action in the Comox Valley: Alignment with Living Water Smart Vision
Living Water Smart context for Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series
“Living Water Smart is an idea that people are embracing. The solutions and commitments go beyond what government does,” stated Lynn Kriwoken at the first seminar in the 2009 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series hosted by the Comox Valley Regional District.
Lynn Kriwoken is a Director in the Ministry of Environment, and the Province’s lead person for delivery of Living Water Smart. It was her inspiration plus her Ministry's seed funding that brought the vision for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia to fruition in 2003.
“Living Water Smart is a plan that is as much about land as water….because only with healthy water can we enjoy all the values that we take for granted. Times are changing and the way we do business is also changing.”
“Living Water Smart is about adaptation – that is, collectively what we need to do…to adapt…to prepare for climate change. How we will get there is all about collaboration – that’s my code for silo jumping. We must get out of our silos and broaden our perspectives. Learn from others, share with others – that is when we grow.”
Connecting the dots to Green Communities
The elements that comprise the Green Communities Initiative encompass plans and strategies that also complement and support Living Water Smart.
Living Water Smart presents the vision, and the Green Communities Initiative provides enabling tools to achieve the vision. Together they represent a call to action. Together they provide the provincial context for a regional team approach.
“A key message in Living Water Smart is that green development makes sense. New thinking about development leads to new benefits. These include more green spaces, more water and fish in the streams, improved community vitality, reduced demand for water, and reduced expenditure on infrastructure,” emphasized Lynn Kriwoken.
Demonstrating the Regional Team Approach
A regional team approach is founded on partnerships and collaboration; and seeks to align actions at three scales – provincial, regional and local. The essence of the regional team approach is that all the players will set their sights on the common good and challenge the old barriers of jurisdictional interests.
Through their actions, the four local governments in the Comox Valley are demonstrating what the regional team approach looks like.
“The ultimate goal of the Living Water Smart and Green Communities initiatives is to establish expectations that, in turn, will influence the form and function of the built environment,” stated Lynn Kriwoken.
“If land and water practitioners are then successful in bringing the water for life and livelihoods vision to fruition by embracing shared responsibility, this will create a legacy for those who follow in our footsteps.”
To emphasize action, Lynn Kriwoken shared a quote from the book by Ronald Wright titled A Short History of Progress: “Now is our last chance to get the future right.”
Posted October 2009