Toward a New Framework for Collaborative Watershed Governance in British Columbia



Resilience in the Face of Change

“Collaborative watershed governance, simply put, is working together to reach shared outcomes and resolving differences among community, private sector and governmental interests, while maintaining or restoring the biophysical and ecosystem resilience of a watershed,” writes Brian Wilkes of the Collaborative Watershed Governance Initiative in a Brian wilkes (160p)Discussion Paper prepared in September 2009.

“The approach recognizes that to be sustainable and resilient in the face of change, the diverse social and economic activities of humans on land and water need to be planned and managed to preserve essential ecosystem functions and the ecological goods and services watersheds provide. Finding and agreeing to this balance is the challenge.”

“The land and water base within a watershed provides convenient way to look at ecosystems. The watershed ecosystem is an integrated whole, and is physically separated from other watersheds by topography. For this reason, watersheds are also a convenient basis for many forms of management and resource decision-making, and can be thought of as a base unit for better planning and integrating resource demands, supply and protection.”

“Watershed management and the compelling need for a more integrated and collaborative approach, are emerging as a central requirement in recent policies related to the sustainability of water and of its benefits and products.”


To Learn More:

To download a copy of the Discussion Paper, click on Toward a New Framework for Collaborative Watershed Governance in British Columbia

Also, click on Collaborative Watershed Governance Initiative promotes shift toward ecosystem management in British Columbia to read about an invitation-only workshop that was held in November 2008 to create a clear path forward or a terms of reference for the development and implementation of a framework for collaborative watershed governance in BC.


About Brian Wilkes

Brian Wilkes, MES, R.P.Bio., is a Registered Professional Biologist with over 30 years of Canadian and international experience. He practices environmental assessment, environmental planning, aquatic science and policy development. The emphasis of his practice is working at the science – policy interface, especially as it relates to strengthening governace systems to support and advance environmental sustainability.
Posted November 2010