Watersheds 2014: Towards Watershed Governance in British Columbia & Beyond (January 27-29 in Duncan)



A forum for water practitioners, watershed groups, First Nations, and other decision-makers

In January, the POLIS Project is teaming up with the Department of Geography at the University of Victoria and Brock University’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre to present Watersheds 2014: Towards Watershed Governance in British Columbia & Beyond. This three-day forum is designed to support skills development and capacity-building for watershed groups, First Nations, and community watershed champions and leaders.


“We live in a changing world and water needs to be managed and governed in new ways. Watershed governance is one innovative approach,” states Oliver Brandes, Co-Director of the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance, University of Victoria. “It Oliver Brandes_headshot_2013_120pinvolves reorganizing our decision-making processes to align with the ecological boundaries of watersheds, instead of political boundaries.”

“Imagine engaging all interests and governments in collaborative processes to successfully respond to the challenges and opportunities facing our watersheds today.”

“The provincial government in British Columbia is in the process of significantly updating its Water Act and has identified improving water governance as an explicit priority. After the forum, there will be a chance to test the collaborative watershed governance model in pilot watersheds across the country. At least one priority project will be located in BC.”

WHEN: January 27th to 29th, 2014

WHERE: Quw’utsun’ Cultural and Conference Centre, Duncan, British Columbia

About the Forum

Many organizations, individuals, and governments do not currently have all the knowledge and skills they need for collaborative watershed governance,” continues Oliver Brandes. “Through panel sessions, roundtables, field trips, and breakout workshops, at this forum participants will begin to build critical skills and develop important networks.”

“This is not a forum for talking heads, but a ‘roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-to-work’ event. Pre-forum research means the sessions are customized to address priority topics, such as resilience thinking, drinking water source protection planning, and the role of First Nations rights and title in decision-making.”