Mar 2017

“Something really good is happening in British Columbia,” observed Bob Sandford at Comox Valley Eco-Asset Symposium

Bob Sandford is frequently a keynote speaker at ‘water events’ in British Columbia, including Feast AND Famine (Metro Vancouver, 2015) and FLOWnGROW (Okanagan, 2016). In March 2017, he spoke on Vancouver Island at the Comox Valley Eco-Asset Symposium: Climate Change, Nature’s Services and Thinking Like a Watershed. Bob Sandford’s ongoing exposure to the sharing and learning that takes place at these events provides him with an observers’ perspective on the transformational impact of such ‘watershed moments’ and how watershed systems thinking is taking root in British Columbia. “I travel widely, but I have never heard a conversation like what I have heard at the Symposium. And while I am often part of very positive conversations, what was unique (about the Symposium) was the atmosphere of possibilities and hope that I have witnessed here,” stated Bob Sandford.

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BOOK LAUNCH: “downstream: reimagining water” envisions a new water ethic

“The book ‘downstream: reimagining water’ is an anthology,” explains Michael Blackstock. “It brings together the perspectives of artists, writers, scientists, scholars, environmentalists, and activists. It does this by exploring the key roles that culture, arts, and the humanities play in supporting healthy water-based ecology. My chapter is titled Interweaving Water. It outlines four steps toward transforming sovereign knowledge into collaborative knowledge: (1) humility, (2) transcending, (3) interweaving, and finally (4) transformation. I illustrate this process using the theory of Blue Ecology. Curiosity about other cultures draws us into a better understanding, and allows us to contrast and compare two worlds. The product of curiosity is an analysis whereby comparison and contrast enable the interweaving process.”

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“Care for our waterways must be on British Columbia’s election radar,” says Mark Angelo

A group of British Columbia’s largest conservation and recreation groups have come together to ask all provincial political parties to develop policies and positions relating to rivers as part of their election platform. The election is in May. Among those leading the campaign are the 100,000 member Outdoor Recreation Council. Mark Angelo is the Council’s rivers chair. “British Columbia is blessed with a river heritage that is among the finest in the world and yet, our waterways continue to face an array of pressures,” states Mark Angelo. “The goal in bringing together a coalition of conservation and recreation groups is to generate a greater public awareness of the importance of these issues and persuade all political parties to take in-depth positions on these matters.”

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Ecological Accounting Protocol – A Tool to Calculate the Opportunity Cost of Drainage Infrastructure

EAP, the acronym for Ecological Accounting Protocol, is one of the twin technical pillars for the whole-system, water balance approach that would refocus business processes to properly manage watershed systems within the built environment. The thinking behind EAP is that it will help focus local governments on measuring what matters. “The EAP approach begins by first recognizing the importance of a stream in a natural state and then asking: how can we maintain those ecological values while allowing the stream to be used for drainage,” states Jim Dumont. Benefits of the whole-system approach would include less flooding, less stream erosion, and more streamflow during dry weather when needed most.

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