Town of Comox experience demonstrates that “Ecological Services are Core Municipal Services, not an Add-On”
“As we proceed with next steps, the most challenging will be educating staff, developers, consultants, and home owners of the new standards, procedures, policies and guidelines,” continues Shelley Ashfield. “Changing engineering standards is a journey in itself. To ensure success, the Town will need to adopt the design standards, update existing subdivision servicing specifications, establish a number of bylaws, and implement a cost recovery program.”
“Throughout B.C. today, there are many ‘elders in action’ still doing good work, applying a lifetime of experience and passion to tackle local, regional and provincial matters. Now is the time to learn from their efforts and what it means to be knowledgeable, giving one’s time for the common good, working on solutions, and getting results. Elders in action are beacons of hope,” states Kim Stephens. “Elders are leading by example to bridge a demographic gap until Generations X, Y and Z take the baton. Learn from our experience. Build on it. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Get the wheel rolling. Time is of the essence. It is 2 minutes to midnight. The future is here, NOW.”
IMPROVING WHERE WE LIVE: Maybe we are not doomed after all. We have the brains. Do we have the will?
“We transform the world, but we don’t remember it. We adjust our baseline to the new level, and we don’t recall what was there. If you generalize this, something like this happens,” explains Daniel Pauly. An understanding of Daniel Pauly’s “Shifting Baseline Syndrome” is a foundation piece for implementing restorative development, reconnecting hydrology and ecology, and bending the curve to restore stream systems. The goal of shifting to an ecologically functioning and resilient baseline will ultimately depend on the nature of change to standards of practice.
At the Parksville 2019 Symposium, DFO’s Nick Leone drew audience attention to the fact that 2019 is the International Year of the Salmon. This initiative has the potential to be a catalyst for outreach and research that inspires a new generation to ensure the resilience of salmon and people throughout the Northern Hemisphere, he said. “The International Year of the Salmon is not just about the fish. It is about us and our ability to adapt to change and resiliency,” stated Nick Leone. “Bring people together, share and develop knowledge, raise awareness and take action.”
“Understanding how wildfires travel onto private property helps homeowners understand how to reduce risks of property damage. Reducing fire risk requires a team approach and communities need to work together–neighbour to neighbour,” states Eva Antonijevic. “The guide summarizes climate challenges, and introduces solutions to support Okanagan homeowners in their efforts to protect and enhance their real estate investment from the ongoing challenges of climate change.”
“The foundation of my work is science. It seems to me that the commandments of science can be reduced to two: tell the truth and stand up for all humanity and for the planet,” says Bob Sandford. “Good science is not just the sharing of knowledge about the world, it is a candle we light when we want to see and be warmed by the truth. There has probably never been a time in history when making what science is telling us understandable to a vastly diverse and often preoccupied public has been more important.”
‘Abnormally dry’ conditions across Pacific Northwest could spell long wildfire season for British Columbia
“The signs of climate change are all around us. Earth mother’s lifeblood (i.e. water) is becoming sparse in the Pacific Northwest, and some Indigenous Elders say this is happening because humans are not showing respect to water,” said Michael Blackstock. “Water withdraws itself from the disrespectful. Water is transforming from ice, to sea and river water, and then to traversing atmospheric rivers. Water was sleeping as ice, but now it is moving rapidly and unpredictably around our planet. Some places are deluged, while others lay tongue-parched.”
INTERGENERATIONAL MISSION: Educate and empower future leaders with knowledge, tools, and emotional awareness to improve where we live
“The Intengine Global Change Foundation is making sustainability as a lifestyle and strategy more accessible by providing funding, access, tools and education for sustainability advocates and leaders so they can expand their knowledge and bring this awareness into their profession – whatever that may be,” stated Connie Linder. “Our vision for the future is one that we all likely share, in which economic prosperity needn’t come at the cost of irreplaceable natural resources or violated human rights.”
THE RESTORATION ECONOMY: It takes a process to create an actionable vision for community revitalization + creekshed restoration, says Storm Cunningham
“The Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia recently showed itself to be on the leading edge of watershed restoration by focusing a significant portion of their recent symposium on regional revitalization. I was asked to deliver most of that content to an audience that largely comprised Streamkeepers and other technical experts who do the on-the-ground work of restoring watersheds,” stated Storm Cunningham. Afterwards, he reflected on the connection between their work and community revitalization, and how making that connection could benefit their work.
JUST RELEASED (March 2019): “Integrating Green and Gray – Creating Next Generation Infrastructure” – joint report by World Bank and World Resources Institute states that the next generation of infrastructure can help drive economies and strengthen communities and the environment
“21st century challenges require innovative solutions and utilizing all the tools at our disposal. And integrating ‘green’ natural systems like forests, wetlands and flood plains into ‘gray’ infrastructure system shows how nature can lie at the heart of sustainable development. ‘Integrating Green & Gray – Creating Next-Generation Infrastructure’ provides guidance on how to do just that,” stated Greg Browder, World Bank Global Lead for Water Security & Lead Author.