“Views of the Salish Sea” – book by Howard Macdonald Stewart is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the future of British Columbia
“It is not mere coincidence that two-thirds of the population of British Columbia occupies lands bordering its great inland sea, the Strait of Georgia, and connected waterways collectively known as the North Salish Sea,” wrote Howard Macdonald Stewart. “If this precious sea is to be passed to future generations with any semblance of its inherent richness and diversity intact, then it will need to be effectively managed and vigorously defended. The first step is to understand the complex story of the region.”
“Our model as a conservation partnership is very unique in British Columbia,” states Tim Ennis, Executive Director, Comox Valley Conservation Partnership. “There are at least six other conservation partnerships, but to the best of my knowledge we are the only one that focuses on local government. The Comox Valley Conservation Partnership brings together 23 different local groups and associations in one common forum to work proactively with local governments.”
“Many people believe that B.C. has limitless water supplies. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. All over the province, communities are already experiencing water shortages, and low water levels in many rivers threaten the survival of salmon. I began this project about a year ago, and my mission was to find a way to demonstrate how B.C. does not have the abundant water that many people think it does. Unfortunately, BC has very poor information about how much water we have and how much we use,” stated Tanis Gower.
“Everyone is asking the ultimate question: what form will climate change take over the rest of this century, and how can we manage or conserve natural ecosystems to minimize these effects. If we understand how ecological processes are linked to the climate, we can also discover how to combat climate change through specific types of land use, for instance,” stated Thomas Crowther. “Worldwide reforestation could ultimately capture two thirds of human-made carbon emissions.”
NEW GUIDANCE DOCUMENT: Primer on Integrating Natural Assets into Asset Management (BC Framework Series)
“Asset management is a process for sustainable service delivery. The BC Framework is designed as a wheel as there is a beginning but no end to the process. The role of natural assets in our communities is not well understood. As the Primer shows, significant work has been done on the integration of natural assets into the overall asset management program,” states Wally Wells. The Primer builds on the foundations established by EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, and the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative.
Close to 200 delegates came from far and wide to participate in the Parksville 2019 Symposium, the second in the symposia series. “Thank you so much for the immense amount of work you do to educate our community, and to protect and restore ecosystem services. The Vancouver Island Symposium on Water Stewardship was inspiring and informative, I left the conference feeling hopeful,” stated Councillor Laura Dupont, City of Port Coquitlam.
CARING FOR TOMORROW: “Touching the past can connect us to the future, especially when we look back fondly,” says Stanford University’s Jamil Zaki
“Empathy evolved as one of humans’ vital survival skills. It is only through our foray into the modern world that we have lost touch with our evolutionary empathy,” states Jamil Zaki. “Deeply empathic people tend to be environmentally responsible, but our caring instincts are short-sighted and dissolve across space and time, making it harder for us to deal with things that haven’t happened yet. Gratitude toward the past might empower us to help those who come after — a kind of golden rule across time.”
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.