News


Webinar Videos Available

2018/2019 webinar season archived online

Videos and summaries from the four webinars presented during the 2018/2019 Creating a Blue Dialogue webinar season are provided below.

Stepping Stones to Watershed Governance: New Tools & Services to Strengthen Decision-Making in B.C.
May 21, 2019
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Access to Safe and Sustainable Drinking Water Sources in First Nation Communities
April 15, 2019
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Aiki Conflict Resolution Training Lab

POLIS team pursues unique ways to build facilitation skills

In May, POLIS’ Kelly Bannister, Natasha Overduin, and Rosie Simms donned keikogis at Shawnigan Lake Dojo to join fifth-degree aikido black belt John Petersen Sensei for a special day of aikido-inspired conflict resolution training. Aikido (the “way of harmonizing energy”) is a martial art with a philosophy and practice based on meeting conflict with the power of non-resistance and redirecting it to peaceful and productive outcomes.

The session began with a class on basic aikido principles, followed by exploration of aiki and zen-based conflict resolution and non-violent communication methods...

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Story Shifters Lab

Participants explore personal stories, colonial attitudes, and working respectfully as non-Indigenous agents of change

On June 4th, Anne Donaldson of the Storytellers’ Foundation facilitated a “Story Shifters Lab” at the University of Victoria. Leaders and funders in watershed governance came together to explore how their personal stories (and the public narratives we hear) work to recreate colonial attitudes, laws, and policy in Canada. The lab provided a space to analyze and question difficult, emotionally-charged, real-life issues. Participants unpacked their roles in current colonial practices as they seek to work respectfully and effectively as non-Indigenous agents of power and change in a context that is still heavily laden with colonial legacy...

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New Handbook for Water Champions

Practical guide for communities taking action and making decisions for B.C. watersheds

Across British Columbia, climate impacts are being felt, first and foremost, in the water. So, it’s incredibly important that we have the right local skills, relationships, and processes to make decisions and resolve conflicts about how to use and manage water.

Released today, the Handbook for Water Champions: Strengthening Decision-Making and Collaboration for Healthy Watersheds is a practical guide intended for local groups, collaborative organizations, and Indigenous and Crown governments seeking to better understand watershed governance...

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Job Posting: Research & Special Projects Coordinator

TITLE: Research & Special Projects Coordinator

ORGANIZATION: POLIS Water Sustainability Project, University of Victoria

JOB OVERVIEW: This is 1-year position that is renewable pending funding and candidate fit, with a 6-month probation period. Part time option possible. FTE entry salary 38-50k commensurate with experience.

POSITION DESCRIPTION: The POLIS Water Sustainability Project is seeking a highly organized, motivated, and growth-oriented Research Assistant and Special Projects Coordinator to join our team at the University of Victoria...

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New Watershed Governance Series for Practitioners and Decision-Makers

In January, the POLIS Water Sustainability Project released the first publication in its new Watershed Governance Dispatch series. These short, focused research summaries for practitioners, politicians, and decision-makers describe the what, why, when, and how of recent and emerging innovative developments in watershed governance.

The goal is to help decision-makers and practitioners stay better informed about exciting developments happening across the province. Each instalment in the series will highlight a leading example related to the implementation of watershed governance in B.C...

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Waterlines: Confluence and Hope through Environmental Communication

2019 Conference on Communication and Environment in Vancouver

From June 17-21, 2019 the 15th biennial Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE) will be held in Vancouver, B.C., on the traditional unceded territory of the Musqueam people.

This international conference is held every two years, and this is the first time it will be held in Canada. The event offers an unique opportunity for a diversity of communications practitioners and researchers from around the world—scholars, practitioners, artists, students, and concerned citizens—to share and learn from each other, with the goal of fostering more effective, inspiring, ethical, and hopeful environmental and sustainability communication...

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B.C Government responds to POLIS Recommendations Report

Steps being taken to improve water quality and protection in B.C.’s Hullcar Valley

In November 2017, POLIS released the recommendations report From Crisis to Solutions: Towards Better Source Water Protection and Nutrient Management in the Hullcar Valley. It was commissioned as part of a provincial review ordered by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to improve management and decision-making related to source water protection and agricultural nutrients in B.C.’s Hullcar aquifer. POLIS’ Oliver M. Brandes led this aspect of the provincial review with an advisory committee, and the recommendations report was released by POLIS...

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Is B.C. keeping its freshwater promises?

New research from the POLIS Water Sustainability Project evaluates a decade of “Living Water Smart” and key provincial water commitments

Ten years have passed since British Columbia released the Living Water Smart plan, a visionary provincial strategy that outlines 45 commitments to improve freshwater management in B.C.  While there has been notable headway on implementation, new research from the POLIS Water Sustainability Project, based at the University of Victoria’s Centre for Global Studies, reveals that nearly one-third of Living Water Smart commitments have seen minimal progress to date.

The new report, Taking the Pulse: B.C...

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Third annual B.C. Water Leaders-Funders workshop held in Victoria

Resulting “B.C. Water Leaders’ Statement of Essential Elements for Freshwater Protection” presented to government

In early November, the POLIS Water Sustainability Project co-hosted the third annual joint B.C. Water Leaders-Funders workshop in partnership with the B.C. Water Funders Collaborative.

Thirty-five water leaders and funders from across British Columbia came together in Victoria, B.C. for updates on a range B.C. freshwater policy priorities and to determine how to best strengthen the funder-leader interface.

Minister Doug Donaldson (Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development) provided remarks an evening reception at the Robert Bateman Centre...

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POLIS Wins 2018 Land Award

Water Sustainability Project Recognized as Freshwater Leader in B.C.

On October 11th the POLIS Water Sustainability Project was awarded the 2018 Land Award in the Fresh Water and Food Systems category.

“It’s such an honour to even be considered among so many excellent projects and a vibrant community of change-makers,” said Oliver M. Brandes, Project Lead at the POLIS Water Sustainability Project, who accepted the award on behalf of the team at the Land Awards Gala in Vancouver. “Events like this are so critical...

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Majority of British Columbians bracing for future water crisis

2018 BC Freshwater Public Opinion Insights Topline Report relased

Released on the heels of record-setting wildfires, droughts, and floods, new opinion data shows that more than half of British Columbians worry about the potential for a major water crisis in their community.

Another 87 per cent believe the province will face a serious problem if nothing is done to improve the management of water resources in B.C. This is up from 76 per cent in 2013, according to polling results released in September 208 by the Canadian Freshwater Alliance...

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