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Solutions for Canada’s Emerging Water Crisis
CWRA panel session explores how the federal government can provide leadershipPOLIS’ Oliver M. Brandes, along with Merrell-Ann Phare (Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources) and Tony Maas (Forum for Leadership on Water), recently spoke at the annual Canadian Water Resources Association conference. Theirs was one of the best attended concurrent sessions of the conference, with a focus on water solutions for Canadians and the importance of modernizing the Canada Water Act.
Webinar Videos Available
2018/2019 webinar season archived onlineThat's a wrap! The ninth season of POLIS' Creating a Blue Dialogue webinar series wrapped up in May, and the videos and webinar summaries are now available online. Check out the webinar archives now.
Aiki Conflict Resolution Training Lab
POLIS team pursues unique ways to build facilitation skillsIn 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.
Story Shifters Lab
Participants explore personal stories, colonial attitudes, and working respectfully as non-Indigenous agents of changeOn 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.
New Handbook for Water Champions
Practical guide for communities taking action and making decisions for B.C. watershedsReleased in May, 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. Inside, readers can find answers to questions such as:
-Why is local involvement in decision-making a solution to many challenges?
-How can we get started?
-Who needs to be involved?
-What does it look like to build respectful collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous neighbours?
-What aspects of watershed governance can provincial and local government staff and politicians help deliver?
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.
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. This series will support local efforts to advance watershed governance and water sustainability through practical, real-world examples.
From June 17-21, 2019 the 15th international Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE) will be held in Vancouver, B.C., on the traditional unceded territory of the Musqueam people. Communicating water is the theme of this year's conference. It will focus on the challenges faced by water communicators and new ways of telling our water stories, with the goal of fostering more effective, inspiring, ethical, and hopeful environmental and sustainability communication. POLIS’ Laura Brandes will be in attendance, presenting on a panel on water governance and collaboration.
B.C Government responds to POLIS Recommendations Report
Steps being taken to improve water quality and protection in B.C.’s Hullcar ValleyOne year after POLIS released a recommendations report to improve source water protection and agricultural nutrients in B.C.’s polluted Hullcar aquifer, the B.C. Government has published the Hullcar (Clcahl) Aquifer Response Plan Report, which summarizes government’s response to the 90 recommendations put forward by POLIS.
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 commitmentsIt has been 10 years since British Columbia released its Living Water Smart plan, a visionary provincial strategy with 45 commitments for managing fresh water in B.C. While some headway has been made, new research from the POLIS Water Sustainability Project reveals that nearly one-third of those commitments have seen minimal progress to date.
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 governmentIn early November, 35 water leaders and funders from across British Columbia came together for updates on a range B.C. freshwater policy priorities and to determine how to best strengthen the funder-leader interface. The position paper B.C. Water Leaders’ Statement of Essential Elements for Freshwater Protection (Dec 2018) was developed out of these meetings.
POLIS Wins 2018 Land Award
Water Sustainability Project Recognized as Freshwater Leader in B.C.On October 11th, the POLIS Water Sustainability Project was recognized as a freshwater leader in B.C., when it was awarded the 2018 Land Award in the Fresh Water and Food Systems category by the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia. "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.