Vancouver Island and Coastal Conservation Primed for Success!
New Coast & Island Society Formed
CEDAR – Representatives from Island agriculture and non-profit societies met on the weekend to discuss plans that would see greater cooperation and partnership for Island and conservation efforts …leading to registration of a new non-profit organization – the Vancouver Island and Coast Conservation Society.
“It’s time to plan as if we’re an Island,” says Laurie Gourlay, new President of VICCS.
Inviting cooperation and partnership from all sectors the meeting looked at common issues that many organizations, businesses and governments on Vancouver Island are beginning to address. In this regard the meeting was pleased to see a representative from the ‘Vancouver Island 2065’ initiative, just announced by the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, Royal Roads University and CAVI – Convening for Action.
“We talk a lot about the need for sustainable development, for sustainability and stewardship to be integrated within growth and development approvals,” said Gourlay. “But we haven’t seen the cooperation across sectors and regions that will guarantee a balance between economic and ecological goals.”
With a limited amount of land and resources, and water shortages every summer, Islanders are looking for successful models that might offer solutions. Seasonal as well as ongoing problems were seen to result from a lack of coordination in growth and development planning across Island regions.
“I was surprised to learn how little is known about Vancouver Island and the coast’s carrying capacity, ” says Gourlay. “We all thought the essentials for maintaining a good quality of life, and ecosystem health, were being integrated within government, business and bottom-line economic growth projections.”
In order to facilitate discussion on these important issues VICCS has agreed to host two new initiatives – an Island Roundtable on the Environment and Economy (IRTEE), and an Island governance Committee.
“Over the next six months we expect to partner with all sectors and areas of the Island,” states Gourlay. VICCS will follow the process and mandate outlined twenty years ago by the BC Roundtable on the Environment & Economy (BCRTEE) – establishing a Roundtable of Islanders, from all walks of life, who can offer their expert and professional advice on important Island-wide issues.
VICCS will also host a Committee that examines new options appropriate to governing Island needs and sustainable coastal development. “We expect they will look at governance options such as those of the Islands Trust, as well as measures afforded by Canada’s territories,” Gourlay adds.
The new society, the Vancouver Island and Coast Conservation Society, has it’s work cut out for it, ” says the new President. “And we look forward to working in cooperation and partnership with all Islanders.”
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For more information :
Laurie Gourlay, President, VICCS
Vancouver Island & Coast Conservation Society, P.O. Box 333, Cedar, B.C., V9X 1W1, (250 722-3444), firstname.lastname@example.org, <viccs.vcn.bc.ca>