Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Together on the Coast: North Coast Sustainable Community Development Forum

A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate to attend a conference held in Prince Rupert by the North Coast-Skeena First Nations Stewardship Society.

The objectives of the meeting were to:

* Inform and enhance the engagement of North Coast communities in Marine Planning.
* Initiate dialogue among numerous levels of government and stakeholders in the North Coast on issues affecting marine ecosystems.
* Inform the public of the planning activities currently underway by First Nations.
* Provide case-studies of how community engagement can be an important and successful part of marine management decision-making.

The most interesting part of the meeting for me came at the very end when there was a discussion about the need for an ocean champion - someone who helps shepherd the changes around ocean management and conservation that need to happen through a marine planning process. As people spoke about their experiences, their passions, and their dedication to ensuring that the ocean continues to provide for their families and communities, it became very clear that we already have ocean champions. Everyone in that room was a champion. The trick now is harnessing that passion and energy to ensure that we get a marine planning process that will benefit our resources and our future.

For more information on the conference go to:


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