Fair shake needed

Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve needs to be given a chance

The International Advisory Committee for the Man and Biosphere Programme in Paris, France declared that Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve does not meet the statutory framework criteria for biosphere reserves. 

We could lose the designation if an overall strategy and action plan is not prepared and implemented by 2013. 

Why should we care? If UNESCO takes away our designation, Mount Arrowsmith will be the first in Canada to wear the unwelcome label of a de-listed biosphere reserve, but more importantly, it is a lost opportunity to try a new way of making communities work well for everyone. I say new because we have yet to give it a fair shake in Oceanside, even though the biosphere reserve is now more than 10 years old. 

The common thread woven through well-functioning biosphere reserves is that keeping nature healthy, making a decent living, and having a good quality of life are considered equally important and mutually reinforcing. The biosphere reserve organization  plays a unique role in the reserve by building connections. 

These bridges of trust are progressively built with all levels of government, community organizations of all stripes, and the private sector. It may do this by co-ordinating or partnering on projects, by gathering scientific, traditional and local information that will help inform decisions, or by gathering people together to find common ground or to innovate. 

Projects may involve local foods, sustainable tourism, artistic endeavours, monitoring, research, celebrations, issue-based forums, educational workshops, trade shows, habitat restoration, mapping — virtually anything that contributes to the integration and healthy balance of economy, environment, society and culture. People outside of government and organizations are provided plenty of opportunities to get involved. 

The catalyst is the bridging organization, which differs from nearly every other type of organization in that it doesn’t choose sides in any dispute, and it doesn’t engage in debate. It facilitates dialogue, which is much different than debate as its intent is to increase understanding on all sides — not to win an argument. It must adhere to this neutral position, or risk losing the bridges of trust. It takes a long time to build trust, but it only takes an instant to crumble it. 

Holly Clermont

Parksville

 

Just Posted

Retired Nanoose Bay teacher ‘Set for Life’ after $675K lottery win

Shannon plans to buy new sails for his sailboat

Country music star Aaron Pritchett back in Qualicum Beach to play benefit concert

Singer to headline Thalassa restaurant fundraiser for Ronald McDonald house

Qualicum school district sees utility costs go down

Capital funding opportunities promote clean energy and drive efficiencies

Order in the chambers: Qualicum Beach votes for council code of conduct

Coun. Robert Filmer’s motion passes unanimously at town meeting

Rainbow crosswalk in Qualicum Beach covered in mysterious black substance

‘It was disappointing to see this act of disrespect take place inside our community’

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Most Read