High school teacher Dave Ramsay explains how a land use simulator will be used by students to make sustainable planning decisions as part of the BC Tomorrow project being developed by himself and Barry Wilson. (File photo)

Conference to address pressures on the planet

Salmon Arm leaders, innovators to host gathering addressing cumulative effects

Most people accept the Earth is under pressure.

But while there are real concerns, there are ways to address them and create sustainability for the environment and its inhabitants.

A Salmon Arm-based agency is hosting the CE Analytic Cumulative Effects Conference 2019 on May 22 and 23 in Kamloops.

“These are challenging times and the answers are complex, but we can figure it out if we work together collaboratively,” said CE Analytic CEO Barry Wilson.

“What that really means is that we have to look around; our economy is suffering and our environment is suffering so we need a systems approach to create the future we want.”

Read more: Planning for the future of the planet

Read more: Shuswap simulator to give cutting-edge planning tool to the world

Wilson said the conference is intended to be three things—an opportunity to share what’s working, to celebrate achievement and success and provide a neutral place to gather and build relationships around a sustainable, vibrant future.

“Everything is connected and we share our watershed; we don’t exist in silos, so we need to find how to work to together in the place we share.”

Wilson has gathered an esteemed panel of leaders and innovators who will share their expertise during the two-day conference.

Among them is Dave Nordquist, Adams Lake Indian Band Title and Rights and special projects coordinator, who has worked on several projects with Wilson and will speak to a holistic, cumulative effects management approach.

Paula Doucette, Transport Canada senior environmental advisor, will describe her project to develop a cumulative effects shipping framework for all three of Canada’s oceans under the Oceans Protection Program.

“She is developing a plan to unlock prosperity,” says Wilson. “There are massive economic benefits, but we want to minimize the effects on the oceans and their inhabitants.”

Taye Ayele, with the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, will share the results of a cumulative effects study that the ministry undertook in the Elk Valley.

Dave Ramsay, Salmon Arm Secondary Science teacher and co-founder of BC Tomorrow, will provide attendees with a “sneak peek” at a simulator that enables students to understand the cumulative effects of planning on natural systems within a watershed.

Wilson and Ramsay met in 2013 following an Observer story on a science course Ramsay designed as part of his masters program in leadership and administration.

“I found an ally in him. We gave each other our Power Points and realized they were the same,” says Wilson. “I was aware of Alberta Tomorrow’s early success and said let’s do that here and he said yes.”

Wilson began his career as a forester, understanding there are many different users of the forest and is working with them to find solutions for everybody in the watershed.

“But then in 2000, I was at UN Conference and listened to a talk on cumulative effects and it became crystal clear to me that it wasn’t just forestry, it was everything, and we needed to look at environment, economy and society,” says Wilson with enthusiasm. “What I have realized is that these three things cannot exist independently.”

He said there is a finite environment that supports and provides for people who create economies to sustain themselves, one that is a dependent relationship not an independent one.

“If we want to create sustainability, we cannot have an ever increasing population and consumption. We need better ways and they will come to us by collaborating and using innovative technology,” said Wilson, who is addressing the subject at the conference.

Read more: Helping to create B.C.’s tomorrows

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“We can use our creativity and technology to get more from less and that’s how we will be prosperous.”

CE Analytic is an agency owned and operated by Wilson and his wife and business partner, Karen. The agency undertakes studies and implements projects, working with a large team of people with different talents and capabilities.

“So what we’re doing is working collaboratively; we’re cheaper, nimble and competitive,” he says, pointing out that he and Karen believe firmly in recognizing and honouring success and will hand out four awards at the conference, with two of them going to people who call the Shuswap Watershed home.

For more information on the conference and presenters, go online to cfxconference.com.


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