The Okanagan landscape sustains biological diversity and ecological processes, while supporting a sustainable community for many generations. Healthy ecosystems and habitat networks are valued and conserved by decision-makers and citizens as the basis for health, livelihoods, livable communities, and economic development.
To coordinate and facilitate conservation and stewardship efforts on public and private lands, set conservation and stewardship goals and objectives, and generate the support and resources needed to maintain this effort.
Development and implementation of the OCCP is guided by the following principles:
- Support and involvement of the community and the development of partnerships are vital to the success of the OCCP.
- Available resources will be optimized by collaborating with partners, coordinating projects and forming broader conservation initiatives.
- Decision making will be guided by the principles of adaptive management, where results will be assessed and actions adjusted based on what has been learned through research, monitoring and evaluation.
- The need for confidentiality of information will be respected and upheld, recognizing that different groups and/or individuals may require different levels of privacy.
- Resources will be coordinated and facilitated for best management practices on public and private lands.
- Decisions related to conservation activities will be guided by the precautionary principle, that is, when an activity poses a threat to the environment, measures should be taken to counter these threats even if the cause and effect relationships have not been fully established.
- Priorities for action will be based on the experience of land and resource managers, information generated by researchers, the interests and concerns of the community, and traditional ecological knowledge of First Nations.
- The application of ecologically based land use planning will be supported by setting objectives for land and resource use, gathering and analyzing information, and formulating and evaluating alternative policies, projects, or designs to meet those objectives with respect to the use of land.
- Through the application of best management practices, natural resource dependant activities such as ranching, agriculture, tourism and forestry may be compatible with some sensitive ecosystems and lands secured for conservation.
Goal 1: Integrating knowledge and decision-making for ecological planning
The OCCP collaborates with all levels of government and provides each with the appropriate information to make well-researched policy and planning decisions that result in the maintenance of functioning ecological corridors and representation of all four major habitat types in the Okanagan Valley. Over the next five years the OCCP has chosen to focus on urban land use planning, while recognizing the significance of other land tenure issues that impact natural systems.
Goal 2: Achieving Conservation through Communication
Effective communication enables the OCCP to build on accomplishments and to maintain credibility. The following objectives aim at engaging a dynamic community to meet the challenges of ecological conservation. In order to achieve the goal, the objectives seek to creatively develop and apply communication strategies.
Goal 3: Providing Quality and Successful Service
This goal concerns how we strive to achieve our ambitious strategic plan using the experience and expertise of contractors, partners, and volunteers—the members of the OCCP.
The following strategies lay out the energy, heart, and muscle for successful implementation of the goals in the three main areas:
- Finances and Support Resources
- Project Management
Finances, like energy, enable us to accomplish our plans. Not only does OCCP rely on money, but also a host of support resources, that is services and products provided in-kind, or as a donation. The strategies outlined under this OCCP financial objective are key elements for the OCCP's financial sustainability. They rely on a few key components including a financial subcommittee, funding plans, and an efficient financial management system.
Internal communications are critical for reaching strategic outcomes and evoking the spirit of an organization. Communication must respond to the cultures of our members and foster integrity and assertion of our mission. Therefore, within a climate of collaborative and fulfilling relations, interactive communication can successfully direct resources towards strategic outcomes, adapt to change, and harness opportunities.
Finally, a creative and resourceful team structure is needed to facilitate, coordinate, and otherwise carry out the many projects that emerge from the strategic plan. With oversight by the OCCP Steering Committee, Action Teams will ensure that partners actively implement specific projects, adapting and innovating in the dynamic nature of our work.
In addition to the groundwork required to incubate and maintain these teams, specialized services and knowledge will be needed to complete the tasks at hand. To optimally use limited and valuable resources, contractors will be retained for specific assignments, and will be accountable to project managers identified from the Action Team, OCCP Coordinator, and/or Steering Committee. This will create a new work environment, requiring entrepreneurial and business thinking as well as respect of the voluntary, in-kind, and compensated contributions of the community.