2019 marks the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program's (OCCP) 11th year supporting collaboration for conservation. The OCCP model continues to be effective in building partnerships, sharing resources, and delivering on the Okanagan Biodiversity Conservation Strategy.
It is an exciting time for the OCCP, the Action Teams have undertaken research to protect water quality and environmental values for our large lakes, created outdoor educational programs in partnership with local teachers and school boards, and established local government land use policies to protect wildlife corridors and biodiversity. These projects are just a few of the important conservation initiatives underway, which are highlighted along with others in the 2017-2019 Program Report.
OCCP Partner Projects focused on four key areas, you can read the project summaries in the report by clicking here:
- Provide baseline information for conservation and land use planning
• Ecosystem Corridor Research and Mapping
• Foreshore Inventory and Mapping Okanagan Lake
• Boat Impact Study for Kalamalka and Wood Lake
- Integrate conservation measures into land use policy, regulations, and initiatives
• Environmental development permit area and corridor mapping
• Recommendations for mitigating the environmental impacts from motorized boating
- Design and implement conservation outreach and environmental education
• Okanagan Lakeshore Living outreach program
• Demonstration restoration site at Bertram Creek Regional Park
• Ecosystem Connectivity outreach - presentations to local governments, community, and university students
• “Kokanee Ways” a 3D interactive travelling gallery exhibit
• Curriculum development and environmental educational lesson plan for grades K-7
- Build the capacity and financial mechanisms to support conservation
• The North Okanagan Conservation Fund
• Leveraging OCCP Partners financial contributions to increase the capacity for implementing conservation projects
Looking forward in the face of the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, it is more imperative than ever that the OCCP partners collaborate. Now is the time to find ways to strengthen and create new partnerships to protect our natural environment. No single organization or government has the ability to tackle this challenge alone as it will have significant impacts on all aspects of our communities and livelihoods.
Through collaboration and multijurisdictional initiatives, the OCCP partners will continue to strengthen regional decision-making ensuring the health of our ecosystems are considered and the Okanagan remains an area rich in natural diversity.
Read the full 2017-2019 OCCP Program Report by clicking here.