This workshop will provide an overview of the opportunities and challenges of planning to maintain environmental integrity.  Speakers will review case studies that highlight the current legislative landscape surrounding different aspects of environmental protection, and outline guidelines, best practices, and tools available for local governments to enhance environmental protection.  We will offer participants the opportunity to tackle top challenges with your peers and exchange ideas and strategies on how to enhance environmental protection.

Keynote Speaker: Deborah Curran

Acting Executive Director for the Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria

Deborah is an environmental lawyer and educator and works extensively on law reform, applied research and municipal law. Deborah specializes in land and water regulation and law, and has a strong interest in how legal and policy structures facilitate or impede us from adapting to changing ecological conditions, and shape decision-making through governance processes.

Through her work as co-founder of Smart Growth BC, acting executive director of the Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria and as a practicing lawyer, Deborah works with local governments and community organizations on sustainable built environments and freshwater governance. Her current work, in partnership with the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance, matches indigenous water law with the framework of the new Water Sustainability Act.

A frequent collaborator with local governments, Deborah has helped to create sustainable and green bylaws, toolkits and sample policies that are cited by communities in BC and across the country. Not an ivory tower academic, Deborah is a frequent presenter at water and land use forums, and provides mentoring and advice to groups from all corners of the province.

Presenter: Dr. Lael Parrott

Lael Parrott (PhD, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, McGill University) is a Professor in Sustainability at the I.K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences and Director of the Okanagan Institute for Biodiversity, Resilience and Ecosystem Services (BRAES) at UBC Okanagan.  Prior to joining UBC, Lael was an Associate Professor in Environmental Geography and Director of the Complex Systems Laboratory at Université de Montréal.

Dr. Parrott leads an internationally recognized research program in modelling and characterizing contemporary regional landscapes and ecosystems as complex systems.   Practical applications of her research involve environmental management, conservation and monitoring as well as future scenarios analysis. She has extensive experience in leading multipartite groups to share this vision to find sustainable management solutions that reconcile ecological, societal and economic objectives. Her innovative, complex systems approach to studying the environment earned her the honour of being named one of 25 “movers and shakers” of Quebec society with bright ideas for the future.

Additional Resources

Planning for Ecosystem Connectivity Workshop Report (Nov2016) [PDF]
Appendices Planning for Ecosystem Connectivity Workshop Report (Nov2016) [PDF]