The Fraser Basin Council helps build a deeper understanding of sustainability, including the importance of managing watersheds and other natural resources in a collaborative, sustainable way. This work extends across BC, and sometimes beyond.
FBC Field Tours
One way FBC builds understanding is through educational workshops and field tours here at home. On occasion, we help customize tours for international study teams, especially delegations learning about watershed planning and management in BC and the rest of Canada.
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Our Work Abroad
Watersheds are under pressure world-wide. A look beyond our borders keeps the big picture in focus. FBC Executive Director David Marshall has participated in a number of projects on watershed and community sustainability in Iraq, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil and China. Here’s a look.
Iraq — Marshlands Restoration
Life in the marshlands of southern Iraq has changed dramatically over the past two decades. Beginning in the early 1990s, the Sadam Hussein regime drained the wetlands. Traditional livelihoods in fishing and agriculture were lost, and 400,000 people displaced. Local and international efforts for restoration of the marshlands are underway, but there are daunting challenges. These include water shortages, land tenure disputes and oil field development.
FBC joined the Universities of Victoria and Waterloo on the second phase of the Canada-Iraq Marshlands Initiative (CIMI) to help Iraqi officials with a long-term plan to restore and manage the marshlands. This work was funded by the Canadian International Development Agency. For details, see a story on the project on the University of Victoria website and also the CIMI report Managing for Change.
Most recently, FBC has worked with the University of Basra in Southern Iraq on an action plan to transform the Shatt Al-Arab river from a highly polluted to a functional waterway.
Indonesia — Economic Development
In 2008 FBC became part of the Environmental Governance and Sustainable Livelihoods Program (EGSLP) in rural areas of Sulawesi. This seven-year collaborative project helps create and strengthen collaborative governance of natural resources, at the village, district and provincial level. Most notably, villagers are starting to play a greater role in managing the natural resources on which their lives depend.
Under a new national framework, the EGSLP will help implement two pilot projects for local collaborative watershed governance in the provinces of Gorontalo and South East Sulawesi.
Philippines — Towards Resolving Watershed Conflicts
Watersheds in the Philippines are under extreme pressure from human population growth, unregulated water extraction, land use conflicts, deforestation, poor hillside cultivation, salt water intrusion and poor waste management.
From 1998 to 2003 FBC worked on a CIDA partnership project to support the Filipino cities of Cebu and Davao in taking a more collaborative approach to managing local conflicts that arise in watersheds. Progress here has helped build national interest in other collaborative initiatives.
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