Other Community Sustainability Work
The Fraser Basin Council works collaboratively on a wide variety of local and regional projects, including some that span multiple communities. Here are a few highlights from past years.
Smart Planning for Communities
The Smart Planning for Communities (SPC) program, managed by FBC, offered advice and support to over 100 BC communities, thanks to a team of dedicated sustainability facilitators. It was gratifying to support communities, large and small, in their quest to create more sustainable ways for people to live, work and play.
The program (2008-2016) helped BC communities understand and undertake integrated community sustainability planning in a manner consistent with each community’s vision for the future and taking into account social, economic and environmental considerations.
With financial support from a number of partners, including the Real Estate Foundation of BC, SPC offered education, resources and advice to local and First Nations governments, particularly in rural communities, to help them carry out community sustainability planning. Communities fulfilled their undertakings in various ways, some through stand-alone sustainability plans and others through Official Community Plans, asset management plans, climate change action plans or policy statements.
An important outcome of the program was strengthening connections and relationships between local governments, and between local and First Nations governments.
To learn more, see Assessing Impact: Select 2009-2010 Community Profiles and the 2016 wrap-up report on implementation of community sustainability plans, including what participating communities saw as pivotal to success: Implementation of Community Sustainability Plans by BC’s Local Governments.
BC Rural Network
The BC Rural Network was a multi-year collaborative program hosted by the Fraser Basin Council through the Cariboo-Chilcotin team. The Network worked to build stronger rural and remote communities across the province and promote a better understanding of rural issues by:
Thanks to all the communities that participated in the Network over the years.
Project Comeback: Ways to Have Young People Stay
Project Comeback was a two-year (2012-2014) project in BC rural communities that was aimed at better understanding and meeting the needs of young people. Many rural communities were struggling with the twin demographic trends of youth out-migration and an aging baby boomer population. These trends triggered concerns, including the prospect that some local businesses would close without young people to take them over. Through Project Comeback, communities connected with youth through surveys, interviews and workshops for their view. These were the basis of pilot projects designed to help attract, engage and retain youth.
The project was managed by the BC Rural Network, with support from the Fraser Basin Council and federal-provincial funding.
Youth surveyed said they value “a sense of community," social activities and events, as well as opportunities for employment, training, recreation, access to health services and quality of life. Read about their views in Project Comeback: Creating vibrant rural communities by retaining and attracting a young adult population.
Human Health Risk Assessment
The Fraser Basin Council oversaw the first of a three-phase human health risk assessment and brought forward health concerns about oil and gas development in northeastern British Columbia. FBC carried out Phase 1 for the BC Ministry of Health and submitted a report at the end of March, 2012. The report and a related compendium are available on the Ministry’s website.
Phase 2 was subsequently carried out by environmental and health consulting firm Intrinsik for the Ministry.
The Human Health Risk Assessment was a three-phase project to identify, explore and assess concerns about human health relating to oil and gas development in Northeastern British Columbia. The full risk assessment consists of three phases: 1) a public engagement to identify health concerns, 2) a human health risk assessment based on findings from Phase 1 and 3) a report to the Province, stakeholders and the public.
Phase 1 of Human Health Risk Assessment:
Sustainability Indicators and State of the Basin Conference
Sustainability indicators are select data that help reflect social, economic and environmental health and that are tracked over time with a view to ascertaining trends and the state of sustainability. The Fraser Basin Council began an indicators program in 2000, with a primary emphasis on sustainability of the Fraser Basin. The goals were:
Between 2003 and 2011 FBC published a series of Sustainability Snapshot reports on social, economic and environmental indicators for the Fraser Basin as a whole and for specific Basin Communities — including Aboriginal/Non-Aboriginal Relations, Climate Change, Air Quality, Agriculture, Energy, Education, and more. Each report was supplemented by case examples and opportunities for action. The reports were featured at State of Fraser Basin Conferences hosted by the Fraser Basin Council in Vancouver in 2003, 2006 and 2009.
Here are the reports: