November 2010- Mayne Island Conservancy is initiating a process to catalyze community groups and individuals around the development of a Mayne Island Community Conservation and Sustainability Plan. In late November 2010 letters were sent out to 26 island organizations inviting participation in the development of this plan and requesting letters of support to help secure funding for this process. MICS hopes that a broad cross-section of community groups and individuals will be interested in participating in a collaborative visioning process for the island’s future.
Attached to the letters was a document entitled “A Proposal for a Mayne Island Community Conservation and Sustainability Framework.” It is posted below on this page, and outlines some work undertaken to date by various island organizations, which holds relevance to a conservation and sustainability plan. Groups have been invited to take up the lead on components that interest them, and to collaborate on the development of this framework.
A workshop will likely be held in March with groups and individuals who are interested in participating. One outcome may be the formation of a steering group to continue the development of this framework. MICS sees this as a cyclical process, involving continual revision and feedback for a collaborative vision of the future of Mayne Island.
Text of the Draft Plan
“Community sustainability to create a synergy between the natural landscape and development, while maintaining the community’s sense of place.”Ucluelet Sustainablity Initiatives, 2008
The purpose of this paper is to provide a draft framework, as a point of discussion, for Mayne Island community organizations and residents to begin a shared dialogue on values and needs for our island’s sustainable future. This Discussion Paper is organized around a number of themes that have been identified through earlier conversations as being important to the long-term resilience of the Mayne Island community. Each of these themes has been pursued individually but virtually none of them were working within a broad comprehensive future vision for the whole community. This discussion paper is a call for Mayne Island service organizations, societies and residents to join together in dialogue to intentionally and collectively define the future for the island and its residents, and to identify a path, with specific tasks, to attain that future. Agreement on a framework for a community conservation and sustainability plan is the first step along this very important road.
To facilitate discussion and agreement on a framework for a community conservation and sustainability plan, it is proposed that the process used be fully interactive and inclusive of all community organizations and residents and that it allow for continuous feedback. Specifically for community organizations, it is assumed that this discussion will start at the board of directors’ level and then, if deemed desirable, extend to their membership. For the residents in general, the Mayne Island Conservancy is proposing to use “kitchen table” sessions throughout the community to compile and record people’s values, interests and visions for a Mayne Island future. “Kitchen table” sessions are places where people gather to have informal discussions about community sustainability through the sharing of individual stories and values.
“The hearth is the heart of the local, the family and the familiar – a place where many feel comfortable to speak openly about their real perspectives, ideas and concerns.” Kitchen Table Sustainability – Practical Recipes for Community Engagement with Sustainability, 2009.
“On Virginia’s Eastern Shore people have designed ways to reconstruct their economy, reinforce community, and, through partnerships and collaboration, to envision, or perhaps re-envision, a sustainable lifeway. Their design, more than anything, will rise or fall on how well they succeed in pooling human resources and building community to form new institutions.” The Ecology of Hope – Communities Collaborate for Sustainability, 1997.
Starting in 2005, the Mayne Island community was exposed to the underlying requirements for a sustainable future. In that year, three significant island-wide events occurred that put into context the elements of community-based conservation and sustainability. The first was Defining Landscape Character and Exploring Sustainable Futures by the UBC School of Landscape Architecture and sponsored by the Mayne Island Local Trust Committee. This assessment clearly identified some key recommendations that the community needed to embrace to truly work toward a sustainable future. These included:
- preservation of agricultural lands;
- local food supply and security;
- management of water supply and wastewater disposal;
- expansion of protected areas, recreational opportunities and trails;
- maintaining a diverse demographic profile for the community over time; and,
- reducing our ecological footprint including moving toward energy self-sufficiency.
The foregoing is adapted from the Draft Discussion Paper “A Proposal for a Mayne Island Community Conservation and Sustainability Framework” dated November 20, 2010. The original MS Word document may viewed here.
This document is © Mayne Island Conservancy Society but the society grants permission to readers to hold electronic copies for study and discussion purposes, and further, it may be circulated to those who are interested provided the document so circulated is complete and unedited.