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SSHRC Environmental   Stewardship   Community   of  Practice  Workshop   PROCEEDINGS  




TABLE OF  CONTENTS   ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  ......................................................................................................................................  2   SCHEDULE  ...............................................................................................................................................................  5   ATTENDEES  ............................................................................................................................................................  7   BACKGROUND  INFORMATION  .........................................................................................................................  8   PERSONAL  EXPERIENCE  ...................................................................................................................................................  8   ENVIRONMENTAL  STEWARDSHIP  COMMUNITIES  OF  PRACTICE  ..............................................................  12   ENVIRONMENTAL  STEWARDSHIP  COMMUNITY  OF  PRACTICE  WORKSHOP  ........................................  16   ABSTRACTS  .........................................................................................................................................................  22   KEYNOTE  PRESENTATION  ............................................................................................................................................  22   PROVINCIAL  GUIDANCE  AND  POLICY  FOR  ENVIRONMENTAL  STEWARDSHIP  ...................................  23   ON  THE  GROUND  EXAMPLES  OF  EFFECTIVE  KNOWLEDGE  MOBILIZATION  AND  COLLABORTION   TOOLS  .....................................................................................................................................................................................  25   FACULTY  ...............................................................................................................................................................  28   TUESDAY  OCTOBER  22  ....................................................................................................................................  30   GROUP  DISCUSSION:  HOW  MIGHT  A  COP  BENEFIT  THE  STEWARDSHIP  COMMUNITY  OF  BC?  ...........................  30   WEDNESDAY  OCTOBER  23  .............................................................................................................................  34   AN  OVERVIEW  OF  EXISITING  ENVIRONMENTAL  COPS  ....................................................................................  34   GROUP  DISCUSSION:  ANY  CONCERNS  MOVING  FORWARD?    ANYTHING  YOU’RE  REALLY  EXCITED  ABOUT?  ....  40   DECISION  POINT:  WILL  WE  PURSUE  A  STEWARDSHIP  COP?  ....................................................................................  41   SSHRC  PARTNERSHIP  GRANT  DEVELOPMENT  TOPICS  ........................................................................  41   CONCLUSIONS  .....................................................................................................................................................  46  



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS     MANAGEMENT  TEAM:   Valentin Schaefer DG Blair Gretchen Harlow     RECORDING  TEAM:   Adam Connor Elizabeth Cronin Lexi Fisher Cara Hernould Britton Jacob-Schram     SPONSORED  BY:   SSHRC   FACILITATED  BY:   Angeline Tillmanns   PHOTOGRAPHY  BY:   Elizabeth Cronin   PROCEEDINGS  BY:   Cara Hernould




October 22-23rd 2013

The Stewardship Centre for BC and the University of Victoria are organizing a 2-day workshop to:


promote collaborative and effective stewardship practices discuss creating an environmental stewardship Community of Practice (CoP) for BC

Challenges and opportunities within environmental stewardship will be explored such as: 1) 2) 3) 4)

building capacity in nongovernmental organizations mobilizing stewardship knowledge accessing available knowledge streamlining decision-making

Reliance on volunteers to provide the expertise, time, and energy to tackle challenging environmental stewardship issues is increasing. Enhancing coordination and collaboration among stewardship leaders would maximize the benefits of our efforts.

A Stewardship Community of Practice may be the tool we need, as it would be designed to: 1) improve community engagement 2) provide a mechanism for mobilizing the science of environmental stewardship 3) facilitate the sharing of new research and lessons learned 4) offer a platform for debate and collaboration.

The CoP is of interest to groups involved in environmental stewardship such as:


non-profits governments academia public

For more information about this project, please contact or visit


We would  like  to  thank  the  following  institutions  for  their  contributions  and  participation   in  the  Community  of  Practice  Workshop:          



Location: Arbutus Room, Cadboro Commons Conference Centre, University of Victoria Meeting Objectives:

1. Promote collaborative and effective stewardship practices 2. Discuss creating an environmental stewardship Community of Practice 3. If group decides to move forward, begin content development for SSHRC Partnership Grant TUESDAY,  OCTOBER  22   Time Topic Presenter/Description 10:00-10:15

Facilitator’s Welcome


Keynote Presentation


11:30-11:45 11:45-12:30

Organizer’s Welcome

Break Participant Introductions Provincial Guidance and Policy for Environmental Stewardship

12:30-1:30 1:30-3:20


On the ground examples of effective knowledge mobilization and collaboration tools

Val Schaefer, University of Victoria

Jen Kyffin, FLNRO & DG Blair, Stewardship Centre for BC David Blades, Faculty of Education, UVic Community of Practice and New Collaborative Concepts All attendees Christine Unghy, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Resource Operations Jennifer Psyllakis, BC Ministry of Environment

Danielle Prevost, Environment Canada Rachelle McElroy, Coastal Invasive Species Committee Rebecca Mersereau, Gary Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team Pamela Zevit, Adamah Consultants; South Coast Conservation Program Janet Pivnik, Continuing Studies, University of Victoria David Zandvliet, Simon Fraser University


3:20-3:40 3:40-4:55



Group Discussion: How might a CoP benefit the stewardship community of BC?

Day 1 Closing

Participants work in table groups to answer the following questions: 1. What are the current challenges faced by the stewardship community? 2. What could help people be more effective or make things easier? 3. Could these needs be filled by a CoP? Group report out and discussion Angeline Tillmanns




Val Schaefer


10:15-10:40 10:40-11:10

Brief re-cap of day one and introduction to day two Presentation: An Overview of Existing Environmental CoPs Break Group Discussion


Decision Point – Will we pursue a Stewardship CoP?




14:30-14:45 14:45-15:20 15:20-15:30


SSHRC Partnership Grant Development Discussion


Report out on topics Group check-in Thank-you and next steps

Angeline Tillmanns

Angeline Tillmanns facilitates a large group discussion to answer the following questions: 1. Any concerns moving forward? 2. Anything you’re really excited about?

Angeline Tillmanns facilitates a group poll to determine if the group votes in favour of pursuing a provincial environmental stewardship community of practice Participants work in table groups to answer the following questions: 1. Goals, Objectives, and Strategies 2. Social Science Research Questions 3. Anticipated Challenges and Solutions 4. CoP Governance Model Group report out and discussion Angeline Tillmanns Val Schaefer


PRESENTERS (In  order  of  appearance)   Name

Val Schaefer Janet Pivnick Jennifer Psyllakis David Blades Christine Unghy Jen Kyffin Rebecca Mersereau David Zandvliet Danielle Prevost Pamela Zevit Rachelle McElroy DG Blair



University of Victoria University of Victoria Ministry of Environment University of Victoria


FLNRO – Land Use Guidance Committee University of Victoria Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team Simon Fraser University Environment Canada South Coast Conservation Program Coastal Invasive Species Committee Stewardship Centre for BC

Victoria Victoria Victoria Victoria Prince George Victoria Victoria Vancouver Vancouver Vancouver Victoria Vancouver




Jenna Curtis Susi Porter Bopp Scott Benton Peter Abrams Norah White Maggie Henigman Lynne Bonner Lynn Campbell Laurie Stott James Casey Ian Moul Claire de La Salle Andrew MacKinnon Adriane Pollard

Land Stewardship Centre Freshwater Alliance Grasslands Council SCBC FLNRO - Resource Stewardship Branch FLNRO - Develop With Care Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation MoE Evolve Multimedia and Training World Wildlife Federation Wildlife Tree Stewardship East Kootenay Conservation Program The Land Conservancy District of Saanich

Edmonton Vancouver Victoria Vancouver Victoria Victoria Victoria Victoria Vancouver Vancouver Comox Castlegar Victoria Victoria




“Restoration Project  in  ‘Burnside  Corner’,  View  Royal;  How  a  Communities  of  Practice   would  have  helped”     By  Amanda  Evans  

Volunteers in ‘Burnside Corner’ after a successful day of removing Spurge-laurel. (Photo: Amanda Evans) A Communities of Practice (CoP) for Environmental Stewardship in British Columbia would have benefited the restoration project I have been involved with in the Town of View Royal. I am a budding ecological restorationist, with a passion and “beginner” level understanding of ecological restoration, but a lack of experience and in-depth knowledge in undertaking a comprehensive restoration project. Learning by doing, reviewing other restoration plans and projects, connecting with experts, and having valuable mentors have been some of the ways that have helped me carry out the restoration project. There has never been just one website or resource I have connected with, and instead I have used a number of sources to help me along the way. I would like to share my personal experience of how a Community of Practice for Environmental Stewardship in British Columbia would have made the development and initiation of my restoration project a lot less complicated and potentially more successful. I was involved in developing an ecological restoration plan for a new park in View Royal coined ‘Burnside Corner’ in the summer of 2011. As part of a coop term with the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT), I helped design and implement the


restoration plan for the recovery of the ecosystems, including the unique and rare Garry Oak ecosystems in this new park. The experts available through GOERT offered me their expertise and experience that helped develop the comprehensive plan for the site, including recommendations for volunteer involvement and Best Management Practices (BMPs). GOERT functions as a sort of mini version of a CoP within the scope of Garry Oak and Associated Ecosystems in BC. The GOERT “team was formed in 1999 as a comprehensive partnership of experts affiliated with all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions, First Nations, volunteers and consultants, and was incorporated in B.C. as a non-profit society in August 2007”. GOERT encompasses many facets of a Community of Practice for the conservation and restoration of Garry Oak ecosystems on Southern Vancouver Island. Bringing together experts from a variety of fields, a great deal of current information is shared and built upon. The GOERT website contains in-depth resources on the recovery of Garry Oak ecosystems, and is user friendly and accessible. However, GOERT and their website only pertain to Garry Oak and Associated ecosystems, not being useful for practitioners dealing with other types of ecosystems. Although there were plenty of great resources and people available to help with the creation of the plan, it was often complicated to find and review different restoration resources, such as restoration plans, as it involved searching the web and sifting through many unrelated websites. A CoP website would have eased the search by offering a section containing resources such as links to restoration plans that would have provided me with an extensive list of examples to choose from, found in one place. The plans could be organized into subjects and a search option could be available which would further ease the quest. Experts in the field of restoration are busy people and connecting with them has been challenging. A forum or question and answer section on a CoP website would allow various experts who may be available or have time to help to provide answers or resources to the questions being asked. A list of contacts for experts would also be available that would help connect to a greater gamut of specialists. Regarding the development of the restoration plan, GOERT’s resources were fairly useful however, with the implementation and the development of the volunteer program, information and resources were needed beyond the scope of GOERT.


Amanda Evans, the project coordinator, preps the volunteers before the restoration activities. (Photo: Amanda Evans) Volunteer Recruitment and the Development of a Volunteer Program The second part of the project; the implementation and volunteer program development was where most of the obstacles and challenges were encountered, which may have been lessened through a Community of Practice for Environmental Stewardship. The Town of View Royal does not yet have an organized volunteer program or much experience with environmental stewardship in their township. At the end of my Coop contract with GOERT, and the finalization of the restoration plan, I was left with an interest in pursuing the project, and helping initiate the plan into action – involving community volunteers and restoration activities in the park. GOERT nor View Royal have established volunteer programs, which made it a bit challenging to know what was involved in setting up a program, recruiting volunteers, training and safety protocols to name a few things. I reached out to individual people that I met through my work at GOERT, and at times, slightly different and sometimes contrasting opinions came up about volunteers working in the park. Some of the people I contacted listed numerous hazards associated with volunteers in the park and what was needed to ensure hazards were evaded. Others stated that I should wait before trying to reach out to volunteers. Some of View Royal’s Council and staff were enthusiastic about initiating the volunteer activities in the park that Fall so I thought it was a good idea to go with the momentum and start the volunteer activities. Often it was difficult to pinpoint who to contact for help regarding establishing a volunteer program. Reaching out to specific experts, such as volunteer coordinators in other regions, acquaintances and co-workers definitely helped answer particular


questions and concerns, but individuals have been through their own experiences, and have their own set of opinions and ways of doing things. Sometimes these individual experiences and opinions don’t relate to a particular project as there are different factors that affect each and every restoration project. Different municipalities for instance have their own set of rules and regulations pertaining to park management and volunteer work, and also Best Management Practices (BMPs) that affect the ways in which volunteers work in their parks. Asking staff from Saanich, City of Victoria, or Esquimalt are likely to have different things to say about their volunteer programs, offering a mixture of advice. A CoP would have helped me connect to other volunteer programs, allowing me to research the facets of programs in other regions or municipalities in order to determine commonalities between them. Volunteer recruitment was a challenge as well. Not having an established volunteer database or a contact list of interested people, I was left with a clean slate. I attempted to advertise the volunteer work parties throughout View Royal, wanting to get the attention of all that may be interested. I posted on the Town of View Royal website, had an article written in the Goldstream Gazette, put up posters in all of the schools and community centres in View Royal, and contacted potential sources of volunteers such as the Boys and Girls Club. I also connected with other volunteer coordinators in Saanich and the CRD. The CRD volunteer coordinator was eager to circulate the work party information to her own volunteer list. However, the idea of sharing volunteers is not something that is highly regarded as the idea of “stealing volunteers” comes up. A CoP would allow users, such as volunteers to access work party events occurring across municipal borders, giving them an option to volunteer where they please, including work parties that may be taking place in their own neighbourhoods. Advertising my work party on such a website would have allowed me to connect to more people that may be residents of View Royal that otherwise did not know about the event. There have been copious amounts of restoration plans and projects undertaken in Victoria, and British Columbia. There are thousands of experts, practitioners, and volunteers who have engaged in similar projects and are valuable resources to help those starting on or working in similar projects. However, it is not easy to connect to these people, or access the plans that have been created. A Communities of Practice for Environmental Stewardship in British Columbia would alleviate the complexity of locating resources, and provide a comprehensive database of resources. Although I ended up fulfilling most of what was needed to having volunteers work in the park, the process I went through to get the relevant information was wrought with inefficiencies, obstacles and, at times, even hostility! Many of these things would have likely been avoided if an Environmental Stewardship CoP were established. A virtual landscape featuring forums, contact information and sources for volunteer program development – a one-stop resource shop!  



BARRIERS TO  AN  ENVIRONMENTAL  STEWARDSHIP  COMMUNITY  OF  PRACTICE   Cultural'Barrier' Invasive'Species' The$CoP$website$can$provide$links$to$organizations$ containing$invasive$species$resources,$such$as:$ $


The$Garry$Oak$Ecosystems$Recovery$Team$ Habitat$Acquisition$Trust$ Invasive$Plant$Council$of$BC$ Saanich$Pulling$Together$Program$ The$Invasive$Plant$Program$(Provincial$Gov’t)$ Coastal$Invasive$Species$Committee$ Capital$Regional$District$

Cultural'Barrier' Invasive'Species' Components$of$a$CoP$to$help$solve$this$cultural$barrier:$ $   Best$Management$Practices$(BMPs)$readily$available$$   Pamphlets,$guides$and$information$packets$available$–$ or$sources$for$getting$that$information$$   an$opportunity$for$municipal$governments$to$circulate$to$ community$residents,$developers,$and$businesses$$

  UpStoSdate$research$available$   List$of$organizations$and$professionals$$   Resources$on$the$alternatives$to$common$invasive$ plants$ '

Cultural'Barrier' Volunteer'Time' $

There$are$often$overlapping$and$conflicting$local$ events$that$have$the$potential$of$pulling$volunteers$ apart$resulting$in$lower$volunteer$turnout$due$to$too$ many$events$happening$at$once.$ $ $ $A$CoP$can$help$alleviate$this$problem$by$providing$ event$information$Calendar$of$events,$workshops,$ volunteer$training$in$different$regions$of$BC$ $ $ '

Behavioural'Barrier:'A'common'and/or'habitual' 'behavior'of'the'local'community'that' 'may'impede'conserva=on'or'restora=on' 'efforts.' ' Through'case'studies,'we'will'examine'the' common'behavioural'issues'such'as'volunteer' recruitment'that'pose'as'barriers.'And'then'we' will'look'at'how'an'Environmental'Stewardship' Community'of'Prac=ce'can'assist'in'overcoming' these'cultural'barriers'to'create'a'new'local' paradigm.'''' '''

Behavioural'Barrier' $

Residents$living$in$close$proximity$to$natural$ features$and$green$spaces$are$needed$to$support$ local$restoration$projects.$Although$many$people$ are$not$interested$in$directly$contributing$to$ restoration$efforts,$their$habitual$daily$activities$will$ impact$the$health$and$integrity$of$the$surrounding$ environments,$either$in$a$positive$or$negative$way.$$ '


Behavioural'Barrier' 'Stream'Restora=on'' Case$study$ The$restoration$of$stream$bank$(riparian)$vegetation$for$ songbird$habitat$in$an$area$set$aside$for$a$park$in$a$ residential$housing$development$can$face$issues$with$ cats$from$the$adjacent$residents$preying$upon$the$ songbirds.$This$is$especially$a$problem$if$these$birds$are$ species$at$risk.$The$technical$knowledge$informing$best$ management$practices$for$restoring$the$habitat$would$ not$be$effective$without$the$social$skills$needed$to$ change$the$behaviour$of$residents$adjacent$to$the$ project.$$




BARRIERS TO  AN  ENVIRONMENTAL  STEWARDSHIP  COMMUNITY  OF  PRACTICE Behavioural'Barrier' 'Stream'Restora=on'' This$situation$requires$many$different$stakeholders,$groups,$ individuals,$experts,$and$research$findings,$including:$$ $ S  SAR$legislation$involving$the$Federal$government$ S  Municipal$government$(assuming$this$is$a$city$park)$$ S  Restoration$volunteers$ S  Songbird$habitat$experts$ S  Stream$(riparian)$experts$ S  Cat/pet$owners$ S  Park$users$ S  Nearby$residents$

Behavioural'Barrier' Addressed'by'a'Community'of'Prac=ce' A$CoP$for$Environmental$Stewardship$would$ connect$the$various$stakeholders,$knowledge$ holders,$and$stewards$to$create$solutions$and$ restoration$options$for$natural$features$such$ as$Swan$Lake$and$Bowker$Creek.$ $ Additionally$a$CoP$would:$   Assist$in$providing$the$resources,$research$and$ expertise$required$for$solutions$to$manifest$   Offer$opportunities$to$share$experiences$and$ explore$ideas$that$encourage$innovation$in$ current$practices$and$activities$


Behavioural'Barrier' Stream'Restora=on'' Swan%Lake%Nature% Sanctuary$

Behavioural'Barrier' Stream'Restora=on'' Bowker%Creek%% $



Conflic=ng'Use'Barrier' 'Terrestrial'Restora=on'

Conflicting$Use$Barrier:$Embedded$in$values,$human$ $use,$deemed$important,$may$conflict$with$ $environmental$stewardship$or$restoration$ $and$politically$hinder$the$efforts.$$ $ We'will'examine'conflic=ng'uses'in'both'terrestrial' and'aqua=c'ecosystems'and'discuss'how'an' Environmental'Stewardship'Community'of'Prac=ce' can'assist'in'overcoming'these'conflic=ng'use' barriers'to'create'harmonious'communi=es.'''' $






Conflic=ng'Use'Barrier' Wetland'Restora=on'   Wetlands$are$one$of$the$most$important$life$support$ systems$on$earth$$   Currently$comprise$about$5.6%$or$5.28$million$ hectares$of$British$Columbia$   Provide$critical$habitat$for$fish,$birds,$and$other$ wildlife$   Most$wildlife$in$the$province$use$wetland$habitat$at$ some$point$in$their$life$cycle$   Many$redS$and$blueSlisted$species$are$wetlandS dependent$

Conflic=ng'Use'Barrier' Wetland'Restora=on'

Conflic=ng'Use'Barrier' Wetland'Restora=on' British$Columbian$wetland$ecosystems$are$threatened,$ with$an$estimated$disappearance$of$between$50%$and$ 70%$of$the$original$wetland$habitat.$$ $ $

“Action$is$required$to$help$reduce$wetland$losses$ and$provide$for$coordinated%conservation%and% management%efforts.$Because$wetlands$occur$ across$a$range$of$ecosystem$types$and$can$be$ affected%by%various%land%use%activities,$a$ comprehensive%approach%is%needed$to$ensure$the$ protection$and$management$of$wetlands.”$(Ministry$ of$Environment)$ '

Conflic=ng'Use'Barrier' Wetland'Restora=on' Communities$of$Practice$ $   Bring$together$science$and$experts$to$share$analytical$ and$scientific$understanding$of$wetland$ecosystems$   Bring$together$practitioners,$interest$groups,$and$ stakeholders$to$share$their$experiences$as$part$of$the$ community$   Involve$the$users$of$the$wetland$and$nearby$lakes$that$ engage$in$recreational$and$subsistence$$activities$   Connect$organizations,$and$grassroots$groups$that$are$ dealing$with$similar$issues$$and$draw$from$and$their$ collective$experiences$$

Ins=tu=onal'Barrier' Ins=tu=onal'Barrier:'Can'be'either'systemic'or'specific.' 'A'systemic'ins=tu=onal''barrier'is'a'topFdown' bureaucra=c'or''legisla=ve'barrier'that'impedes'all' organiza=ons'opera=ng'within'the'system.'A'specific' ins=tu=onal'barrier'is'localized'within'a'single' organiza=on,'but'this'organiza=on'may'be'powerful'– na=onal'or'interna=onal'–'or'the'main' 'governing'body' with'legisla=ve'power'over'the''conserva=on'or' restora=on'project.' ' Here,'climate'change'is'examined'through'case'studies' to'understand'ins=tu=onal'barriers'and'how'an' Environmental'Stewardship'Community'of'Prac=ce'can' empower'movements'to'navigate'through'ins=tu=onal' barriers.' '



' BARRIERS TO  AN  ENVIRONMENTAL  STEWARDSHIP  COMMUNITY  OF  PRACTICE   Ins=tu=onal'Barrier' Climate'Change' Climate$change$adaptation$presents$unique$and$new$ challenges$for$the$practitioner$and$decision$maker.$ Adaptation$to$climate$change$is$a$learning$and$ problemSsolving$process$that$requires$collaboration.$$ $ A$“Communities$of$Practice”$(CoPs)$can$help$further$ efforts$to$better$understand$and$undertake$ interventions$across$geographic$scales,$sectors$and$ time$frames.$$

Ins=tu=onal'Barrier' Climate'Change' Case$Studies$of$CoPs$that$focus$on$a$defined$geographic$area:'$   Climate%Change%Adaptation%in%Asia%and%the%Pacific,$which$ compiles$a$range$of$adaptation$knowledge$related$to$the$AsiaS Pacific$region.$The$CoP$provides$information$about$ongoing$ projects$as$well$as$access$to$available$resources$and$knowledge$ products.$It$also$hosts$an$eScommunity$of$practice$and$large$ faceStoSface$conference.$($$   Climate%Community%of%Practice%in%the%Gulf%of%Mexico,$which$ brings$together$elected$officials,$city$planners,$education$ professionals$and$others$from$the$Gulf$of$Mexico$region$ interested$in$learning$“how$coastal$communities$can$adapt$to$ seaSlevel$rise,$precipitation$changes$and$other$climateSrelated$ issues”$(Climate$Community$of$Practice$in$the$Gulf$of$Mexico,$ n.d.).$It$aims$to$support$these$professionals$in$their$efforts$to$ incorporate$adaptation$into$comprehensive$community$plans.$ ($$ $

Ins=tu=onal'Barrier' Climate'Change' Case$Studies$primarily'on'a'specific'adapta=on'sector'or'subFdomain,' including:'of$CoPs$that$focus$$   Climate%Adaptation%Knowledge%Exchange%(CAKE),$which$focuses$ on$the$management$of$natural$resources$in$a$rapidly$changing$ climate,$particularly$those$found$in$North$America.$(hRp://'$   Ecosystems%and%Livelihoods%Adaptation%Network%(ELAN),$which$ encourages$the$sharing$of$information$on$the$role$of$ecosystems$in$ supporting$a$peopleScentered$approach$to$adaptation.$ELAN$ combines$faceStoSface$meetings$with$the$sharing$of$knowledge$ resources,$capacity$building$and$informing$policy.$ ('$   CommunityHbased%Adaptation%Exchange,$which$is$an$online$ resource$designed$to$bring$together$and$expand$the$number$of$ practitioners$working$in$the$field$of$communitySbased$adaptation.$It$ provides$a$site$for$the$exchange$of$upStoSdate$information$using$a$ variety$of$tools.$$(hRp://$ '

Ins=tu=onal'Barrier' Climate'Change' Climate$Change$Examples$in$British$Columbia$ $ Climate$change$has$led$to$drier$conditions$in$many$grassland$ communities$resulting$in$fewer$wetlands.$Restoring$the$wetlands$ sometimes$involves$locating$them$on$land$protected$by$the$agricultural$ land$reserve.$Especially$when$dealing$with$species$at$risk,$such$conflicts$ in$land$use$need$to$be$resolved.$Ecologists$can$identify$the$best$sites$ and$how$to$restore$a$wetland$but$lack$the$policy$and$dispute$resolution$ skills$required$to$bridge$the$gap$between$science$and$policy.$Similarly,$ water$licenses$that$guide$the$amount$of$water$that$can$be$withdrawn$ from$existing$wetlands$for$$farming$can$be$outdated$and$inappropriate$ for$present$day$priorities$in$dealing$with$endangered$species.$$ $ For$coastal$communities$responses$to$rising$sea$levels$may$cause$ people$to$construct$retaining$walls.$Such$hard$edges$create$erosion$ problems$along$other$areas$of$the$shoreline.$$





WHAT IS  AN  ENVIRONMENTAL  STEWARDSHIP  COMMUNITY  OF  PRACTICE?   Environmental Stewardship CoP Workshop: Welcome, and Thank you! Environmental Stewardship Community of Practice Workshop SSHRC CoP Workshop October 22-23, 2013 Draft Backgrounder

Communities of Practice “People sharing their experiences and knowledge in free-flowing, creative ways that foster new approaches for problems”

Levels in Environmental Stewardship - Examples !  Municipal

– Saanich Pulling Together Volunteer Program !  Regional – Capital Region Invasive Species Partnership !  Provincial – Invasive Species Council of BC !  National – Climate Change Adaptation !  Corporate – BC Hydro Conservation CoP

“A system of relationships between people, activities, and the world; developing with time, and in relation to other tangential and overlapping communities of practice” -Wenger and Lave, 1991

Community of Practice: A Collective Knowledge Base !  A

group of interested individuals sharing a common concern organize to build community capacity !  Vested parties contribute and share their individual expertise and experience !  Collectively build knowledge of their practice to elevate the group’s baseline of shared understanding !  New knowledge is built, harbored, and shared

Communities of Practice Evolving and adapting Never stagnant: a community in continuous flux !  New ideas emerge as research develops without a final product, nor singular end goal Dissemination of information !  Connects research and expert knowledge to current and and would-be practitioners !  Translation of jargon; allowing information to be accessible and transferrable between disciplines ! 





domain: The common interest of all vested parties: Membership implies a commitment to the domain and competence in one’s field !  The community: Within their shared domain, members engage in discussion and share information to enable reciprocal learning relationships !  The practice: The community develops a shared repertoire of resources: experiences, stories, tools, ways of addressing recurring problems—a shared practice. This takes time and sustained interaction

1.  Active leadership and facilitation by

informed and active community animators

2.  Creation of community through use of

space, be it virtual or physical; public or private

3.  Function as an information filter by

summarizing, synthesizing, and highlighting key information resources and discussions in different formats

4.  Amplifying the knowledge and insight gained within the community by disseminating it to others


Sustained*mutual*relationships*–*harmonious*or*con3lictual* The*rapid*3low*of*information*and*propagation*of*innovation! Conversations*exist*as*a*continuation*of*an*ongoing*process! Very*quick*setup*of*a*problem*to*be*discussed! Understanding*of*participants*’*specialties*and*professional* identities! Mutually*de3ining*identities! The*ability*to*assess*the*appropriateness*of*actions*and* products! Speci3ic*common*tools** Identi3iable*styles! A*shared*discourse

5.  Provide financial and technological support that enables members to collaborate without restriction

6.  Encourage participation by creating trust within the community and addressing individuals’ needs

7.  Continuous adaptive management

based on regular evaluation of established criteria to assess the outcomes that are being achieved and what value it is providing to its members

Paas and Parry, 2012.

Communities of Practice Structure Practitioners Knowledge Experts CoP Committee





WHAT IS  AN  ENVIRONMENTAL  STEWARDSHIP  COMMUNITY  OF  PRACTICE?   Communities of Practice Structure Core%group%members:%Serve'to'coordinate'the'activities'of' the'CoP.'Includes'managers,'facilitators,'leaders'and' subjectAmatter'experts.'~10A15%'of'membership' Active%group%members:%Strong'contributors'who'participate' in'most'CoP'activities,'help'develop'main'topics'and'guide' the'agenda.'~15A20%'of'membership' Periphery%group%members:%Serve'to'bring'in'outside' information'and'help'prevent'CoP'from'stagnating.' Consists'of'interested'people,'contributors'and'readers.' ~65A75%'of'membership'

The need for an Environmental Stewardship CoP in British Columbia !  Further

improve connection between knowledge holders and practitioners !  Improve efficiency of stakeholders and reduce duplication of work !  Make research more readily available and translatable for the practitioner !  Improve collaboration between organizations faced with similar challenges to learn from each others’ successes and failures !  Share resources so smaller organizations can devote their limited resources to other areas of need

Environmental Stewardship in BC !  The ! 

caring for the natural world

Restoration, conservation, education, research, studies, and sustainable living

!  Current ! 

expansion and growing interest

Volunteer activities, community-level projects, grass-roots organizations

A stewardship CoP would provide a resource and platform for sharing of skills and knowledge, and eliminate unnecessary duplication of work

The need for a Provincial Environmental Stewardship CoP in British Columbia !  Improve

communication between silos e.g. groups dealing with restoring Garry Oak Ecosystems better aware of activity in Invasive Species Council of BC and various Conservation Programs and vice versa !  Provide better support for smaller groups !  Improve communication to share experience

Benefit of Shared Experience – Urban Blackberry Example, Change in Practice Over Time !  !  !  !  !  !  ! 

Early days - remove blackberry, all of it, from all sites Focus more on environmentally sensitive areas and sites of special interest Recognized importance of replanting to prevent re-invasions Focus shift from well-established invasions to satellite populations Sometimes leave removed blackberry on site to decompose Early Detection and Rapid Response – resources shifted from well-established sites to preventing new invasions Concept of novel ecosystems to include invasive species

These steps have all sorts of implications for environmental stewardship(burnout, strategic directions, etc.) and require dialogue amongst experts and direction to volunteer groups so they know what to do when restoring a site

Activities and Features of a BC Environmental Stewardship CoP A web-based, interactive tool to assist members of the environmental stewardship community with connecting across British Columbia and the west coast Designed to: !  Better connect British Columbians !  Foster mentorship of smaller groups !  Improve dialogue !  Better capture and mobilize existing knowledge !  Better generate new knowledge !  Stimulate learning !  Improve collaborative processes !  Help people organize better




WHAT IS  AN  ENVIRONMENTAL  STEWARDSHIP  COMMUNITY  O  F  PRACTICE? Key Aspects of an Online Environmental Stewardship CoP

Key Aspects of an Online Environmental Stewardship CoP cont’d

"  Crosses sectors (invasive species, species at

"  Information about environmental

risk, land trusts, stream stewardship, etc.) "  Information about environmental stewardship events – Calendars of local events, organized by region "  A database of research papers and links to recent news articles "  Forums on member-driven topics # Webinars

stewardship organizations, including links to their websites "  Opportunities for practitioners and experts to interact # Contact information for practitioners and experts across the province

District of Saanich Pulling Together Volunteer Program !  Supports

Case Studies

Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT)

volunteer efforts to remove invasive plants and restore ecosystems !  Website offers information on noxious and invasive plant species, links to community partners, and a calendar of stewardship events !  Supports community groups working on public lands by providing start-up training, on-going ecological advice, restoration plan guidance, staff and equipment, and annual training and recognition events

Invasive Species Council of BC !  Social

media – Facebook, YouTube Smartphone Apps – Free for iPhone and Android !  1-800 number to report invasive species !  Practical and accessible information for practitioners and the general public !  Interactive map, organized by region, and calendar of upcoming events !  Training program and Public education forum !  Staff contact information !  Links to partner organizations – Canadian Council on Invasive Species !  Report-A-Weed





e-newsletters, bi-annual magazine publication, land conservation pamphlets, and research !  Directory of national, provincial, and regional conservation organizations !  Seminars and workshops for practitioners !  Online discussion forums !  Blog and social media !  Outreach for public participation in conservation

Climate Change Adaptation Community of Practice (CCACoP) !  Dedicated

to the advancement of knowledge and action in the area of climate change adaptation !  Canadian-based Interactive online community !  Researchers,

practitioners, policy makers

!  Main

objective is to support all Canadian provinces and territories in their efforts to incorporate climate change adaptation into planning and policies !

CCACoP Subcommittees Forestry Adaptation Community of Practice (FACoP)

Lake Simcoe Watershed Community of Practice (LSWCoP)

Models of Communities of Practice

Features and activities taking place on the CCACoP: !  Monthly

webinars library !  Discussion forums !  A “Call for Knowledge” forum where members can send out a request for information to other members !  Information about Upcoming climate change events !  Recent news articles on climate change adaptation !  Links to online adaptation resources !  Social Media   !  Regular email newsletters !  Resource

Ecosystem Approaches to Health (CoPEH) !  Spearheaded

by UBC, University of Guelf, and Universitie du Quebec a Montreal !  Funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) !  Developed to integrate approached to human and ecosystem health (Ecohealth) !  Participatory and interdisciplinary research !  Focus on gender, racial, and social equality !  Training and awards programs





CoPEH Objectives Plan and deliver courses on the Ecohealth approach for students and professionals doing international/ development work !  Manage an Ecohealth awards program for graduate students to conduct international development research !  Provide a forum for Canadians to consolidate and extend the Ecohealth approach through collaboration, exchange, and scholarly attention to methodology, pedagogy and knowledge translation !  Conduct an integrated program of participatory research and evaluation to examine the networking, educational and capacity building outcomes of the community of practice !  Develop long-term regional and institutional capacity including funding diffusion, research, and exchange ! 

ASSHTO CoP Forums !  Three ! 

official Communities of Practice on the website:

Air Quality CoP, Stormwater Management CoP, and Historic Bridges CoP

!  Designed

to encourage environmental stewardship in the transportation industry !  Annual CoP reports are created and available on the website !  All CoP discussions and webinars are facilitated and moderated !  Ample opportunity for conference calls, emails, and contribution to the annual CoP reports !  Practitioner handbooks available

Nourishing Ontario Web Community

Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO !  Comprehensive

website for environmental information for transportation professionals !  Links to Federal, State, and NGO agencies !  Links to current research and recent publications !  Information about conferences and workshops !  Regular email newsletters !  Contact information available !

Nourishing Ontario !  Sustainable

local food systems research group inventory of community food initiatives in Ontario !  Community includes practitioners, academics, the private sector and government officials from Canada, the UK and the United Nations !  Network concept maps demonstrating connections between initiatives !  Funded by SSHRC, OMAFRA, with contributions from University of Guelph, Ryerson, Lakehead, York, Laurier, and Carleton ! !  An

Outcomes of Workshop !  If

no support for BC Environmental Stewardship CoP, no further action

!  If

there is support, U Vic and SCBC will apply for a SSHRC Partnership Grant in 2014 to establish a BC Environmental Stewardship CoP with three years start-up funding






“We should see how people live their everyday lives... and do good things for it.”— Richard White I have tried to alter my daily routines to lessen my environmental impact on the planet. I have committed to riding my bike, given up eating non-organic bananas; I think about social and environmental sustainability within my own actions, but systemic change is much more difficult to create. A Buddhist legend tells the story of dragons terrorizing a town: the dragons are frightening, cracking boulders, breathing fire, and destroying the town at night. The people are controlled through fear: no one strays out of bounds. Despite no one ever seeing the alleged dragon(s), the people blame community destruction on a mythical creature. Change becomes bound to the existing narratives that we live in. If we substitute the “economy” for “the dragon” we can see our own misgivings. So how can we learn to see in different ways? “Sustained questioning” is extremely important for a community of practice (COP), as a collaboration of a community. In a CoP where we are looking for change, and the examination of discourse is the best route. ‘Sustainable’ is a convoluted word that can be interpreted to allow for destruction such as the tar sands and their promise of restoration. Sustainable is not plastic vs. glass; the discourse is much messier than that. According the UN we are in the decade (2004-2014) of sustainable development, but I have watched parents plant one tree at school to help the environment, and then drive away. Our conversations need to change. Maybe we should leave behind the word sustainable? Change is approached as a conversation of technique—Best Management Practices if you will—technical and formula- approach— yet it’s not formulaic when working with people. If we want to discuss wise practices, we need to have a wise conversation: constant critical questioning and challenging 22    

assumptions. This is not a pleasant conversation. What does it mean to live well? There are lingering questions: How did plastics ever come to be so ubiquitous? What prompted the change form glass to plastic? What are other people in the world doing? How much does it cost to recycle a glass jar? What alternatives exist? What do we have to buy anyways? When we ask complicated questions we change. When we ask we go from knowing what we need to do, to being who we need to be. Asking these questions creates Communities of Practice.

PROVINCIAL  GUIDANCE  AND  POLICY  FOR  ENVIRONMENTAL  STEWARDSHIP   Consistent and Timely Decisions Christine Unghy, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Resource Operations “If you can’t explain it to a 6-year-old you don’t understand it yourself” - Albert Einstein We are presently leaning the NRS Referrals and Guidance Project (formerly known as Land-use Guidance). Currently available to just Ministry staff, it is a web-based library of 300 documents that we hope to make publically accessible by November 2013. The documents are filtered, organized, and summarized. The interface is intended to be a share-point, including guidance categories such as riparian, forestry, etc. We are actively seeking a developer to bring the system to a platform suitable for public release. By bringing this to the public domain, there will be a growth of common understanding of basic expectations and this will build public pressure. Consistent and timely decisions: there is current overlap that is confusing for clients and they tend to pick whatever is easiest rather than what may be best. We need to evaluate and adjust how we manage guidance documents: we need uniform presentation, storage, ease of access for clients, and an updating process that is simple. Our end goal is to make it easy to find information, make information transparent, and make it easy to use and implement.    

Government Policy to Environmental Stewardship Jen Psyllakis, Ministry of Environment Environmental Stewardship is trust in careful and responsible management. Shared environmental stewardship is a responsibility accepted among all sectors—it’s the


rancher, the government, and academics. This is one of the key aspects the government is interested in: mobilizing information through all players that deliver on stewardship. Regulatory and Policy Framework: Policy is driven both ways, yet we work very much in silos. We made a focused shift to a results-based framework that is dependent on industry operators and developers taking increased responsibility for environmental stewardship. The Forest and Range evaluation is an example of when information changes, and objectives maybe need to be reset so that the policy realm really supports that framework. FRPAà objectives/industry objectives. Challenges we face as a Ministry are human and fiscal resources, reorganizations, technological advancements, and improved information. Information can reach more people, but it has to be interpretable and accessible and our website is currently outdated. In order to move forward, we must determine our desired outcomes and decide how we get there together. We used to be more invested in partnerships, collaborative approaches and articulating common goals than we are now. We need to think about creative methods to maintain these relationships before they are lost.

Species at Risk Act and Supporting Environmental Stewardship Danielle Prevost, Conservation Projects, Environment Canada – Canadian Wildlife Service Species at Risk Act (SRA) is federal legislation, and at 10 years old, its implementation has been in constant evolution. On private land, we rely on environmental stewardship as the SRA is only enforceable on federal land and does not provide certainty. We want to focus on effective protection, and in order to do this; we must consistently ask ‘does the existing legislation, on whatever level, work to protect these species?’ Canadian Wildlife Services that support environmental stewardship: 1) Ecological Gifts Program (EGP): Provides tax benefits to those who protect their land through conservation measures. But for reasons unknown, we have seen a large drop in the number of people interested in this over the past year. 2) Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP): We recently gained the ability to publically share our GIS data on habitat and landowner information. Issues such as privacy protection and overlap are both resource and monetarily costly. Over the course of the last three years, HSP has funded $2.5 million with emphasis on multi-year, and multipartner agricultural sector projects. The question then becomes, how can producers offset the costs of doing stewardship and restoration/conservation work? We create stewardship agreements between landowners and Environment Canada: Community champions go a long way in conservation and stewardship.



 nowledge Mobilization and Collaboration Tools: The Challenges and Solutions K of Working with Multiple Stakeholders in the Control and Management of Invasive Species Rachelle McElroy, 
Coastal Invasive Species Committee

Knowing what is necessary to support environmental stewardship involves working backwards from the site where the volunteer is working with nature. Beforehand, the volunteer needs to be trained, provided with fact sheets, short instruction sessions, and mentoring on the site. The use of social media is an excellent tool to build audience and capacity. The Coastal Invasive Species Committee has created the ‘BC Report-A-Weed’ app to collect information from citizen scientists. Additionally, the online BC Invasive Alien Plant Program Database is designed for public access. The control and management of invasive species also needs paid contractors and the funding for the work of the CISC comes from several BC government ministries, municipal governments, crown corporations and private industry. Public Outreach in Protecting and Restoring Garry Oak Ecosystems Rebecca Mersereau, GOERT (Gary Oak Ecosystem Recover Team) Our organization has a lot of elements of a COP. The team was formed in 1999: A partnership comprised from various stakeholders: consultants, first nations, and NGOs. The Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team (GOERT) is a group of experts who try to apply their expertise to carry though the implementation of the group’s plans. In 2007 a society was established to allow for a consensus driven, multi-stakeholder approach. The process is bottom up in the way it was designed. There was a lot of buy-in by those who came to the table. Those who came forward had influence in their own respective organizations and this manifested financially for GOERT through endorsements. The products of this partnership and the focus of this group has been the creation of publications. However, a weakness of the organization is a lack of multi-disciplinary specialists who can translate technical jargon: an example of this type of success is the gardener’s handbook Challenges GOERT encounters: 1) Our structure is resource intensive. Consensus is time-intensive and allows for ‘scope-creep’ when appealing to everyone involved in the partnership. Our members are often over-committed and are susceptible to burnout. 2) The scope of what we do is so large and we need to get the public involved. 3) We have limited capacity to provide extension. 4) Achieving sustained and consistent commitment from participants.


In conclusion, a CoP would help us and our members avoid duplication, therefore creating a more effective team. The Role of Environmental Stewardship in Conserving Species and Ecological Communities at Risk Pamela Zevit, Adamah Consultants; South Coast Conservation Program Environmental stewardship involves government and non-government organizations working together. Many coordination gaps exist between various levels of government, conservation groups, land use interests and local communities to conserve species and ecological communities at risk. We work on a landscape level and are intended to act as a coordinating body for several conservation programs: we want to extend conservation science for species and communities at risk. The two biggest global environmental threats are land use change and invasive species, but the question remains, how do we contend with these issues in our own backyards? We need to adapt our management and decision-making when dealing with climate change and very sensitive species. Species migration and the discussion around novel ecosystems add an additional layer of complication and urgency. We are the holder of cryptic species in the SW pocket of the province. As species move northward, we will take on new importance to these species, as we become the bulk of hospitable habitat. Our organization has recognized the need for social media and we have partners though UBC and e-flora and e-fauna, but in this we have had difficulty contending with the ongoing issue of limited and waning capacity. For example, how do you regularly update species profiles? We have been working to establish relationships with First Nations to assist their capacity limitation and lack of expertise through the development of fact-sheets based on First Nations knowledge. Janet Pivnik, Continuing Studies, University of Victoria Environmental stewardship involves reaching out to the public in ways that are relevant and meaningful. Our audience is diverse and covers the full spectrum of ages and learning styles from children to adults, they come from varying cultures, and hold differing values. Each group in the audience has its own unique interests and learning styles that need to be considered when engaging the public in environmental stewardship: There is talk of establishing a CoP for First Nations education and I want to establish a CoP for environmental education. We are trying to use adult education as a way to create social change.


Within continuing studies, we are divided into different units; each unit as a different topic and this creates difficulties with communication and collaboration. So how do we root our programing in social change and community need? How do we bring in revenue? We went in blind, and did not give a lot of thought to these ideas, and if you do you may avoid some of the problems we came across. Here are my suggestions:  Determine membership. Define who your audience is  Daily tasks take away focus form the bigger questions. A CoP allows designated space to vision ‘what is it we are trying to achieve?’  Had we been more explicit defining our goals, we may have been able to achieve more. Without clarity, initiatives can go in a direction you never intended them to go  Structural considerations: hierarchy can pose problems, power dynamics are always present  HR shift can affect these initiatives  Having a champion is really important  Take a collaborative approach: what does collaboration mean to you? The larger the group, the more difficult it is Environmental Learning: Lessons Learned from Developing a “Community of Practice” David Zandvliet, Professor, Simon Fraser University, Faculty of Environment 
Marine and Wildlife Biologist
 Chair, Institute of Environmental Learning
 In 1995 I helped write curriculum on environmental stewardship ‘Environmental concepts in the classroom’. Aside from the fact that no one knew about it, it was a very good document. In order to expand our audience, in 2007 we breathed new life into the previous curriculum through the use of participatory action research and created a new and improved version of the document. This document has been downloaded over 70,000 times, and BC is recognized buy the UN as a regional leader in environmental education. The link to your practice: have you really thought about what a great opportunity it is for kids in your communities to participate? Have you thought about engaging teachers into your community of practice? Most people in the community do not learn about the environment through a scientific lens and it is our responsibility to involve and educate students



David Blades, BEd, MEd, PhD. University of Victoria, Faculty of Education Blades is the Director Centre for Excellence in Science Education to help provide teachers with the tools they need to develop a more scientifically literate populace and to inspire Canada's next generation of scientists. Knowledge mobilization is a specialty of his and he provided the keynote address. Rachelle McElroy, BSc, MSc Coastal Invasive Plant Committee, Coastal Invasive Plant Committee McElroy is the Executive Director of the Coastal Invasive Species Committee. She works with government, contractors and community volunteers in controlling and managing invasive species on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the sunshine coast. Rebecca Mersereau, BSc, BE, MSc. Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team, Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team Mersereau is the Executive Director of the Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team (GOERT) that has taken a lead role in the recovery of this endangered ecosystem. GOERT is involved in all stages of species recovery from inventory and research to the implementation of recovery strategies. Janet Pivnick, BSc, MS, PhD University of Victoria, Division of Continuing Studies Pivnick has extensive knowledge in environmental education and oversees the development of Continuing Studies programs that foster community engagement and facilitate knowledge translation. She can discuss the needs of adult learners and techniques for community engagement. Danielle Prevost, BA, BSc, PBDM Environment Canada - Canadian Wildlife Service   Prevost works with landowners, industry associations, local governments, and conservation groups on the effective protection of species at risk on private land. Almost half of the species at risk listed under the Species at Risk Act occur on private land in B.C. Stewardship plays an important role in ensuring the survival and recovery of these species and their habitat. Danielle works to bring people together to collaborate on this important issue by engaging partners and stakeholders and by participating in a number of conservation projects across the province. Jennifer M. Psyllakis, BSc, MSc, PhD BC Ministry of Environment, Ecosystem Protection and Sustainability Branch Psyllakis is an expert in natural resource sector legislation and related policy, including 28    

establishing legal objectives under the provincial legislative framework. She works for the BC Ministry of Environment and is actively involved with community groups as well. Valentin H. Schaefer, BSc. MSc, PhD University of Victoria, Restoration of Natural Systems Program Schaefer is the Project Lead and primary architect of the Environmental Stewardship Community of Practice concept. He has 25 years of experience in environmental stewardship and is a Board member of several groups providing information to the general public for environmental stewardship. These groups include the Stewardship Centre of BC, the Coastal Invasive Species Council and the Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery. He is also a co-founder and the first Executive Director of the Douglas College Institute of Urban Ecology that engaged the public in numerous stewardship projects in the Lower Mainland of BC and produced many resource materials. Christine Unghy, RPF Government of British Columbia, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Unghy is the Provincial Authorizations Initiatives Specialist and is involved with environmental stewardship initiatives in the Canadian Wildlife Service. She will be responsible for engaging the public in volunteer activities that support the Federal wildlife management and conservation efforts of the Canadian Wildlife Service. David Zandvliet, B.Sc. M.A. Ph.D. Professor, Simon Fraser University, Faculty of Environment 
Marine and Wildlife Biologist
 Chair, Institute of Environmental Learning
 Zandvliet is an Associate Professor with the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University and an Adjunct Research Fellow at Curtin University of Technology (Australia). An experienced teacher and researcher, he has published numerous articles in international journals and presented refereed conference papers on six continents and in over 15 countries. His career interests lie in the areas of science, technology and environmental education. As a former director of the Faculty’s Centre for Educational Technology, he has considerable experience in the design and evaluation of classrooms and in the provision of teacher professional development. Pamela G. Zevit, BA Adamahs Zevit has extensive experience with environmental stewardship through the Como Watershed Group Society that she helped to form and through the South Coast Conservation Program. She is the Principal of Adamah Environmental Consulting and worked for a number of years with the BC Ministry of Environment on environmental planning and assessment.



GROUP DISCUSSION:  How  might  a  CoP  benefit  the  stewardship  community  of   BC?     Participants were divided into three groups to brainstorm and discuss the current challenges that the stewardship community faces, what could help people be more effective, and the role a CoP might play in addressing those obstacles. Finally, participants come back together to report on their brainstorming sessions and receive feedback through a larger group discussion.  

1. What are  the  current  challenges  faced  by  the  stewardship  community?  

Credibility and the Perception of Credibility As a stewardship group, possibly composed of volunteers, or possibly as a group of professionals, we often are required to speak to government staff, or consultants, who don’t necessarily listen to practitioners or other professionals. 

Gauging Success within Conflicting Value Systems It is difficult to achieve success, and there are often compromises to achieve any goals. There are conflicting philosophical concepts— you can’t necessarily put a dollar-value on a conservation property; however there must be common language between stewards and developers. Beyond competing interests, there are conflicting values within the stewardship community itself that impedes the measurement of success. Funding Project objectives and project scope are always contingent on the funding and the funding body mandates. Capacity Limited capacity of part-time staff is a symptom of funding. Additionally, reaching new audiences for support and volunteer time is always a challenge and demanding of staff time. In terms of volunteer recruitment, there’s no quick one-stop shop. There’s always a lot of local communication going on with your NGOs, Parks and Recreation—there are techniques to develop this, but it depends on whom you are recruiting. Access to Information Collectively, the existing stewardship community holds vast amounts of information, but


the challenge is in the approach to accessing and sharing the wealth of resources. Currently, there is no on singular place or access point where information is organized in a user-friendly interface. There are different ways of sharing of information— workshops, websites, but opportunity for connection and engagement would offer sustainable engagement with the information that exists.


2. What could  help  people  be  more  effective  or  make  things  easier?  

The obvious challenge is overcoming the silos that occur between organizations and government. For example, how does the average person contact someone in government or an organization? It is a confusing and stressful process. A directory would those in both the public and private sectors. A CoP would engage dialogue opportunities that allow for direct communication between people. A facilitator would be needed to ensure equal participation opportunity amongst various stakeholders. Currently, lack of funding and capacity constraints make it difficult to be strategic. A CoP could help by not duplicating efforts. In stewardship there are lots of opportunities that we could identify for collaboration: consulting with each other results in more opportunities. Experts get burned out if they are bombarded by individual requests. Additionally, a CoP could offer opportunities for students to get involved and have meaningful projects. The group voiced concern about having a Provincial CoP, and suggested that there may be interest to break this down more. In the public eye, there is a lack of credibility of stewardship groups. Sometimes local governments can be reluctant to listen to professionals from groups, or hire expensive contractors to check what they are trying to tell them. One of biggest strengths of CoP is that you're formalizing a partnership as it carries much more weight than a local community organization alone. A CoP could help with vertical integration; tracking our effectiveness would give the CoP additional strength and credibility, especially with education and outreach. A CoP motto that could be "Each one teach one", implying that we gain skills from each other.


Another challenge lies in conflicting value between stewardship and the economy and this is a very big challenge. A CoP could investigate these values through a social sciences approach to understand how to mitigate these differences.


3. Could a  CoP  fill  these  needs?  

To begin we must define stewardship and who is part of the stewardship community. Stewardship is taking some level of responsibility for land. The stewardship community shares a common land ethic. Stewardship is the collaborative effort and product of the various groups represented. There is debate over whether stewardship is conservation, monitoring, acquisition of property, and whether stewardship collaboration ostracizes and omits various individuals and/or groups? Covering the 4 elements of the mnemonic CARE. This broad definition seems to be a landscape level, it touches the ground, but it is a larger scope. The CoP would play a role in making connections. A CoP may play a liaison role between decision makers and technicians   Question Series: Will we have self-identified members of the group? Regardless, there will be issues that arise surrounding group size: too big or small; quorum is necessary, so how do you manage group size? Does stewardship include both the ‘money bags’ and the ‘gum boots’? Who is represented here, and who is missing? What role may those absent offer? Answer Series: First Nations are missing, students are missing, consultants are under represented, and developers are missing. NGO is here, local government is here, federal and provincial governments are here, academics are here. Mid-level roles are here representing facilitation Question: Are we representing ourselves as individuals, or as our organizations? Answer: We are a cross section of the stewardship community of BC to see if we think a CoP would be beneficial A Cop could address the siloing that goes on between our organizations, and assist our inability to address our desire for scope control due to budget limitations. Sometimes local government is accused that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. The larger community represents lots of redundancy due to communication challenges


and differing policies between organizations. Contact lists become obsolete due to HR transitions and a CoP may offer a defined contact list to broaden the network available to all stewardship practitioners.

Full Group Discussion/Report Back The discussion began with discussion regarding where/around whom a CoP would be centered. Would it be between senior decision makers and First Nations? Concern was voiced regarding key stakeholders who were notably absent from the proceedings (educators, practitioners, First Nations) as those present were largely government and gate-keeping decision-makers. Gaps between practical work and science, and community outreach and values are ongoing concerns that could be addressed through a CoP. A central contact directory was identified as a point of excitement for many participants who are weary of outdated and decentralized directories. The directory issue was noted as being the tip of the iceberg in terms of the siloing effect of the current stewardship community structure. The action component is important, but it’s the facilitated discussion that needs to take place. 
 Stewardship groups suffer from capacity and funding limitations, and we all know that a lack of funding equates to an inability to be strategic. A COP would reduce duplication of initiatives, allowing for collaborative efforts. Ideally in stewardship, there are a lot of opportunities that can be developed through a COP, and consulting with one another has actually led to more funding because we’re not all asking for the same thing. 




AN OVERVIEW  OF  EXISITING  ENVIRONMENTAL  COPs                                    Val  Schaefer “Communi(es+of+ Prac(ce+are+groups+ of+people+who+share+ a+passion+for+ something,+and+ learn+how+to+do+it+ be:er+as+they+ interact+regularly.“+' =+E(enne+Wenger'

Environmental'Stewardship' Community'of'Prac?ce'for'BC'

A+CoP+is+a+place+ where+people+ share+knowledge,+ exper(se,+ scholarship,+ideas,+ and+sugges(ons+ + Can+be+face=to= face+or+in+an+online+ environment+

Exis?ng'Provincial'CoPs'   Pacific'Streamkeepers' Federa?on'   Invasive'Species'Council''   Wetland'Keepers'   Shore'and'Reef'Keepers'   BC'Lake'Stewardship' Society'   BC'Land'Trust'Alliance'   BC'Wildlife'Federa?on'

Engagement'Skills' Deliberate'not'Incidental'

Need'for'Environmental'Stewardship' Community'of'Prac?ce'in'BC'   NGOs'offer'leadership' but'need'addi?onal' help'   Ongoing'need'to' mobilize'knowledge' beyond'research' forums'in'major'urban' centres'   Lack'of'agreement'on' some'ac?ons'required'




Need'for'Environmental'Stewardship' Community'of'Prac?ce'in'BC'   Spectrum'of'learners' from'children'to'adults'   Spectrum'of'skills'from' digging'holes'to' aVribute'tables'   Engagement'of' volunteers'   Conflict'resolu?on'

Engagement,'Interpreta?on'and' Convening'Func?ons'of'CoP'   Engagement:'establishing'rela?onships'and' building'trust'with'research'users,'including' decision'makers,'policy'makers,'and'prac??oners'   Interpreta+on:.pu\ng'research'results'into'clear' language'and'a'form'users'can'understand'   Conllabora+on:.physically'or'virtually'bringing' researchers'and'users'together'to'facilitate'an' understanding'of'mutual'roles'to'effec?vely'use' research'to'inform'policy'and'prac?ce.'

Spectrum'of'Environmental' Stewardship'Groups'   Regional'Nongovernmental'Organiza?ons' –  Garry'Oak'Ecosystem'Recovery'Team' –  South'Coast'Conserva?on'Program'

  Local'Nongovernmental'Organiza?ons' –  Nature'Vancouver' –  Victoria'Natural'History'Society'


Benefits'of'Environmental'Stewardship' CoP'   Improve'community' engagement'   Further'mobilize' knowledge'   Updates'on'new' research'   PlaYorm'for'debate' and'dialogue'

Spectrum'of'Environmental' Stewardship'Groups'   Municipal'Governments' –  Saanich's'Pulling'Together'Program' –  Surrey's'Salmon'Habitat'Restora?on'Program)'

  Provincial'Nongovernmental'Organiza?ons' –  Invasive'Species'Council'of'BC' –  Nature'BC'

CoP'Shared'Experiences'' Helps'Address'Barriers''   Cultural'Barrier:' English'ivy'   Behavioural' Barrier:'cats'   Ins?tu?onal' Barrier:'land'use' conflicts'   Conflic?ng'Uses' Barrier:'boaters'




BC'Environmental'Stewardship' Community'of'Prac?ce'–'' Poten?al'CommiVees'            

Invasive'Species' Species'at'Risk' Coastal'Ecosystems' Stream'Stewardship' Wetland'Stewardship' Land'Stewardship'


Alberta'Council'for'Environmental' Educa?on'CoPs'd'Benefits'   Listed'in'the'CoP''business' card''directories''   Account'on''   Kept'in'the'loop'on' events,'collabora?ons,' updates'   Added'to'a'Google'Email' group'   Have'access'to'a'shared' Google'Doc'folder' on.the.CCACoP:.                  

Monthly'webinars'' Resource'library' Discussion'forums'' A'“Call'for'Knowledge”'forum'where'members'can'send'out'a' request'for'informa?on'to'other'members' Informa?on'about'Upcoming'climate'change'events' Recent'news'ar?cles'on'climate'change'adapta?on' Links'to'online'adapta?on'resources'' Social'Media''' Regular'email'newsleVers'

Alberta'Council'for'Environmental' Educa?on'CoPs'd'CommiVees'   Water'Educa?on'   Conserva?on'and' Outdoor'Educa?on'   School'and'Community' Gardens'   Nature'Predschools'and' Kindergartens'   Land'Stewardship'and' Conserva?on'

Climate.Change. Adapta+on.Community.of. Prac+ce.(CCACoP)..   Dedicated'to'the'advancement'of'knowledge'and' ac?on'in'the'area'of'climate'change'adapta?on'   Canadiandbased'Interac?ve'online'community' –  Researchers,'prac??oners,'policy'makers'

  Main'objec?ve'is'to'support'all'Canadian'provinces' and'territories'in'their'efforts'to'incorporate' climate'change'adapta?on'into'planning'and' policies'   www.ccadapta?'


  Forestry'Adapta?on''' Community'of' Prac?ce'(FACoP)'   Lake'Simcoe' Watershed' Community'of' Prac?ce'(LSWCoP)'



' Health.(CoPEH)'

  Spearheaded'by'UBC,'University'of'Guelf,'and' Universite'du'Quebec'a'Montreal'   Funded'by'the'Interna?onal'Development' Research'Centre'(IDRC)'   Developed'to'integrate'approached'to'human' and'ecosystem'health'(Ecohealth)'   Par?cipatory'and'interdisciplinary'research''   Focus'on'gender,'racial,'and'social'equality'   Training'and'awards'programs'

Center.for.Environmental.'environmental' informa?on'for'transporta?on'professionals'   Links'to'Federal,'State,'and'NGO'agencies'   Links'to'current'research'and'recent'publica?ons'   Informa?on'about'conferences'and'workshops'   Regular'email'newsleVers'   Contact'informa?on'available'   hVp://www.environment.transporta?'


CoPEH.Objec+ves''the'Ecohealth'approach'for' students'and'professionals'doing'interna?onal/development' work.'graduate'students' to'conduct'interna?onal'development'research''Canadians'to'consolidate'and'extend'the' Ecohealth'approach'through'collabora?on,'exchange,'and' scholarly'aVen?on'to'methodology,'pedagogy'and'knowledge' transla?on'' evalua?on'to'examine'the'networking,'educa?onal'and' capacity'building'outcomes'of'the'community'of'prac?ce'   Develop.longGterm.regional.and.ins+tu+onal.capacity. including'funding'diffusion,'research,'and'exchange'


  Three'official'Communi?es'of'Prac?ce'on'the'website:' –  Air'Quality'CoP' –  Stormwater'Management'CoP' –  Historic'Bridges'CoP'   Designed'to'encourage'environmental'stewardship'in'the' transporta?on'industry''   Annual'CoP'reports'are'created'and'available'on'the'website'   All'CoP'discussions'and'webinars'are'facilitated'and' moderated'   Ample'opportunity'for'conference'calls,'emails,'and' contribu?on'to'the'annual'CoP'reports'   Prac??oner'handbooks'available'


  Sustainable'local'food'systems'research'group'   An'inventory'of'community'food'ini?a?ves'in' Ontario'   Community'includes'prac??oners,'academics,'the' private'sector'and'government'officials'from' Canada,'the'UK'and'the'United'Na?ons'   Network.concept.maps.demonstra?ng' connec?ons'between'ini?atves','OMAFRA,'with'contribu?ons' from'University'of'Guelph,'Ryerson,'Lakehead,' York,'Laurier,'and'Carleton'   hVp://'




Workshop' Outcomes'        

Collabora?ve'tools' Dissemina?on'tools' Priority'topics' Stewardship' partnerships'

Dissemina?on'Tools'   How'do'we'best'get' the'most'current' informa?on'to'those' that'need'it?''   How'do'stewards' learn'about'and' share'effec?ve'tools?''   Is'social'marke?ng' appropriate?)'

Stewardship'Partnerships' What'is'needed'for'the' governance'model'of'the' Community'of'Prac?ce'to' foster'beVer'effec?ve' stewardship'in'the'face'of' limited'resources'and' increased'demand?'

Collabora?ve'Tools'   Different'levels'of' government'and' stewardship'organiza?ons'   Ensure'ac?ons'are' coordinated'   Ensure'results'of'ac?vi?es' are'communicated'

Priority'topics'   Invasive'species,'species' at'risk,'ecosystem'based' management,' watersheds,'important' bird'areas,'climate' change'   What'are'the'topics'we' should'organize'around' and'what'are'good'tools' for'working'on'these' topics?''

Next'Steps' If'we'should'form'a' Community'of' Prac?ce'and'what'a' Community'of' Prac?ce'for' Environmental' Stewardship'in' Bri?sh'Columbia' might'look'like'








GROUP DISCUSSION:  Any  concerns  moving  forward?    Anything  you’re  really   excited  about?  

All participants were invited to voice their opinions, concerns, and hopes for the creation of a provincial environmental stewardship community of practice. Immediately, the lack of First Nations representation in the room was identified and many participants were concerned about voting for the creation of a CoP without First Nations representation/consultation. Other possible stakeholders were also notably absent from the CoP workshop proceedings, and the group discussed possible repercussions of not extending early invitations into the process. Some asked whether a CoP is necessary at all, and maybe there is a way to improve on existing infrastructure, for example the existing stewardship directory. A CoP has potential to be alienating to key stakeholders through the use of restrictive jargon associated with government and academia. However, if the CoP were to be created, it was noted that the visioning of the operational structure must be thoughtful to avoid potential overlap of roles and responsibilities of participatory groups and to enable collaboration. Issues such as scope were repeatedly brought up and it was thought that the CoP should be grounded in specific ecosystem/sites to control for ‘scope creep’. Once operational, the headlining concern was the ability of the Cop to maintain momentum. This will require a strong ongoing coordinator, as other members of the CoP are consistently over-extended. However, reliance on a single coordinator can be the downfall when staff turnover occurs if membership lacks engagement. Participation of contributing groups can fall stagnant as novelty subsides and members become involved in outside projects. Additionally, the proposed SSHRC grant would fund the CoP for three years, how would the CoP be funded in the long-term?


DECISION POINT:  Will  we  pursue  a  Stewardship  CoP?  

After  participants  were  offered  the  opportunity  to  discuss  their  hesitations  and  concerns   regarding  the  creation  of  a  provincial  environmental  stewardship  a  vote  was  held:  CoP     Go ahead: 18 On the Fence: 4   Final  Decision:  Move  Forward  with  SSHRC  grant  development.  



The brainstorming session began by combining overlapping goals, prioritizing, and identifying gaps, and identifying themes. The topic of terminology was discussed (e.g. goals vs. objectives vs. mission vs. actions). The group decided to create 3-6 simple, plain language goals of the CoP and participating organization’s mandates will fit under the umbrella of the CoP’s goal statements. Champion Stewardship & Ethic Approach A CoP would help provide a common voice to inform decision-making by policy makers, regulators, and funders. It would bring together a wide array of stewardship groups/practitioners to develop over-arching strategic priorities in province. A CoP would offer a platform to commonly promote market stewardship and showcase stewardship initiatives. Build Capacity (Funding/Time/People) A CoP would offer a location for a ‘onestop-shop’ for stewardship resources such as basic information in a “stewardship library”, contact lists, event listings, and a discussion forum. Networking and info– sharing are important to bring together the diverse spectrum of environmental stewards and enablers. Building capacity means empowering individuals and organizations to engage in stewardship activities. Training/development/mentorship are important aspects of capacity building. What is left missing are individual and common value and purpose.


Increasing and Effective Demonstration of Stewardship on the Ground A CoP would allow for sharing and enabling research that develop solutions for common problems. It would provide a common voice to guide practitioners. An example increasing effective stewardship is the implementation of ecosystem based management. A key aspect is the honed ability to identify and facilitate common projects and products. To follow this, tracking and monitoring are important to measure against goals to determine collective effectiveness.  


A fruitful brainstorming session produced some tentative social science research questions that would assist in the visioning of, the operation of, and the research produced by the provincial environmental stewardship CoP. The questions are as follows:


1. What kinds of drivers might be involved in engaging existing groups in the CoP? a. Myopic b. Cultural changes c. Insularisation d. Disciplinary knowledge base 2. Where are the socio-cultural barriers to holistic thinking? 3. Where are the socio-economic barriers to partnerships? a. What problem-solving skills do graduates lack? b. Within professional ethics, how do you deal with the conflicts between professionals and citizen science? 4. How do environmental stewards manage uncertainty? 5. What problems are encountered when problem solving? 6. How do scientists and practitioners incorporate First Nations led research? How do we become comfortable with term ‘sacred information’ and what does respecting sacred information look like? a. Dignity of peoples’ contribution b. Spiritual and ecological information c. Traditional Ecological Knowledge 7. How do we best work together to effectively resolve conflict? a. Within the community at large b. Within NGO community – infighting c. What will the CoP decision matrix tool look like?


d. What mechanisms will be employed to deal with disputes? Arbitrators? 8. What is age appropriate education and what are the associated teaching tools? a. How can a CoP can play role legitimizing environmental education and create curriculum linkages? Broader areas of research and knowledge gaps were also discussed without yielding specific questions. Examples of research themes include research on public trust doctrines and how they apply to environmental stewardship, research on use of technology (its effectiveness, credibility, its connectedness through social media, and access issues on First Nations reserves lacking broadband), and how to build community/volunteer relations through fun and social. It was suggested that within the CoP, a research group/committee be formed that includes First Nations and focuses on participatory action research. The use of students would build capacity of the CoP and graduate student research would offer linkages between sectors.  


Challenges Scope

Maintaining Momentum (sustainability)

Solutions  Aligned with resources  Ecosystem representation (focus on specific ecosystems/regions/local areas)  Identifying common issues of importance  Management plan  Ongoing assessment  Identification of short and long-term objectives  Issues relevant to organizations involved  Grow wisely: phased approach  Shared responsibility by participants to lessen the reliance on a single coordinator’s role


Gaps in  Participation/Representation  (Early invitation into the Process) 

Research on existing infrastructure, projects, models (inventory of CoPs) Engage in design/process for SSHRC Grant Identify a list of provincial organizations not present for this workshop BC Wildlife Federation, Pacific Salmon Foundation, Pacific Stream Keepers Foundation, Wildsite, FBC, BC Lake Stewardship Society, BC Nature, Outdoor Recreation


First Nations Involvement

Ongoing, non-competing Funding




Quality of Engagement



Council of BC, Government Regional/Local Ecosystem focus Peer-to-Peer management context Reach at a management level Defining terms of engagement Foundations “Knowledge Industries” (Gates Foundations, Google) Social Finances Social Enterprises Tap into other paradigms: Healthy communities, Stewardship Works, Citizenship Responds w/ local/regional issues Unique niche the CoP initiative fills Social marketing tools: Research on needs, effective meaningful messaging, branding Clarity of roles, expectations Guidelines for group processes Training of facilitators Roster of facilitators Not reliant on a single coordinator Good governance


What institutions, what roles, and how will conflicts be solved? It is important to begin by identifying key players and their roles and responsibilities. Examples of key CoP roles are facilitation/coordination/liaison, tracking and monitoring, communications (social media, networking, tech writing), group facilitation/conflict resolution, outreach (internal/external), a recorder/minute-taker, and finally a definable leader is necessary, group advocacy (multiple people will need to fill this role). Membership structure, leadership, and do we need a Charter? Rather than creating an entirely new leadership structure, it may be advantageous to follow the leadership structure of SCBC. The provincial and federal government will be identified as partners, so as not to alienate NGOs. The CoP will be academically focused with UVic/IEL and SFU, necessary to incorporate community interests. SCBC will be the conduit with changing partnerships involved in individual projects.


A CoP would not need to build a board of directors, as it would be relatively self-guided from the bottom-up. There is need for flexibility of whom exactly (which part of the existing structure) of the SCBC would be in a leadership role partnered with UVic and rotating levels of government (Federal, Provincial, Municipal). SCBC and UVic are leaders for the Grant and they need to understand the plan for the implementation of a CoP: Facilitation/coordination (communications, liaison), administration, and budget. Balance is needed between leadership and membership: we need to be aware that there are varying levels of potential engagement. Will there be a formal joining process and how to do we gauge who is interested? Membership will be open to all groups involved in stewardship, however there would be a core (initial and immediate connections high potential for engagement), periphery/partners engaged in a limited way (potential yet not immediate need), and those who are potentially interested. Membership roles are dependent upon the level of potential engagement, and will require commitment. Whether they sign up or participate as a guest, they will need some kind of meeting or interaction with other members will be required. There is potential for fluidity between being members who are limitedly engaged and those who are fully engaged through two-way facilitation of engagement. A product outcome will be necessary for meetings and engagements (concrete reasons to meet). There ought to be a balance between meetings and training of members. There is need to maintain the relevance of the role of an advisory group, or project management team. Board groups within the CoP may mimic the 2010 Winter Games broad groups that had focal areas that were co-chaired. Mission statement or overarching vision The ideas the mission statement should


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convey are the collecting and disseminating of knowledge, enabling better stewardship; or, the translating and distilling knowledge and information into understandable and useable pieces that can be easily implemented. The mission statement should be user specific information and written in plain universal language.


The grant application will move forward and work will be done to actively include the identified missing parties. Val Schaefer will bottom-line the SSHRC grant application which is due is 2014, and he will oversee the implementation of the official Community of Practice in 2015. Participants agreed that collaborative effort should begin now, building on the momentum and connections created during the CoP workshop, and it is not necessary to wait until 2015. A CoP potentially offers many opportunities for collaborative and positive stewardship work. Participants reported feelings of expectancy and were looking forward to follow-up that identifies what can be done in the near future to maintain the momentum created during this two-day collaborative workshop.  


SSHRC Environmental Stewardship Community of Practice Workshop  

Proceedings from Community of Practice Workshop held at the University of Victoria in October 2013.