On November 27 and 28, 2018 Living Lakes Canada in partnership with The Gordon Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund-Canada co-hosted a Roundtable gathering in Ottawa, ON. The goal of the Roundtable was to bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members, academia, all levels of government, First Nations and industry that are involved or interested in community-based water monitoring (CBWN). The group was invited to take part in discussing recommendations and opportunities for elevating the profile and potential support for CBWN with the federal government.
CBWN is building momentum across Canada. A recent National scan conducted by LLC, SFU and U of Acadia, showed that CBWM has grown 3-fold within 10 years (see a summary of the report’s highlights here).
Citizens, scientists, academia, government and Indigenous communities are collaborating to build local water monitoring programs with a goal to understand the state of local watersheds. CBWN is a powerful way to achieve effective water management and stewardship practices that are tailored for local conditions and capable of keeping pace with rapid environmental change.
The growth of CWBN programs across Canada presents an opportunity for the Government of Canada to simultaneously advance a number of its core priorities. There are already significant investments across Canada including programming led by Environment and Climate Change Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. To make the most of these investments, efforts are needed to ensure programming across departments is well-coordinated, and effectively address community water stewardship needs.
Participants of the Roundtable gathered to review, edit and revamp the draft recommendations for the Government of Canada. Examples of successful CBWN were presented from government, Indigenous, academia and community-led initiatives and projects across Canada.
Host organizers of the event will be reviewing and gathering the input provided to create the final recommendations to be put forward to the Government of Canada.