March 15, 2014
The Province of B.C. has recently made public the phased implementation of the Cumulative Effects Framework. The Newsletter CEF newsletter_edition 01_2014-02 (1) and report CEF Overview Report_2014-02-24 (1)were released on March 12th, 2014. This Framework has been the focus of two meetings with the Howe Sound Community Forum members and observers with the Provincial staff. First on January14th and via a webinar on February 21st.
In response to Letter to Premier Clark re LRMP – Apr. 24 , requesting the Province address the cumulative impacts of multiple projects proposed for Howe Sound and the need for a comprehensive management plan, we have been in communication with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. Last fall, elected officials from around Howe Sound met with Minister Thomson with a request to commence a Land and Resource Management Plan for Howe Sound Region. 0913 Minister Thomson Response was “no” to formal planning but acknowledged the concerns regarding cumulative impacts. The Province would not put a moratorium on currently proposed projects but did respond by approving staff resources to introduce the Cumulative Effects Framework ( 2014-02-21 CEA Webinar Presentation) to Howe Sound members as a potential tool to assess current conditions and trends of a select set of environment, social and economic values in relation to existing management objectives.
The Province continues to provide answers to questions posed at both Forums. QA following HSCF meeting on 2014-01-14 have been published, the second round of questions posed by webinar participants are captured in this Forum Feb. 2014 Webinar Report. 2014-02-21 Webinar Questions and Answers were received late March and help provide a better understanding of expectations. Further questions can be sent directly to CumulativeEffects@gov.bc.ca.
Forums and dialogue on Howe Sound planning continue. The Howe Sound Aquatic Forum takes place in Britannia April 12th followed by a Visions and Values Workshop for the Howe Sound Community Forum members on May 2nd, 2014. Details to be posted soon. All stakeholder groups and First Nations will have a voice in the Cumulative Effects Framework process once it commences and the visions and values captured to-date will help move this process along.
As soon as possible the Howe Sound Community needs to communicate to the Province its interest in exploring the benefits of applying the Cumulative Effects Framework as a potential tool for Howe Sound and willingness to further exploring its use. This is not limited to local governments.
Expressions of support are not binding, but demonstrate continued interest to protect and preserve our common values.
Expressions of support from organizations and individuals are welcome – please address to email@example.com.
If we move forward in 2014 a workplan will be developed with the province that will clarify roles and resourcing. The Future of Howe Sound Society supports the exploration of this tool and how it may apply to preserving and protecting our common values for Howe Sound.