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A Method To Assess The Cumulative Effects Of Land Use & Dispossession On The Indigenous Seasonal Round

I've been leading a lot of #CumulativeEffects work in Secwepemcúl’ecw, the unceded Traditional Territory of the Secwépemc Nation. The people of this indigenous Nation have lived in southern British Columbia, Canada, for over 10,000 years and their Territory is the largest of all First Nations in British Columbia occupying almost 20% of the Province.  

In the Virtual Time Machine Podcast, I discuss how we can travel back in time to see how the Secwépemc lived for thousands of years, directly from the land, long before the arrival of Settlers. In the spring, summer and fall, they would travel to different areas of Secwepemcúl'ecw to gather the various resources from they land they needed to survive.  This moving around for resources is characterized in English as the 'Seasonal Round'.

Obviously, food was a critical resource.  Here is an excerpt from BC School District 73 website about this.

“In winter people...

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How To Select Indicators That Will Help You - And How Many Do Yo Need?

My last blog explored stories as one of the most powerful Virtual Time Machines. In planning, especially land use planning, our stories are captured and shared as scenarios. They are like “short stories” rather than novels. When you develop a land use planning scenario, you have a general sense of where and when but the place to start working out the details is to understand what is important first. The key priorities or values are the starting point – and everything else is connected to this. 

"Defining an appropriate set of indicators at the earliest stages of the planning process is crucial because it influences all the subsequent decisions"

In storytelling, these are the characters. In scenario planning, these are the performance indicators. In environmental impact assessment terminology – these are the valued components. Defining an appropriate set of indicators at the earliest stages of the planning process...

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#CumulativeEffects

 

You heard it here first, one of the biggest hashtags in your social media will soon be #CumulativeEffects    Cumulative Effects is a term that soon will be as common in our discussions as #ClimateChange. 

WHY?
The Virtual Time Machine shows us that we are entering the Anthropocene, a geologic epoch where humans have become the dominant force of change and where the scarcity of natural resources is on the rise. This is driven by 2 key factors:

1.   Planet Earth is a system with finite (a set limit of) resources

2.   Humans are increasing in # and per capita resource consumption at unprecedented levels


Photo by Jayphen Simpson on Unsplash

When did this start? The arrival of the industrial age has increased our technology and power – improving our collective quality of life beyond anything ever experienced before in history. But we are now starting to realize that the patterns, processes and approaches...

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War In The Woods

Have you ever spent a whole bunch of time making a plan, and maybe not only a bunch of time, but a bunch of money putting together a very comprehensive plan for something that you want to do? And you've tried to do your due diligence. You to tried to cover all the bases, meet all the requirements, you feel like you thought about everybody’s perspective in putting together your plan. After a good long time and a fair bit of effort your plan is finally done. Then you go out and share it with a bunch of other people you think will be interested. In my experience doing that results in one of two different responses; either it’s total silence and I mean like crickets…… and nobody even wants to hear you,


Or worse, you get a bit of a backlash, or maybe some resistance or maybe even anger. Why does that happen? You know you’ve covered all the bases, you’ve met all the legal requirements, you try to do things with the best intent but it’s not...

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Is Your Plan Is Working?

Indicators are how you will be able to measure performance in scenario planning and implementation.  Think of it just like the dashboard in a car or truck where you have a number of indicators that inform you about the performance of your vehicle.  For example, you have a speedometer to tell you how fast the vehicle is moving, you have a fuel gauge so you know how much fuel is left before you hit a critical threshold of running out of gas, and you normally also have a temperature gauge so you know how hot the engine is and therefore how well your cooling system is working.  These are all indicators.

Defining an appropriate set of indicators at the earliest stages of the planning process is crucial because it influences many subsequent decisions including the study area boundary, how the landscape is stratified, and what data and information will be needed. 

What makes a good indicator?

 

  • It fits with the interest of the target audience, is easy to interpret...
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US Election A Reminder - Nobody Has A Crystal Ball

None of us has a crystal ball we can use to predict the future. Our ability to anticipate future outcomes is limited by our understanding of the complex systems we are a part of. And these systems are in constant flux - subject to both cyclical and random disruptors. The outcome of the US Election is a good reminder for us that our understanding of these systems is shallow and uncertainty is real. Despite 24 hour/day monitoring, researching and discussion for 18 months – the experts were not able to predict what happened.


And yet, we know that the choices we make today will directly influence the outcomes of the future. So, how do we go about planning for an unpredictable future with less than a full understanding of the dynamics at play? Well, to start there are 5 key drivers of change that need to be considered; social, economic, ecological, technical and political. And rarely do these drivers act independently either – it is usually a mix...

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