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Ecological Regeneration

The term regenerative describes processes that restore, renew or revitalize their own sources of energy and materials, creating sustainable systems that integrate the needs of society with the integrity of nature.

Regeneration is far more than simple renewal or restoration. It includes three key ideas: a radical change for the better; creation of a new spirit; returning energy to the source. The scale of change required over the next few decades requires profound changes in how we design, construct and inhabit our environments. The challenge is to design ecologically sustainable buildings, landscapes and communities as integrated wholes that reconnect us to a living and beautiful world and awaken an appreciation of what is life-giving. The science of living systems is revealing an understanding of nature as alive, self-organizing, intelligent, conscious or sentient and participatory at all levels.

In an intelligent and purposeful world, we ask not just how do we harvest wood sustainably, but how do we live with the forest in a way that enables the forest to evolve. Working from a living systems perspective shifts the focus of our attention from simply solving today's problems to working to realize the upper limits of creative potential a healthy system is capable of manifesting. This focus builds from an understanding of the unique nature of a community and of the inter-reliance of human and natural systems that create that uniqueness. It can awaken a deep and caring sense of place and thus become the source of a new community spirit that reconciles longstanding deep divisions as people work together to create an increasing vitality, viability and capacity for evolution of the whole.

Given that many people now depend on what have become degraded ecosystems to sustain their livelihoods, ecological regeneration needs to undertake four elements critical to successful ecosystem management: improve biodiversity conservation; improve human livelihoods; empower local people; and improve ecosystem productivity.

Ecological regeneration must be a primary component of conservation and sustainable development programmes. It is uniquely valuable is its inherent capacity to provide the opportunity not only to repair ecological damage, but also to improve the human condition, by renewing economic opportunities, rejuvenating traditional cultural practices and refocusing the aspirations of local communities.

By assisting the natural recovery process of an ecosystem that has been comprimised, degraded or damaged, it is an intentional activity that initiates or accelerates an ecological pathway ­ or trajectory through time ­ towards what's called a reference state.

Ecological regeneration has as its goal an ecosystem that is resilient and self-sustaining with respect to structure, species composition and function, as well as being integrated into the larger landscape and supporting sustainable livelihoods. In this respect ecological regeneration supports conservation and sustainable development efforts.

There are two major challenges involved when undertaking ecological regeneration. One is how to undertake regeneration across areas comprising a variety of land-uses. The second is how to equitably balance the trade-offs between improving biodiversity conservation and improvements in human wellbeing.

Okanagan Wetlands Regeneration Alliance Okanagan Wetlands Regeneration Alliance Okanagan Wetlands Regeneration Alliance Okanagan Wetlands Regeneration Alliance Okanagan Wetlands Regeneration Alliance The
Okanagan Wetlands Regeneration Alliance

Okanagan Wetlands Regeneration Alliance is a group of progressive citizens, groups, companies, institutions, organizations and communities who want to put nature back into the centre of Okanagan life.

The Alliance was formed to apply the principals of ecology to the wetlands of the Okanagan Basin, which are the source and heart of the future of human habitation and economy of this area, and which are in continuous need of study, understanding and regeneration.

Please contact:
Robert MacDonald, Director
1473 Ethel Street
Kelowna BC V1Y 2X9
Telephone: 250.870.2690
Email: click here

The Partners in the Wetlands Alliance are
  • Okanagan Basin Water Board
  • District of Lake Country: James Baker, Mayor
  • Okanagan Greens: Angela Reid, President
  • Okanagan Institute: Robert MacDonald, Director
  • Okanagan College: Douglas MacLeod, Associate Dean, Science and Technology
  • Community Futures of the Central Okanagan: Larry Widmer, Director
  • Summerhill Organics and Wildcraft: Gabe Cipes, President
  • Okanagan Nation: Chad Eneas, En'owkin Centre
  • Okanagan Network for the Environment: Deb Thorneycroft, Coordinator
  • Aspire Media Works: Geoff Millar, President

    The Alliance welcomes participation from members of the public, as well as from companies, organizations and institutions of all kinds.
  • Okanagan Wetlands Regeneration Alliance
    Okanagan Wetlands Regeneration Alliance

    Published under a Creative Commons copyright. Created, designed and hosted by the Okanagan Institute.