Sustainability at heart of Metro Vancouver regional plans

The Sustainable Region Initiative includes the release of the compendium of management plans.

  • Jan. 4, 2012 1:00 p.m.

Metro Vancouver’s 10-year campaign to put sustainability at the centre of the region’s agenda, an effort known as the Sustainable Region Initiative, was celebrated at the final meeting of the 2011 board with the release of the compendium of management plans.

This document contains the nine major management plans adopted under the Sustainable Region Initiative umbrella, including the far-reaching Regional Growth Strategy, the high-profile and controversial Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan and the Regional Food Systems Strategy.

The new front piece, A Road Map to Sustainability, sets out the paradigm shift that the Sustainable Region Initiative brought to the region as well as the initiative’s driving principles, and describes some of the themes that illustrate the integration of these plans and their relation to global challenges.

“The sustainability challenge we face locally — a challenge equally pressing on a global scale — boils down to one central question,” said outgoing chair, Delta Mayor Lois Jackson. “How do we enhance our quality of life while preserving the regional and global capacity to fulfil human needs and ambitions, today and in the future?”

The concept of “sustainable development” was popularized by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development. Its 1987 report defined sustainable development as that  which “meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

During the past decade, the regional district used a sustainability framework to review management plans for its utilities and other services. Those plans set out long-term goals, strategies and actions, as well as annual action plans that confirm targets and identify deliverables.

A central tenet of the Sustainable Region Initiative is contained in its subtitle “Turning ideas into action,” and these plans reflect that imperative.

The Sustainable Region Initiative 2002-2011: The Compendium of Metro Vancouver Management Plans, includes an overview, A Roadmap to Sustainability, as well as these management plans which were approved by the board:

• Drinking Water Management Plan; Integrated Liquid Waste and Resource Management Plan;

• Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan;

• Regional Growth Strategy;

• Integrated Air Quality and Greenhouse Management Plan;

• Regional Parks Plan; Affordable Housing Strategy; Regional Food Systems Strategy; and

• Ecological Health Action Plan.

The Roadmap to Sustainability and all nine plans are posted at

For a direct link, click here:

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