2017 ANNUAL REPORT BY OBEC CHAIR
OBEC has demonstrated Themes and Tools of the Biosphere Eco-City (BEC) model since 2009. In cooperation with other organizations it seeks to create a Culture of Sustainability to motivate government, business and community actions. This past year – 2017 – has been a good year for demonstration and cooperation by OBEC
THEMES OF SUSTAINABILITY
OBEC hosted public workshops on three Themes of Sustainability: Environmental Health (February), Sense of Place (May) and Habitat (October). All may be viewed as virtual workshops on the OBEC website (obec-evbo.ca). As well, OBEC addressed Waste with a tour of a waste disposal site (May). For Natural Capital, it applied as a junior partner for North American marketing and education with Water Rangers.
TOOLS OF ENGAGEMENT
The Database of Sustainability Projects is now an attractive display of hundreds of project summaries on the OBEC website (obec-evbo.ca).
EnviroCentre’s three-year Demonstration Project, Sustain Your Community, ended in November, with support from four OBEC volunteers. It addressed five BEC Themes, and details may be found on EnviroCentre’s website (envirocentre.ca).
In July OBEC’s Handbook and training material on School Sustainability Planning went to 40 Ottawa high schools and participants of an international conference. In December OBEC began discussions to develop two Community Sustainability Plans.
OBEC Council is strong in project development. OBEC’s plan to co-host a meeting of environmental organizations may strengthen the Council of Stakeholders Tool.
A Communication & Outreach Team formed in March and members supported the international Water Informatics Sustainability & Environment conference in July. In September, OBEC helped Ryerson University initiate a Toronto Sustainability Tour.
PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT
OBEC began 2017 with an experienced Webmaster and an energetic board. Other new volunteers included project leaders and an assistant Admin Team Leader. To support volunteers, OBEC bought Directors’ & Operators’ and Commercial Liability Insurance. Personal donations for projects were most welcome, and help from other organizations kept OBEC out of a deficit position. Fundraising remains a priority.
Jim Birtch, Chair, 15 January 2018