Imagine that you were given the ability to create your own future and had a support network to help you at each step along the way to help get you there. That’s exactly what Fernie’s Community Partners have done with “Forever Fernie,” the community’s new Integrated Community Sustainability Plan.
What is sustainability? In a nutshell, sustainability is about living within the planet’s ability to sustain us while creating a future in which we, our children and all future generations can enjoy a high quality of life. In our journey towards sustainability we seek to integrate the three key elements of sustainability… social, economic and environmental sustainability.
In Forever Fernie, the process began in May with community members coming together to learn about sustainability and to create a common vision for the future in 10 “Strategy Areas,” such as Land Use and Natural Areas, Economy and Skills Training, and Community and Individual Health. These strategy areas sought to cover all of the things that a community could and should be doing to promote sustainability. A volunteer Community Sustainability Action Team (CSAT) of community stakeholders was then formed to help guide the process. For each Strategy Area, CSAT created “Descriptions of Success” from the community’s vision – clear statements of what a successful and sustainable Fernie will look like in 20 years. CSAT then looked at where Fernie currently stood in each Strategy Area and identified a set of actions and indicators to move the community towards the desired future and track progress. For each action, Community Partners were defined to lead and support the successful completion of the action.
An ICSP is not a “one-off” plan that sits on a shelf… it’s designed to be a living document that serves as the community’s overarching policy document to inform future decision making. While the City was a major partner in developing Forever Fernie, and has committed to apply its directions, the ICSP is owned by the entire community and all Community Partners and residents have a role in making Fernie’s common future vision a reality. It is expected that Community Partners will meet every year, review progress, and identify new actions to move Fernie forward.
From 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, October 3, CSAT and the City of Fernie is inviting the entire community to join them at the Arts Station to review the ICSP, hear how key Community Partners will be using the ICSP and provide feedback on how to move forward in the different Strategy Areas. Forever Fernie is now available to read at www.fernie.ca, and community members are asked to fill in a survey of the ICSP’s future vision and initial actions to help inform the final version of Forever Fernie
Please contact Allan Chabot at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments regarding Forever Fernie.