Saanich is one step closer to growing One Planet Saanich into a One Planet Island.
On Feb. 3, council heard a motion from Mayor Fred Haynes proposing that Saanich pitch the One Planet model at the 2020 Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities (AVICC) conference, and encourage the other municipalities to “engage their citizens in reducing their ecological footprint by utilizing a ‘One Planet’ or similar model for a sustainable future.”
Council was unanimously in favour of sharing the One Planet framework with other Vancouver Island municipalities.
Saanich is one of five international municipalities participating in the One Planet Cities Project. The One Planet framework – made up of 10 sustainability principles – provides steps for people to reduce their emissions and live more sustainably, Haynes explained.
In a report submitted to council, Haynes pointed out that research shows the global “ecological footprint is almost double the Earth’s bio-capacity.” This means that carbon emissions need to be reduced by about 70 per cent, he noted.
Saanich adopted the One Planet model in 2018 in an effort to reduce the District’s impact on the environment, Haynes said, noting that the program has been a success so far.
He sees the One Planet Island proposal as a “continuation of Saanich’s leadership journey” when it comes to addressing environmental issues. He feels that Saanich’s One Planet program sets an example for other municipalities and demonstrates what’s possible.
Haynes noted that while he brought the One Planet Island motion forward, he sees it as the culmination of work done by the whole council and is “really happy” to bring the framework to the rest of the Island.
With the whole Island community on board, a bigger impact can be made, he explained.
Before bringing the One Planet Island concept to the AVICC convention in April, Haynes pointed out that Saanich has a One Planet workshop planned for Feb. 20 at the Camosun College Lansdowne campus. The workshop is meant for businesses, schools, political leaders and other local groups who wish to explore opportunities for regional One Planet collaboration.
If all goes according to plan at the AVICC, Haynes said Saanich plans to bring the idea of a One Planet Province to the 2020 Union of B.C. Municipalities convention which will take place at the Victoria Convention Centre at the end of September.