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Strategic Planning

The Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership: 2015 Planning Workshop Documentation (MSWord 9 pages)
Results of a Workshop – January 16 – 17, 2015
Marshlands Inn, Sackville, New Brunswick
DRAFTED BY Jenna Boon, February 9, 2015
On Friday January 16 and Saturday January 17, 2015, the steering and management committee members of the Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership and invited guests (Appendix A) met through a facilitated workshop to revisit the Partnership’s goals and identify short term (and longer term) actions. Prior to attending the workshop, participants agreed up an agenda and outcomes for the session and had requested that Ms. Jenna Boon, Executive Director for the Joggins Fossil Institute, facilitate the workshop.  This documentation has been drafted by Ms. Boon to provide a record of the outcomes of that planning session.

BoFEP’s Strategic Plan 2011-2015 D11   (PDF, 447KB, 28 pages)
Shaping the Future Direction and Agenda

This working document describes the BoFEP Strategic Plan for the period 2011–2115. It was prepared for the Steering Committee and membership to help shape a future direction and agenda for BoFEP. As funding opportunities, personnel, and environmental issues of concern change with time, it is necessary for an organization to examine itself and plan accordingly. This strategic plan is the outcome of several years of intermittent planning and analysis, led by the Outreach Working Group and its Strategic Planning Advisory Committee. It identifies an organizational and operational path forward for BoFEP. We believe that implementing the Strategic Plan will lead to a more sustainable organization and work output of continued value to the mission and goals of BoFEP.

2006 Discussion Paper: “The Future of BoFEP:  its long-term support”
[Prepared by Marianne Janowicz and the Strategic Planning Committee]  October 2006.

BoFEP was established to provide information to all sectors so that the ecosystem of the Bay of Fundy would be managed in a manner that would sustain the Bay and its people. Over the years, BoFEP has primarily accomplished its objectives through the biannual workshops that take the pulse of the Bay.

BoFEP members maintain an interest in taking a more active role in aspects of ecosystem management. This requires that the membership rethink or reconfirm its operational practices. It needs to build flexibility into its mandate and objectives in order to truly meet the needs of the people and the ecosystem of the Bay of Fundy and its watersheds. It also needs to have the flexibility to adjust to a changing political and social climate of the area.

It is with this in mind that the Management Committee met for a two-day Retreat in July of 2006 to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the organization and find ways to make it relevant today and even more relevant tomorrow.

The following recommendations are the outcome of the discussion at the Retreat. It is hoped that a number of them can be moved forward quickly and others the become stimulus for discussion among membership leading to a revitalized organization.

Objectives of BoFEP:

  • Inclusiveness is critical for the ongoing success of the organization and it should be fostered with industry, NGO’s, First Nations and governments and institutions.
  • The strategic goals of creating, sharing and utilizing knowledge should incorporate language that makes them accessible to industry, NGO’s, First Nations and Government/Institutions and specific actions should be developed under each goal relative to those sectors.

Structure of BoFEP and Role of Members:

  • The Steering Committee needs to be enlarged to include industrial representatives and more government agencies.
  • As a means to make participation the Steering Committee more interesting and involving, members could be asked to make a choice of either belonging to a Working Group or becoming involved in outreach.
  • In all matters related to structure, BoFEP should have flexibility to adjust to changing circumstances.

Increase sector involvement:

  • Projects and research should include the social/economic factors as well as traditional knowledge rather than be primarily pure science-based.
  • The organization needs to take on the challenge of developing new objectives under creating, utilizing, and sharing knowledge that fulfill industry needs. The revised strategic objectives should be sent to industry as a means of informing the sector about BoFEP and what it offers and solicit comments on services BoFEP could provide.
  • Industry and other sectors should be consulted to identify projects that they require in order to be more sustainable.
  • BoFEP needs to inform industry of its capacity in providing forums for disseminating information, information access and interactive tools. A plan is required for approaching key people in industry on a one-on-one basis.
  • The Management and Steering Committees need to assess ideas for an industry advisory committee and identify the way to implement the agreed on direction. Those ideas are the following:
  • An advisory committee composed of industrial associations dependent on a healthy Bay of Fundy ecosystem;
  • An industry advisory committee with a terms of reference related to providing advise to the Gulf of Maine Council;
  • Organizing localized meetings with industry to discuss potential for linkages with BoFEP.
  • BoFEP should establish an informal discussion group with fisher organizations and other NGO’s to increase their understanding of BoFEP and discuss research or other projects relevant to them that BoFEP might be able to undertake.
  • The relationship with the Gulf of Maine Council and specifically, the Canadian Association of Gulf of Maine Council should be formalized. BoFEP could fulfill the role of facilitator for feedback on draft action plans and other activities and documents.
  • Identify and carry out an outreach approach relevant to the Canadian Council needs.
  • BoFEP should solidify and expand linkages with research and academic institutes around the Bay of Fundy.

New Approaches or roles for BoFEP:

  • Identify a champion for BoFEP. That person would have the connections necessary to approach senior government people as well as with the other sectors.
  • BoFEP must make a commitment to be more socially responsive and include the cultural and spiritual component and traditional knowledge in all aspects of ecological planning.
  • The boundaries of BoFEP involvement need to expand to include watersheds of the Gulf of Maine and also the North West Atlantic and North East America from a land based viewpoint.
  • Further develop the opportunity for BoFEP to become a facilitator and initiator of forums for issue discussion, information gathering and dissemination. BoFEP is in a position to facilitate community involvement such as in the early stages of an ecological assessment of the Bay of Fundy as a starter to integrated management. It could also organize forums on behalf of industry to disseminate information to the public and create the venue for discussion. Alternative energies, wind and tidal power may be interested in such forums, as may be the nuclear energy and nuclear waste management industries.
  • BoFEP should consider pursuing the activity of linking research institutes to industries with specific needs for knowledge sharing as one of the services the organization provides.
  • BoFEP should take on as an activity the role of bringing Native communities and government and others together to share views on conservation so that a greater understanding is built.

Revitalizing Working Groups:

  • Working groups must be inclusive, responsive and relevant while fulfilling the objectives of creating, sharing and utilizing knowledge.
  • Working groups need to incorporate traditional knowledge into science and create a balance between science orientation and social and cultural issues that are the drivers along the Bay of Fundy.
  • Working groups must be provided with funding in order to effectively carry out the work they wish to do.
  • A champion should be sought for a working group to look at the issue of cumulative impacts and the creation of a tool box for assessing cumulative impacts.
  • In order to create better communication between the working groups and Management and Steering Committee, working groups would identify a member who acts as the reporter to Steering Committee.
  • Chairs of working groups should be members of BoFEP and should also attend the AGM.
  • Establishing an outreach committee may be necessary, with a first task of identifying a mechanism for outreach that will be utilized. A target for increasing the profile of the organization would be senior government people, particularly with the Canadian GOMC members. Outreach should also involve bringing people to the table who can help support BoFEP either with direct funding or through networking.
  • Consideration should be given to soliciting voluntary contributions for working groups in the Workshop registration form. The section would briefly identify the intent of the Working Group and could spark a bit of interest and encourage people to take ownership and participate.

Indicators of Success

  • The organization needs to examine progress on a regularly basis and develop a report card on itself. A specific forum or a special Steering Committee meeting should be devoted to discussion on identifying progress over the past two years and where further work is necessary.
  • Indicators of progress can be developed by taking the issues of concern from the first workshop and assessing them related to information provided at subsequent workshops.
  • The next discussion topic for the workshop could be the trends and conditions of the health of the Bay of Fundy eg. a synthesis of monitoring programs in the Bay of Fundy and the messages from monitoring (eg. Are we using the right indicators? Are we monitoring the right species? etc). This would create our report card.

Financial issues:

  • BoFEP should have a membership fee—there could be two workshop registration fees – one for members and one for non-members with the members fee at a lower cost thereby providing a benefit to being a member. Members would have the following benefits: website access, reduced rates at workshops, factsheets in the mail, an electronic newsletter, invitations to workshops, the right to participate in Working Groups and guide the direction of the organization through the constitution.
  • There needs to be a discussion within the steering committee and management committee on the best approach for funding the biannual workshop.
  • Subsidies must continue for non-government representatives on the Management Committee and Steering Committees.
  • A stipend should be provided to the treasurer for assistance with administrative work.