Adding It All Up

How can our communities plan for growth, maximize social and economic benefits, and minimize negative effects?

How can we assess the cumulative environmental and socio-economic effects of multiple development projects across the regional landscape?

How should socio-economic and environmental data be best collected, managed, and made accessible?

Conference Proceedings are now available.


The Bulkley Valley Research Centre hosted its biggest conference to date this week, setting the stage for an ongoing discussion on the cumulative effects of resource development on northwestern B.C.

The Adding It All Up: Balancing Benefits and Effects of Resource Development conference attracted 170 participants on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Representatives from research, government, industry, conservation and First Nations were present to talk about the social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts of an economic boom projected for the Northwest.

Gerald Amos, director of community relations for Headwaters Initiative and a member of the Haisla Nation, threw down a challenge early on the first morning, saying that the conference needed to result in on-the-ground changes to how we approach development: “While I appreciate that this conference is well-intentioned, great intentions are simply not enough any more—not when it comes to the future of this region,” said Amos, whose traditional territory currently faces a myriad of development proposals.

Award-winning journalist Terry Glavin, who 20 years ago wrote A Death Feast in Dimlahamid, a book about about resource issues and First Nations rights in the Northwest, offered an optimistic perspective on the conference’s second evening.

“Today, you will read in the Vancouver Sun how bloody wonderful it is that the people of the Skeena basin have somehow found a way to begin the process of moving the centre of fishing effort back where it belongs; that the restoration of these tribal fisheries can occur in ways that don’t unduly displace the commercial fleets of the coast,” Glavin told roughly 70 people who attended the evening event.

“You have no idea how 20 years later you’re once again at the vortex of these conversations that people around the world are trying to figure out, and you’re doing a damn good job of it.”

The conference’s keynote speaker was Lorne Greig, a systems ecologist from Ontario with extensive experience in cumulative effects assessments, who spoke at the conference banquet Wednesday evening. Greig summed up the conference following a panel discussion as the conference drew to a close.

“I think this was an amazing first step and I think you need to expand the discussion,” he said. “I’m just amazed that this is even happening.”

Research program manager Rick Budhwa ended the conference by saying the Bulkley Valley Research plans to host subsequent events and invites the community to approach him with ideas and proposals for cumulative effects projects.

“The BVRC is committed to creating an ongoing dialogue about cumulative effects in the region. Our intention for this event was simply to start the conversation,” Budhwa said. “It’s not about simply saying ‘no’ to development, it’s about creating a collaborative environment where we can all have that conversation.”

August 28, 2012 News Release

Adding It All Up region’s first conference on cumulative effects

November 1, 2012 News Release

Cumulative effects conference hosts diverse, acclaimed slate of speakers:  Glavin, Greig to headline evening events

November 7, 2012 Interior News Article

BVRC hosts resource conference

November 16, 2012 News Release

Cumulative effects conference adds up to successful dialogue

November 28, 2012 Interior News Article

BVRC conference adds it all up

Conference Sponsors (Click on logos to visit sponsor sites)

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Smithers Exploration Group Crossroads Culture Resource Management HyTech Drilling Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia SkeenaWild Conservation Trust BC Hydro Imperial Metals McElhanney Altagas Spectra Energy Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition Archer Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations University of Northern British Columbia
Invest Northwest BC Smithers and District Chamber of Commerce
World Wildlife Fund Canada Skeena-Nass Centre for Innovation in Resource Economics