The Land Between strives for Bioregionalism:
Community in Action
Bioregionalism is a holistic way of viewing a landscape. It encompasses and honours all the relationships that exist between and across sectors. It is an approach that understands that a region- from the land to the people – are interdependent and interrelated, and that each region is unique in its patterns and character. Bioregionalism is based on the knowledge that Nature informs Culture and which fosters the Economy and wellbeing of people. The Land Between’s vision is for animate and active bioregionalism; where a sense of place is instilled in the residents of the region resulting in an identity and behaviors of celebration and conservation for the unique features of the region and the relationships that exist between them.
We understand that everything comes from the Land; our resources, our patterns of movement, consumption, and creativity, our economies, and therefore our culture and identity. We strive to maintain and communicate this intimate relationship with the natural land around us.
Nature is animate and dynamic, with systems and processes that are integral and illusive. If the natural capital is in tact much like a capital investment, nature will renew itself and provide valuable ecosystem services for our lives. Therefore our goal is to preserve Nature’s capacity for renewal through facilitating land stewardship and securement, especially within connected priority areas.
Diversity, Equality and Relationships
We learn from difference. Difference makes us stronger and smarter. Diversity in the form of genes, species, peoples and perspectives serve to enrich our lives making our efforts more meaningful, and then our actions more responsive and resilient. Honoring the diversity of knowledge and perspectives provides new insights and opportunities for new solutions. Diversity depends on equality; equal voice in decisions across the spectrum of stakeholders and including the consideration for those without voice (future generations and wildlife). The Land Between operates without hierarchy, by consensus, and honoring diversity
Our goals for conservation and renewal are not not only based on a healthy Natural foundation, but is only possible through our relationships with the environment and one another. Therefore the cultivation of relationships and open kind dialogue are pivotal to our organizational culture and our operations. Collaboration is essential for success. In this way too, we ensure that we do not duplicate efforts and that we support the capacity of all of our partners, and we engage with our communities to understand needs and to find solutions. We understand community as a verb- to be practised!
Relevance and Responsibility
Because of our relationships including having and grassroots and representational Council and our many community partners, we continually investigates needs across the region to identify needs and gaps. We choose relevant projects that provide multiple benefits across sectors, levels and which are always conducted in collaboration with multiple partners including community groups. We put our communities and therefore our goals before self-interests. Therefore our budget and operations are reflective of the needs as identified within our strategy and as expressed through partners and communities. The majority of our funds at over 85% are directed to projects over administration.
The Land Between was developed through grassroots efforts by community leaders. The organization operates efficiently and transparently by hosting open meetings, posting meeting minutes and annual reports. We are beginning to assign specific metrics for measuring achievements and where we can estimate costs against these outcomes. In this way we can more accurately report our impact to our communities.
To understand The Land Between philosophy, and our principles, and to understand bioregionalism, it is important to understand how TLB evolved. The Land Between began as a journey of discovery; Peter Alley and then myself led each phase of its evolution- out of devotion and the desire to effect change and for the public good. First Peter spent years in understanding, sensing and qualifying this unique ecological landscape, which provided the basis for the movement; the regional boundaries and a foundation of interest. Then I broadened the scope and vision to include culture and the social economy for a complete mandate to achieve bioregionalism – and with a supportive team and with a democratic pluralistic and grassroots governance structure.
The organization was in place to help celebrate and conserve all facets of our communities; from the people, to our heritage and culture, from the natural world as the basis of our identity, and our behaviour, to our economies.
Both Peter and I have entrepreneurial spirits similar to those found across this region! I have a lot of faith, and find taking risks rewarding. I have, and I believe Peter had as well, a vision of what Canada could be, and of what good governance and cooperation could do. I see conservation as an animate relationship between people, their stories, and the land. And so after 10 years of Peter’s efforts, more than 10 years of mine, here we are today, as a recognized region, a National Charity, and an animatedly stewarded and celebrated region. The rewards of this work are innumerable!
People are surprised that the Land Between is not government funded, but rather the result of individual efforts: of two people devoting time and effort and with a group of wonderfully supportive folks around the table. The organization was founded on volunteerism, grants, donations, partnerships, and sales….and on love, sweat and tears! This should be celebrated in today’s day and age; it is about traditional values, community, and inclusive leadership. This is a unique region with a creative economy and of great Spirit. Therefore, the organization’s constitution is a true reflection of the communities within this region.