Here’s the latest news from the Bras d’Or Lakes Collaborative Planning Initiative (CEPI):
The Steering Committee recently accepted a framework document which provides a roadmap for the development of the overall environmental management plan for the Bras d’Or Lakes. The management plan will have two levels, one that encompasses the entire Bras d’Or Lakes, and separate, focused plans for each of the twelve sub-watersheds within the Bras d’Or.
A State of the Environment Report is underway by UINR and Environment Canada. This report will give a comprehensive understanding of the conditions of the environment of the Bras d’Or, from water quality and invasive species to furbearing animals and rare plants. A Bras d’Or Lakes Ecosystem Overview and Assessment Report (EOAR) is being completed by DFO in collaboration with UINR. This second report summarizes key ecosystem information and human uses of the Bras d’Or Lakes, and incorporates Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK).
A TEK workshop,was held May 2006. Twenty-five First Nations and twenty-five Non-First Nations Elders were invited to attend. The proceedings of this workshop are nearing completion.
The Collaborative Salmon Initiative (CSI) workshop was held in June 2006. Seventy participants heard presentations from all levels of government, First Nations elders, youth, recreational fishers, etc., then discussed the issues in breakout groups. Pending review of the proceedings of this workshop, a management planning team will be created to develop a plan for sustainable management of Atlantic Salmon in Cape Breton.
Over the summer, a planning team was struck to create a communications plan for CEPI. This team has met several times to discuss such communication essentials as a website, content, key messages of CEPI, newsletters, a watershed resident survey to be conducted in 2007, and community outreach. The CEPI website is under development and we are ready to upload content.
A Senior Council meeting is scheduled for November 14. This meeting includes regional directors general for all the federal departments involved with CEPI, the deputy ministers responsible for those provincial departments involved with CEPI, our Steering Committee, the Chiefs of all Unama’ki First Nations, etc. At this meeting we will showcase CEPI’s accomplishments and activities for the past year, and discuss our plans for the upcoming fiscal year.