Real Estate Foundation of BC Names 2018 Land Champion, Emerging Leader, and Land Award Finalists

TOTA's "Embracing Our Potential" Project Named Finalist for Land Use and Conservation Award

The Real Estate Foundation of BC (REFBC) will present the 2018 Land Champion Award to Lana Lowe, a Dene from Fort Nelson First Nation who has made enormous contributions to manage and protect water, land, and wildlife habitat in northeast British Columbia.

As Director of Lands at Fort Nelson First Nation, Lana has led work to manage the impacts of oil and gas development in the Nation’s territory. Working with the community, Lana laid the groundwork for a framework for land and water management that is based in both Dene knowledge and values and scientific approaches to ecosystem management and responsible, informed land use in the territory.

In developing the framework, Lana established community-led research and water monitoring programs, collaborated with governments, industry, NGOs and academia, and created a community databank that is used in impacts assessment, regulatory and policy review, land use planning, and legal actions that have resulted in the prevention of over-extraction of water for fracking and the protection of threatened caribou in the territory.

“Lana is a strong community champion and a tireless protector of our shared land and water,” says Jack Wong, REFBC CEO. “Her work encourages long-term thinking about the impacts of resource development in Indigenous communities and their territories.”

Emerging Leader Award

REFBC will also present the 2018 Emerging Leader Award to Tesicca Truong and Veronika Bylicki, co-founders of CityHive, an organization that works to engage youth in civic affairs and sustainability.

In their work with CityHive, Veronika and Tessica have launched two pop-up “think-and-do” tanks, formed youth hubs on city-building, and advocated for youth inclusion in city planning. Together, the duo have tackled issues like housing affordability, public spaces, and civic engagement.

Project Awards

REFBC will also present three Land Awards for projects that demonstrate sustainability, innovation, and collaboration.

“The Land Awards bring people together to celebrate big ideas and bold leadership in land use and real estate,” says Ramona Faust, REFBC Chair. “By sharing successes from across the province, we hope to build bridges and inspire lasting change.”

Land Award finalist projects are listed below, by category.

Built Environment
• Olivia Skye (Atira Development Society)
• BC’s Affordable Housing Plan (BC Non-Profit Housing Association)
• BC Energy Step Code (Energy Step Code Council)
• Nuutsumuut Lelum (Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre)

Fresh Water and Food Systems
• Young Agrarians Land Matching Program (FarmFolk CityFolk)
• Southwest BC Food System Design Project (Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen Polytechnic University)
• POLIS Water Sustainability Project (POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria)

Land Use and Conservation
• BC First Nations Land Use Planning Handbook (Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council)
• Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (Brooke and Associates, Smart Prosperity Institute, David Suzuki Foundation, and the Town of Gibsons)
• Embracing Our Potential (Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association)

Land Award nominations were judged by a volunteer committee of subject matter leaders. The Land Champion and the Emerging Leader Award winners were selected by a panel of past Foundation board chairs.

All Land Awards, including the Land Champion Award and Emerging Leader Award, will be presented at the Land Awards Gala on October 11, 2018 at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre in Vancouver.

About
The Real Estate Foundation of BC (REFBC) is a philanthropic organization, created through legislation, that works to support sustainable land use and real estate practices in British Columbia. Since 1988, REFBC has approved more than $80-million in project funding. (www.refbc.com)

The Land Awards, given by REFBC, were established in 2010 to celebrate big ideas and bold leadership in land use and real estate. While REFBC makes grants to non-profits only, Land Awards recognize projects led by the public, private, and non-profit sectors. (www.landawards.com)

All News