Context & Purpose
Increasing pressure on ecosystems across British Columbia means that active management is required to support the long term stability and productivity of these systems. The emergence of environment management and stewardship (EMS) creates opportunities to connect First Nations stewards with market-based funding structures.
There are, however, a number of barriers to implementing EMS programs in British Columbia and Canada. Key amongst these are limited public awareness, communication gap between scholars and stewards, and complexity in the design and implementation of these programs. To address these obstacles, GVS is launching the FNECO.NET, an online knowledge-sharing platform for First Nations across Canada. The objective is to leverage learned best practices, implement EMS programs, and build resilient ecosystems and communities.
The KaNaTa Dialogue clearly demonstrated the importance of creating hubs for discussion and knowledge-sharing. To build and expand on our social learning experiences, we proposed to create an online First Nation Ecosystem Management Network ( the FNECO.NET). Initially the FNECO.NET was intended to share the progress and outcomes of our EMS projects in Clayoquot and Tsilhqot'in. We soon realized that there was a strong interest among First Nations to learn about EMS and to build local capacity to implement such projects on their own territory so we expanded the initial project to meet these needs.
Developing this online knowledge-sharing center is an adaptive process. To create state of the art pedagogical tools, GVS is receiving support and guidance from leading specialists on EMS and First Nation Issues. This includes Dr. Richard ‘Umeek’ Atleo, a preeminent expert on Aboriginal education, and Ass. Prof. Harry Nelson (UBC), a leading thinker on forest policy and market-based instruments.
The FNECO.NET is a one-stop resource that guides communities all the way from the initial step of generating ideas to the actual implementation of a project. To do so, the platform is organized around the three following components:
- Webinar Series: Easy to digest series of 10min webinars presented by experts, covering everything from the basics of EMS, to showcasing real-life examples of it, to helping participants design their own project.
- Content Library: Offering participants the opportunity to learn at their convenience with carefully selected material available through videos, journal articles, podcasts, policy brief, etc.
- Mentorship Program: A mentor bank and online series of Q&As, with direct access to leading specialists and communities implementing EMS programs to seek advice and build strong networks.
FNECO.NET is under construction. Nonetheless, you can request a visitor password at firstname.lastname@example.org
PHASE 1: Design an online platform and develop content (Winter-spring 2018)
We are currently working on creating an user-friendly website to host the knowledge-sharing center. The first five episodes of the Webinar Series are in production, and will cover the theoretical segment of the curriculum. Moreover, the content library will be built progressively to respond to the learning outcomes of each webinar. Finally, an initial mentor bank will be launched this spring and new mentors will be added on a rolling basis.
PHASE 2: review FNECO.NET user experience and content (Summer 2018)
All the material will be released progressively and will be available for the public to use and provide comments. The FNECO.NET is intended to be co-managed and adaptive to respond to users' needs. Additionally, focus-groups will be run to assess the user experience, to review the relevance and the quality of the content, as well as to evaluate learning outcomes of the platform.
PHASE 3: Integrate comments, and adapt the form and content (Fall 2018)
Feedback from focus-groups and users' comments will then guide the evolution of the FNECO.NET platforms. Both the form and the content will be adapted to suit users' objectives and improve learning outcomes.
Phase 4: EXPAND CONTENT & Promote the plaftorm (WINTER- spring 2019)
By May 2019, our goal is to have a fully functional platform tailored to the needs of our audience. At this time, visitors will have access to 10 episodes of the EMS Webinar series, 30+ reference documents to support specific learning outcomes, and access to numerous mentors via the mentorship program. FNECO.NET will be promoted via a series of workshops as well as our partners' networks. Finally, GVS will perform web analytics to measure website traffic and improve overall effectiveness of the website.