Fraser Basin Council


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Of head and heart - today's journey of sustainability
Each of us has a life's journey, with dreams, challenges and opportunities that are uniquely our own. Yet when it comes to the future of the Fraser Basin, our home, there is a journey we must take together. That is the journey of sustainability.

Today's most pressing social, economic and environmental issues are, in essence, sustainability issues, and they touch our lives in so many ways. Similarly, the way we live our lives influences progress-or lack of progress-towards sustainability. From the struggle that some people face to find affordable housing, to increasing rates of consumption, congestion and waste, to the impacts of climate change on our local ecosystems, communities and livelihoods-we face myriad challenges. And the challenges can either overwhelm us, or inspire us to action.

Sustainability flows from compassion towards people and stewardship of the natural world. And it calls for long-term thinking if future generations are to enjoy social well-being, a vibrant economy and a healthy environment. In an age of information overload, the question is: How can we measure, understand, and make better decisions for sustainability?

The Fraser Basin Council presents Sustainability Snapshot 3 to contribute to the dialogue and help answer this question. A compilation of social, economic and environmental indicators across a broad range of topics, Snapshot 3 summarizes many of the important trends and helps put current events in context. Like a map and a compass, the report is a tool to help guide us on the trail and mark our progress along the way.

The numbers, statistics and graphs help to bring focus, but the journey of sustainability is one of the heart as well as the mind. To speak to the heart, Snapshot 3 includes some of our region's stories, simply to illustrate how inspired action on the ground is bringing about change for the better.

There have been many champions of sustainability over the years, even unexpected ones. In the 1980s, scientists from around the world did an unusual thing-they stepped out of the laboratory and onto the world stage to advocate against chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that were depleting the earth's ozone shield. The efforts paid off-by 1987 many nations had agreed to ban CFCs and, nearly 20 years later, the ozone layer is improving. It's just one example of how information and inspiration can be a powerful combination.

When it comes to sustainability, we can all play our part, whatever our walk of life. Today, it may be scientists-or economists-speaking about climate change, community leaders advocating for more sustainable communities, or volunteers working to restore habitat for fish and wildlife. It is also you taking action in your workplace, your community and your home. Whatever your journey for change, we hope that Sustainability Snapshot 3 will help you along the way.

Two brothers visiting the 2006 Adams River sockeye run in Squilax, BC proclaim their
enthusiasm to "Think Salmon."

THINK SALMON… Think Inspiration
We've all heard the words of wisdom: Think Before You Act! And when it comes to the Fraser River watershed, the word now is to Think Salmon.
Think Salmon is an educational outreach program focusing on the role people play in safeguarding sensitive ecosystems. It's meant as an inspiration and call to action-to ensure the survival of salmon for all future generations. Pacific salmon are both a prized resource and a cultural icon. No part of our natural heritage elicits greater admiration and respect, or better embodies the spirit of survival and regeneration. A keystone species, salmon are also nature's barometer and reflect the health of our environment and the sustainability of the Fraser Basin.

Think Salmon is an initiative of the Fraser Salmon and Watersheds (FSW) program, co-managed by the Pacific Salmon Foundation and the Fraser Basin Council, with funding from the provincial government, the federal government, the Pacific Salmon Endowment Fund Society and others.

FSW is all about inspiring change in human behaviour for the benefit of salmonids and the watersheds they depend on. The program encompasses research projects, stock assessment, and stewardship work, such as habitat restoration and enhancement. Public engagement is key to success-since people can boost salmon survival through respectful treatment of water and surrounding habitat.

For more information on the Fraser Salmon and Watersheds program, contact the Fraser Basin Council or the Pacific Salmon Foundation. For public events and information, visit the Think Salmon website at