Every year the Invasive Species Council of BC holds an Annual Public Forum & AGM, INVASIVES 2017 was held Feb. 7-8, 2017 at the Pacific Gateway Hotel in Richmond, BC. Summarized highlights of INVASIVES 2017 follow below. View the INVASIVES 2017 presentations here.
The INVASIVES 2017 Forum & AGM drew a record number of attendees, with a total of 184 people participating in the Forum and associated workshops. The Forum attracted a diverse attendance including practitioners, land managers, stewardship groups, invasive species researchers, First Nations leaders, local, provincial and federal government.
The overall theme of INVASIVES 2017 was partnerships. The Forum sessions followed these key themes:
- Engaging the Public
- Partnering for Solutions with Industry
- Emerging Issues of Invasive Species
- Provincial Spotlights
- Moving Forward at the National Level
The program for INVASIVES 2017 was diverse, incorporating a variety of workshops, keynote presentations, plenary and speedy sessions along with plenty of opportunities for networking throughout the forum. The official Forum was launched with a welcome song beautifully performed by Terri Splockton of Tsawwassen First Nation and Don Peritch of Matcon Group. Presenters came from as far as Ireland, Washington State and Quebec. A series of themed presentations followed the first keynote speaker concluding with a social "Poster, Nibble & Network" session where attendees, sponsors, Forum speakers and poster presenters could connect and engage in discussion with some delicious refreshments.
Day two commenced with an informal "Planning for the Future" breakfast to gather input on the Invasive Species Strategy for BC for the next five years. The balance of the Forum featured a second keynote speaker, a variety of themed presentations and
Throughout the two days of the Forum, attendees contributed to the conversation on social media which was visible on screens between presentations on a Tweetwall which filtered and showed all Tweets and Instagram posts with #INVASIVES2017.
The Forum was launched each day with a keynote presentation. On February 7, Tim Readman of the Stroke Recovery Association of BC, incorporated entertaining songs in his presentation on how to establish successful partnerships, which takes time and a careful approach to building the relationship. On February 8, Joe Caffrey of INVAS Biosecurity in Ireland drew from his experience working with the European Commission and 39 years managing invasive species for Inland Fisheries Ireland to provide insight into how Europe is working to address the spread of invasive species into and across Europe, which involves many member states, oceans and seas and related challenges. Joe provided many interesting examples and entertaining stories to illustrate how Ireland is battling the "baddies" with innovative solutions we can learn from in Canada.
The INVASIVES 2017 Forum attracted interest from media across the province and resulted in the following media coverage:
- CBC Radio's Gloria Macarenko interviewed Gail Wallin, ISCBC's Executive Director, and Joe Caffrey of INVAS Biosecurity from Ireland about tackling invasive species in BC - why should you care? Listen to the podcast to hear the conversation and the questions from callers from across the province of British Columbia on BC Almanac.
- CBC Online News in British Columbia covered the INVASIVES 2017 Forum, keynote speaker Joe Caffrey. View the full article here.
- CTV Vancouver Island (to follow)
- Vancouver Sun
Social MEDia interaction
Attendees and folks who couldn't make it were able to follow and interact with INVASIVES 2017 on social media using the hashtag #INVASIVES2017. The conversation reached 105,611 unique Twitter and Instagram users achieving 267,244 impressions from 305 posts by 71 different users.