The thinking behind the project
We are living in an era of global, systemic (start anywhere and it goes everywhere) and wicked (hard to solve) problems. It is beyond the capacity of governments, state agencies, research labs and experts of all kinds to solve these issues alone – especially when part of the solution lies in large-scale behavioural change across society. The imperative now is to work together. How do we do that?
In the context of the Dart Charter, Bioregional Learning Centre is inviting many stakeholders to find common ground; prototyping the roles that citizens can step into; opening up a conversation about sharing responsibility; imagining a generative process for holding to account; building trust; and valuing community-sourced innovation in solving many of the big issues around water.
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The story so far
The River Dart Charter for Dartington project held its first public consultation event as part of our Open House series in November 2018.
Around 20 people came together to learn a little more about the health of the river and management challenges, both contemporary and in the future. Attendees were asked to share their favourite features along the river and then to discuss which they would prioritise for inclusion in the charter.
The partnership between Dartington and the BLC
Who are the BLC?
The Bioregional Learning Centre is leading the work on the Dart Charter. They are a Community Interest Company set up to operate as a ‘backbone organisation’: a trusted neutral player that works with multi-stakeholder partnerships. BLC is a member of the South Devon Catchments Partnership that was set up as part of a national initiative overseen by DEFRA and the Environment Agency following the EU Water Framework Directive.
The catchments-based approach has now been embraced by organisations across Europe, joining up many organisations and agencies that have responsibility for rivers or surrounding land in each watershed.