The Islands Trust Policy Statement – the engine constructed to keep the Gulf Islands local government running smoothly – should be taken in for needed maintenance, says the Gulf Islands Alliance (GIA).
The non-profit, grassroots group appealed Tuesday to Islands Trust Council to strengthen its policy statement, “as the chief instrument of the Islands Trust Act to preserve and protect the Trust Area as a special place”.
The statement has been a subject of concern, from inside and outside the Trust, because it’s “too complicated and easy to misinterpret or ignore”, the Alliance says in a ‘working paper’ sent to Council.
Because the cherished goal of the Trust Act is often obscured when land use controversies surface on individual islands, GIA also said, “Islands Trust should devote more of its resources to promoting – to its own trustees, staff, islands property owners and residents, and the province – the Trust Area as a special environmental area, distinct from the business-as-usual local governments that surround it”.
“GIA is confident most islanders embrace the values of this special place and island life and will support strengthening policies to protect it”, the alliance said.
GIA said that there have been no significant changes to the statement in the last decade, despite growing public interest in environmental issues – including climate change and biodiversity losses – and the Trust promise that its policy statement “will be subject to periodic reviews and revision and will be sensitive and responsive to changing conditions and strategies to support the object of the Islands Trust”.
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