FORT NELSON, B.C. (August 21, 2012) - Concerned citizens and First Nations are gathering for Keepers of the Water VI: Our Waters are One, in Fort Nelson, B.C., September 26-29, 2012.
Hosted by the Fort Nelson First Nation, Keepers of the Water VI will focus on grassroots watershed planning and management for the Arctic Ocean Basin. Several high-profile water pundits, including Wade Davis (National Geographic Fellow), Maude Barlow (Council of Canadians), Jon Waterhouse (Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council) and David Marshall (Fraser Basin Council), will guide participants through the three-day annual conference.
This year's conference highlights the Fort Nelson-Liard River basin. The use of record-breaking mass-scale and highly controversial hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) is causing concern among local people of the river basin and those who live downstream in the Arctic Ocean basin. Working to address the demands of fracking on fragile ecosystems and downstream water sources, presenters and panelists from all levels of government, industry, science and academia will join environmental groups, private citizens and First Nations to voice concerns and explore collaborative solutions.
"Fracking places seemingly incomprehensible demands on our fragile ecosystems," says Lana Lowe, conference coordinator and Lands Director for the Fort Nelson First Nation. "This is a crucial event for us."
Keepers of the Water VI will also provide updates on the current state of affairs throughout the Arctic Ocean basin. Conference participants will work collaboratively on a water accord binding all who sign it as unified stewards of the basin, and participant-generated solutions will become action plans in the Keepers of the Water watershed plan.