Protecting the extraordinary qualities of the Islands Trust Area requires the cooperation of residents, non-profit organizations and businesses along with multiple levels of government - indigenous, regional, provincial, and federal. Trust Council's advocacy program is dedicated to promoting the principles and goals of the Islands Trust Policy Statement and Strategic Plan - whether it be to ensure sustainable communities or to prevent ecological disasters.
At the Islands Trust, advocacy is the act of influencing and/or seeking cooperation with other agencies and decision-makers about laws, regulations, policies, programs, budgets, priorities, and other decisions relevant to the Islands Trust mandate. Generally, the Islands Trust uses the following techniques to create awareness and lead or encourage collaborative action:
- Writing letters to decision-makers from a designated spokesperson, usually the Chair
- Sponsoring resolutions and/or suggesting presentations at the annual conventions of the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM)
- Meeting with ministers and other decision-makers
- Entering agreements
The Islands Trust Council's 2014-2018 includes strategies to advocate for:
- appropriate oil spill prevention and response, management of abandoned and derelict vessels, and for reducing the impacts of shellfish aquaculture practices and industrial marine activities
- reducing impacts of freighter anchorage activities
- and educate about water conservation measures (e.g. rainwater catchment, greywater recycling)
Islands Trust advocacy is guided by the Islands Trust Council's Advocacy Policy.
The Islands Trust Policy Statement (section 3.1.9) states that: "Trust Council encourages actions and programs of other government agencies which: place priority on the side of protection for Trust Area ecosystems when judgment must be exercised, protect the diversity of native species and habitats in the Trust Area, and prevent pollution of the air, land and fresh and marine waters of the Trust Area."
The Islands Trust Act empowers the Islands Trust to preserve and protect the Trust Area and its unique amenities and environment in cooperation with others.