The POLIS Project


The POLIS Project on Ecological Governance is a centre for transdisciplinary research that investigates and promotes sustainability. POLIS fills a unique niche on campus as a place where academic and policy research meets community action. To foster healthy and sustainable communities, POLIS collaborates with a diversity of people and sectors, including urban and rural communities, First Nations, Aboriginal organizations, businesses, co-operatives, public officials and the non-profit sector. POLIS was established in 2000 by the Eco-Research Chair of Environmental Law and Policy at the University of Victoria; it became part of the Centre for Global Studies in 2011.

 POLIS Water Sustainability Project

The POLIS Water Sustainability Project (WSP) is a focused initiative of the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance. Its mission is to drive innovative water and watershed law, policy, and governance reform and to generate change towards a sustainable freshwater future.

 The WSP’s priority areas are:

  1. Water Law and Policy;
  2. Watershed Governance;
  3. International and Transboundary Water Governance;
  4. The Water-Energy Nexus; and
  5. Water Conservation and the Water Soft Path.

 The work of the WSP demonstrates the powerful potential of new governance approaches with an explicit focus on ecological function and healthy watersheds, conservation, community-driven collaboration, stewardship, and respect for Indigenous rights and knowledge. The WSP team develops and helps advance practical legal and institutional changes that embody the principles of sustainability, ecological governance, and social and ecological resilience as the foundation for a comprehensive legal and policy framework.