SASKATOON -- The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) and the David Suzuki Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding entitled the Gifts of the Creator/the Environment by our leadership, technicians and the David Suzuki Foundation. The signing ceremony was one of the highlights of the FSIN Spring Legislative Assembly held June 5 and 6, 2013, at the Dakota Dunes Casino on the Whitecap Dakota First Nation.
Vice Chief Kimberly Jonathan acknowledges the hard work and commitment needed to reach the Memorandum of Understanding. "As original stewards of this land, First Nations must assert their rights and responsibilities in protecting the environment for future generations as we were taught by our ancestors," she said. "The David Suzuki Foundation and First Nations have a lot of common principles when it comes to respecting the environment and living in harmony with the natural balance of nature. We look forward to working together to address our common interests."
First Nations continue to maintain and assert their inherent rights and laws that originate from the land, air, and water as gifts from the Creator. In moving forward with economic development in Saskatchewan, we must all be aware of the potential impacts that such development has on the environment.
"The David Suzuki Foundation is deeply honoured to be part of an agreement with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, one that creates a foundation of trust and respect from which we can address areas of mutual interest and concern," said Peter Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of the David Suzuki Foundation.
David Suzuki Foundation board member Miles Richardson emphasized that "First Nations are the best hope for Canada to achieve true sustainability. The David Suzuki Foundation recognizes this through our Aboriginal People's Policy, and today through the signing of this agreement with the FSIN."
The FSIN represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. The Federation is committed to honouring the spirit and intent of Treaty, as well as the promotion, protection and implementation of the Treaty promises that were made more than a century ago.
For more information please contact:
On the third anniversary of the signing of the historic Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA), environmental signatories are suspending further work with Resolute Forest Products. They remain committed to continuing their work with other signatory companies to plan for protection of critical Boreal woodland caribou habitat and sustainable forest management practices.
"We are very pleased with the groundbreaking solutions for conservation we have forged under the CBFA with companies such as Tembec, Alberta Pacific Forest Industries, and Millar Western Forest Products in northeastern Ontario and Alberta respectively," said Janet Sumner of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS).
"We are also optimistic about advancing conservation and sustainable forestry plans through our on-going work with Tolko, Weyerhaeuser, and Corner Brook Pulp and Paper in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland.
"However, despite three years of work we feel we have not been able to make meaningful progress towards science-based conservation and sustainable forestry plans with Resolute Forest Products on its large tenures in Quebec and Northwestern Ontario. After creating and revising numerous conservation analyses, and putting several workable proposals on the table, we have come to the sad conclusion that Resolute will not do the minimum that the science says is required to protect our forests and the threatened caribou that call them home," adds Sumner.
"We believe that Resolute is not meeting its commitments to ensure caribou survive on the forests it manages. In our opinion, it has so far proven itself unwilling to strike a balance between its economic interests and the local survival of a nationally threatened species," added Todd Paglia of ForestEthics.
The environmental groups' assessment, based on federal government science, is that Resolute's forestry plans would severely diminish the chances that any caribou herds within their tenures will survive after their logging operations. The federal recovery strategy under the Species At Risk Act requires that all caribou herds in Canada be managed to create a minimum likelihood of 60% survival.
All environmental signatories to the CBFA are suspending further work with Resolute until it can commit to scientifically defensible conservation plans that would give caribou a reasonable chance of survival.
"The CBFA has proven itself a workable model with companies that honour their commitments. Last year, signatories announced a joint caribou action plan for northeastern Ontario that proposed an 8,000km2 logging-free zone to protect critical caribou habitat and an increase of wood supply for local mills," adds Sumner.
In Northeast Alberta, signatories supported the establishment of the proposed Dillon River Wildland Park and the Gipsy-Gordon Wildland Park, and this month have agreed on an approach for Caribou Action Planning in the Athabasca and Cold Lake regions. They are now commencing outreach to Provincial, Aboriginal, municipal and energy sector leaders to move forward.
The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement was signed in 2010 by all member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada and nine environmental groups. Environmental groups continuing to implement the CBFA are the Canadian Boreal Initiative, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, David Suzuki Foundation, ForestEthics, Ivey Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and the International Boreal Conservation Campaign.
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For more background on the CBFA, visit http://www.canadianborealforestagreement.com/For interviews, contact:
TORONTO - The David Suzuki Foundation is launching the 30×30 Nature Challenge today -- a national campaign to get Canadians outside for 30 minutes a day for 30 days during May.
"I urge Canadians to join the 30×30 Nature Challenge," said David Suzuki, award-winning broadcaster, author and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. "Commit to getting outside for 30 minutes a day, for 30 days. Whether it's in a local park or backyard garden, getting your daily dose of nature is a key ingredient for a happy, healthy lifestyle."
Canadians have become increasingly disconnected from the natural world. Symptoms of our nature deficit are easy to spot: stress, obesity, heart disease, asthma and depression. However, it is now well documented that time spent in nature can improve physical and mental health -- dramatically reducing stress and mental fatigue while boosting creativity and vitality. Throughout the month of May, participants of the 30×30 Nature Challenge will receive tips about how to reap the benefits of nature by adding more green time to their schedules.
"Fitting a daily dose of green into our busy routines doesn't need to be daunting," said David Suzuki's Queen of Green, Tovah Paglaro. "It can be as simple as holding your next work meeting outdoors, having lunch in a park or walking the kids to school. And since you will have more energy and increased concentration, the time spent in nature will pay off in spades."
The 30×30 Nature Challenge is being presented in partnership with Genuine Health, with generous support from Cisco Systems Canada, Interface Canada, Harvest Power, the Arcangelo Rea Family Foundation and Nature's Path Foods. CBC Live Right Now will be supporting the 30×30 Nature Challenge through its new Get Outside campaign at LiveRightNow.ca starting May 1st.
Stewart Brown, CEO of Genuine Health said, "In 2012, we supported the launch of Your Brain on Nature, a revolutionary book that addressed the importance of nurturing our health with nature. The reality of modern life is that many of us spend several hours each day in front of electronic screens and very little time outside in green space. This is why, for the second year in a row, we are proud and excited to partner on the David Suzuki Foundation's 30×30 Nature Challenge!"
As part of the 30×30 Nature Challenge, the David Suzuki Foundation will work with university researchers to analyze how time in nature affects well-being. By filling out surveys before and after taking the 30×30 Challenge, participants will help to document the benefits of getting outside.
"Through this research, we will explore the impact nature has on our lives," said David Suzuki Foundation spokesperson Aryne Sheppard. "We will test the theory that being more connected to nature goes along with greater environmental awareness and ecologically friendly behaviour -- not to mention feeling happier and healthier."
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For more information, please visit www.davidsuzuki.org/30×30challenge or contact:
Jode Roberts, David Suzuki Foundation (Toronto) cell.647 456 9752 firstname.lastname@example.org
Manon Dubois Crôteau, Fondation David Suzuki (Montreal) 514-871-4932 poste.453 cell.514-679-0821
Theresa Beer, David Suzuki Foundation (Vancouver) 604-732-4228 ext.1239 cell.778.874.3396
The 30×30 Nature Challenge
Finding harmony between the environment and the economy Hosted by David Suzuki Foundation and S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
Vancouver, BC -- After the May 14 provincial election, the new B.C. government will have critical choices to make on environmental and economic fronts. Those choices will come with opportunities and risks. Opportunities such as strengthening and redirecting the carbon tax to fund transit and innovation, protecting our marine areas and coastal communities and shifting to a clean energy economy. Risks such as building pipelines and gas plants that tie us to a boom-and-bust economic future. These issues are key to the upcoming provincial election and central to our Building a Better Future for B.C. Forum.
"We hope to provide a forum where British Columbians will be more informed of what a sustainable and healthy environment will look like and how they are prepared to support it," said Queenie Choo, CEO of S.U.C.C.E.S.S. "And most importantly, voters will be better informed of the political platform in regards to the environmental issues in the upcoming B.C. election."
"Too often political discussions in B.C. are framed as a choice between a healthy environment and a prosperous economy," said Ian Bruce, Science and Policy Manager with the David Suzuki Foundation. "In reality, we can choose to have both by focusing on solutions that drive environmental innovation while improving the quality of life in our communities and creating jobs we can be proud of."
Please join the David Suzuki Foundation and S.U.C.C.E.S.S. for a lively panel discussion on these key election issues in Cantonese, English and Mandarin, with simultaneous interpretation. Audience participation will be encouraged from invited experts, political party representatives and the public. The panel will include Capilano University economics professor and TV commentator Allen Zhu, Former S.U.C.C.E.S.S. chair and Chinese-language radio commentator Kenneth Tung, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. board member Paul Cheng, cross-cultural communications specialist Fenella Sung, David Suzuki Foundation topic experts Ian Bruce and Bill Wareham, and community leader Michael Yue, who will moderate the discussion.
The forum is open to the media and will be held at Choi Hall, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Social Service Centre (28 West Pender Street, Vancouver) from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, April 13, 2103.
David Suzuki Foundation
We find solutions for living within the limit of nature. Through sound science, education, research and public engagement, we motivate Canadians to take action in overcoming our shared environmental challenges. www.davidsuzuki.org
Established in 1973, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. is one of the largest social service agencies in British Columbia. It is a charitable organization providing services in settlement, language training, employment, family and youth service, business and economic development, health care, housing and community development. www.success.bc.ca..
For further information:
Public Engagement and Communications Specialist
David Suzuki Foundation
Tel: 604-732-4228 ext. 1255
Public Affairs Manager
Wed., April 3, 2013
Vancouver -- Ecojustice, representing David Suzuki Foundation and Watershed Watch Salmon Society, is in court to ensure that the B.C. government conducts an environmental assessment of a hydroelectric power project for its potential harm to the environment and shares that information with British Columbians.
Under provincial law, the government must complete an environmental assessment of any hydroelectric power project that will generate more than 50 megawatts (MW) of electricity. The Holmes Hydro Project will produce about 76 MW from 10 tributaries along a 40-kilometre stretch of the Holmes River, an important salmon river near McBride, B.C. But the Environmental Assessment Office, applying the strongly criticized practice of "project-splitting," divided the project into smaller power plants, each of which would produce less than 50 MW, so as to avoid an environmental assessment.
Staff lawyers for Ecojustice will ask the B.C. Supreme Court to overrule the province's decision and ask for an environmental assessment to be completed before the project proceeds.
"It sets a dangerous precedent when the Environmental Assessment Office encourages projects to be split to hide them from environmental assessment¬," said Ecojustice Executive Director Devon Page. "Environmental assessments are about protecting the public interest by ensuring that harmful projects are studied before they are approved. This case intends to ensure that the Minister of Environment and the Environmental Assessment Office take that responsibility seriously."
Many of B.C.'s environmental laws have been weakened over the past decade. Environmental assessment remains an important tool for protecting the environment when industrial development projects are proposed, particularly in British Columbia's rich watersheds and river systems.
Ecojustice's clients -- the David Suzuki Foundation and Watershed Watch Salmon Society -- are concerned about the fate of a depleted population of chinook salmon in the Holmes River, a tributary of the Fraser River, as well as wildlife in the surrounding watershed.
Ecologist Aaron Hill of Watershed Watch Salmon Society is also concerned about the lack of transparency and public input. "When I look at the fact that this project will divert 95 per cent of the streamflow in 10 tributaries along one river, I worry about the cumulative -- or combined -- effects of all of these different parts of the project," Hill said. "I think this is exactly the kind of project that the Environmental Assessment Act is meant to capture," he added.
"The public loses when environmental assessments aren't conducted -- they don't have input into projects that affect their communities and they don't know what possible impacts may arise," said Jay Ritchlin of the David Suzuki Foundation. "We expect renewable energy projects, and all other industrial developments, to be carefully assessed and monitored to ensure that we do not ruin the very rivers and valleys we are seeking to protect."
Ecojustice is the country's leading charitable organization dedicated to using the law to defend Canadians' right to a healthy environment.For more information, please contact:
Devon Page, Executive Director | Ecojustice
Aaron Hill, Ecologist | Watershed Watch Salmon Society
Jay Ritchlin, Director General -- Western Canada | David Suzuki Foundation
VANCOUVER -- April 11, 2013 The David Suzuki Foundation is asking all B.C. political parties to strengthen the carbon tax -- one of North America's best environmental and economic success stories -- to directly fund our most pressing environmental needs while driving a cleaner, more innovative provincial economy.
The B.C. NDP today released its fiscal plan, which will be included in its election platform. It proposes to close the carbon tax loophole that currently gives industrial polluters, like oil and gas (natural gas venting) companies, a free pass to pollute.
This is a practical and important step forward, but we need to do more, according to Ian Bruce, science and policy manager for the Foundation.
"Closing the loophole on polluters and applying the tax fairly is one part of realizing the full potential of this solution. But to truly benefit communities, our proposal also requires the tax be increased at the same rate it's been increasing since 2008. That's needed to generate up to $1 billion a year of new revenue for developing our clean technology sector, funding transit and other community solutions to climate change that improve quality of life," he said.
"We believe it's time for all parties to recognize the enormous opportunity B.C. has to lead on climate change," Bruce added. "As the financial crisis wreaked havoc worldwide, research shows the carbon tax incentive reduced B.C.'s carbon pollution while spurring innovation and growing our clean technology section by 48 per cent."
British Columbia is not alone in supporting the tax, but the province is falling behind, as other jurisdictions step in to lead the way. Quebec, California, Norway, China and Australia have all announced, introduced or strengthened carbon pricing policies within the past year.
Polling shows British Columbians support climate leadership and climate action. Last summer, more than 1,800 of about 2,000 British Columbians who submitted comments to the Carbon Tax Review asked for a strengthened and expanded carbon tax.
See more about the David Suzuki Foundation's support for a strengthened carbon tax: http://betterfuturebc.ca/nextstep
Ian Bruce, Science & Policy Manager, David Suzuki Foundation
A multi-media exhibit exploring services provided by nature on eight Metro Vancouver beaches
Vancouver, CAN, April 8, 2013 -- Students in Emily Carr's Community Projects course, in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation, and in collaboration with the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCADU), launch an interactive community mapping and storytelling project today.
The Natural Capital Beaches Exhibit, which runs until August 2013, opens tonight from 6 -- 9 pm at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery and features guest speakers, screenings and an artist talk.
The project is the second in a series of collaborations that focuses on natural capital, the economic, non-market value of services provided by nature. It includes a series of eight digital narratives that bring to life research by the Foundation on the value of the Lower Mainland's natural water areas. The study estimates that the region's wetlands, beaches and coastal areas provide at least $30 billion in economic benefits to residents every year.
"The goal of the project is to awaken and teach our community to value the aquatic benefits of BC's Lower Mainland beaches, and, to teach them about possibilities we can create together," says instructor (and alumna) Sarah Van Borek, Faculty of Culture + Community.
Students from a range of disciplines worked together, applying their skills to help the Foundation engage the public to view the nature that surrounds our urban environment in a completely different way: through economic analysis that demonstrates the high value of intact ecosystems for services such as water filtration and carbon sequestration.
"We love what the students are doing," said Michelle Molnar, Environmental Economist and Policy Analyst with the Foundation. "They've animated our research and provided a way for our local community to recognize the bounty of natural wealth we have in our backyards."
Narratives feature stories from diverse community members who, by sharing their unique relationships and/or expertise, highlight the priceless and often lesser known ecosystem services (ie. flood control, habitat, spiritual, educational and cultural) that these beaches provide. The videos are integrated into the Natural Capital Map Application, on the Foundation website.
The exhibit also offers visitors a virtual experience through a video installation with panoramic images and sound walks of the beaches. Interpretive signage includes a series of posters that were designed in collaboration with students from OCADU and illustrate the definitions and importance of ecosystem services provided by Lower Mainland beaches.
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About Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Emily Carr University of Art + Design, established in 1925, is a world leader in education and research. Encouraging experimentation at the intersection of art, design, media and technology, our learning community merges research, critical theory and studio practice in an interdisciplinary environment. Alumni and faculty are internationally recognized as award-winning creators and thought leaders who have enormous impact on both the cultural sector and economy. We engage students, industry, and society to continuously explore and think differently about creativity and how it shapes our world. Emily Carr is building a state-of-the art campus for 21st century learning at Great Northern Way. The University will be at the centre of a new social, cultural, educational, and economic engine for British Columbia. Find out more at ecuad.ca.
About The David Suzuki Foundation
We find solutions for living within the limit of nature. Through sound science, education, research and public engagement, we motivate Canadians to take action in overcoming our shared environmental challenges. www.davidsuzuki.org
Theresa Beer, Communications, David Suzuki Foundation
604.732.4228 (Ext. 1239), email@example.com
Roxanne Toronto, Communications Officer, Emily Carr University
Broad collective mobilizes to free society from fossil fuels and save our climate
Montreal -- Quebec citizens are invited to join a Walk for Earth in Montreal on Sunday, April 21, at 2 p.m. The walk is being held by a collective of environmental, citizen, labour, student and indigenous groups, supported by medical doctors, scientists and artists who are concerned about the increasing pace of oil exploration in Quebec and possible development of pipelines to bring tar sands bitumen to the province. This major gathering, in collaboration with Idle No More, will be part of a global movement to free society from fossil fuels and confront the climate crisis while respecting the rights of future generations. Spokespeople for the event are eco-sociologist Laure Waridel and actor Sébastien Huberdeau.
"All over the world, people are mobilizing to bring forth an ecological society free of fossil fuel dependency," Waridel said. "It is important to make our voices heard in solidarity with the people of Earth, but also with future generations who will suffer the consequences of the decisions we are making today. People of all backgrounds and from all generations are invited to take part in this great gathering."
Huberdeau said, "The impacts of climate change are real and already felt around the world, particularly among the most vulnerable populations. It is still possible to limit the adverse effects of global warming, but now more than ever, it is urgent to act. It's wake-up time; alarms are ringing. Walkers are therefore invited to have their alarms and phones ring at 2 o'clock, at the launch of the operation."
During a news conference, organizers presented the Walk for Earth Declaration, signed by more than 100 people from all backgrounds. Among the signatories are Gilles Vigneault, Fred Pellerin, Ariane Moffatt, Chloé Sainte-Marie, Claude Béland, Caroline Dhavernas, Dominic Champagne and Mark Achbar.
The Declaration describes the alarming impacts of the climate crisis and our fossil fuel consumption while defending the rights of future generations. It makes concrete demands to the governments of Quebec and Canada and calls for a shift to a green and social economy, free of fossil fuels and resource depletion.
Citizens are invited to sign the Declaration at www.marchepourlaterre.org.
About the Walk for Earth on April 21, 2013
The Walk for Earth is an initiative of the Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique (AQLPA), the David Suzuki Foundation, Earth Day Quebec, Environnement Jeunesse, Équiterre, Greenpeace and Nature Québec, supported by a broad range of groups from environmental, labour, student and indigenous movements, and by medical doctors, scientists and dozens of artists.
WHAT: Walk for Earth
WHEN: We will depart from the Place des Festivals in Montreal at 2 p.m. Participants are invited to have their alarms and cellphones ring at 2 o'clock precisely, to launch the event. This "awakening" will be followed by a festive and family walk.
WHERE: Place des Festivals in Montreal at the corner of Sainte-Catherine West and Jeanne-Mance. Place des arts Metro station.
DECLARATION: To read and sign the Declaration and view the list of signatories, go to marchepourlaterre.org/sign
Canada will have access to enough renewable energy by 2050 to achieve the deep greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions required to do our part to put a brake on global climate change, according to a report released today by the Trottier Energy Futures Project (TEFP).
An Inventory of Low-Carbon Energy for Canada shows that Canada's supplies of solar, wind, hydroelectric and biomass energy are much larger than the current or forecast demand for fuel and electricity, and technology costs have been falling in recent years.
But the ability to reduce GHG emissions by 80 per cent compared to 1990 levels--the target set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change--will depend on an integrated energy system that combines individual technologies to deliver affordable, reliable, sustainable energy services.
"The great news is that Canada's 'post-petroleum' future won't be limited by a physical shortage of renewable, carbon-free energy," said TEFP board member Peter Robinson, CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation. "This report is the beginning of a roadmap for making that future a reality."
"It is clear from this survey that a low-carbon future is a technologically sophisticated future, in which a variety of energy sources and a much more integrated electricity grid will all play crucial roles," said TEFP board member Dr. Richard Marceau, president of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. "The first step in the right direction is to get a coherent plan in place, and the Trottier Energy Futures Project's modelling and analysis are taking us in the right direction."
An Inventory of Low-Carbon Energy for Canada is the second research report released by the Trottier Energy Futures Project. Low-Carbon Energy Futures: A Review of National Scenarios was published in January 2013.
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For more information, contact:
Ian Hanington, Communications Manager, David Suzuki Foundation
(604) 732-4228 ext. 1238
Leanne Clare, Communications and Public Relations Specialist, David Suzuki Foundation
or visit www.trottierenergyfutures.ca
An Inventory of Low-Carbon Energy for Canada
An Inventory of Low-Carbon Energy for Canada is the second research report released by the Trottier Energy Futures Project, a partnership of the David Suzuki Foundation, the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Trottier Family Foundation.
The TEFP is a research and modelling effort to determine how Canada can achieve an 80 per cent reduction in its energy-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2050--the target set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to mitigate the worst effects of global climate change.
From its review of a wide range of low-carbon fuel and electricity sources, the Trottier Energy Futures Project concludes that:
• The potential supply of renewable energy in Canada is much larger than the current or forecast demand for fuel and electricity, and it can be developed by 2050 with technologies that are already known and available.
• The cost of renewable energy has been falling in recent years, and promises to fall even further as the world intensifies its focus on clean-energy options. Through greater reliance on renewables and greater energy efficiency, Canada can move toward an economic, low-carbon energy future.
• Canada's most affordable, environmentally sustainable energy path to 2050 will depend on a mix of renewable technologies that vary by region and are often located closer to the point of energy use.
• Canada's principal low-carbon energy resources include:
• Electricity from large and small hydro, solar and wind
• Liquid fuels from biomass
• Longer-term potential in geothermal, wave and tidal energy
• Uranium resources that are very large relative to domestic requirements.
• An 80 per cent reduction in Canada's energy-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 will depend on an integrated energy system that combines individual technologies to deliver affordable, reliable, sustainable energy services. The "smart" electricity grid of the future will use information technologies to balance a wider range of supply sources, energy storage, interprovincial transfers of electricity and a wide variety of energy management and efficiency tools.
• Even with a much larger role for electricity in the energy system, up to half of Canada's energy demand would still be met by liquid fuels. A low-carbon future could mean a five- to seven-fold increase in the use of biomass for energy, and the Trottier Energy Futures Project is studying the significant implications for the use of forest, agricultural and other productive lands, and for the industries and communities that depend on them.
About the Report
• The Inventory concentrates primarily on options that are technologically viable now or very likely to be in the near future, to avoid relying on research, development and demonstration timelines that could shift in the future.
• Improvements in the energy productivity of the economy--measured as GDP per unit of fuel and electricity consumed--result from greater energy efficiency, but also from a wide variety of factors outside the actual energy system that reduce the need for fuel and electricity.
Vancouver, B.C. -- A national sustainable seafood day would let all Canadians celebrate the success of Canadian businesses, seafood consumers and organizations in creating a thriving market for sustainable seafood solutions, SeaChoice and Ocean Wise™ said today. SeaChoice and Ocean Wise call on Canadians to join in the sustainable seafood movement to help protect our oceans and the aquatic life within them.
"Canada has three oceans which have given us safe, wild seafood sources for millennia. It is high time we celebrate that fact and raise awareness about the importance of fishing this food source sustainably to ensure social, economic and environmental viability for future generations," says Susanna Fuller, SeaChoice representative from the Ecology Action Centre.
A dedicated sustainable seafood day would bring the issues of overfishing and poor fishing/harvesting methods to the forefront of Canadian minds to help protect our seafood stocks for generations to come.
"Overfishing and unsustainable fishing practices are impacting us all -- across Canada and around the world -- particularly for those who rely upon seafood for their livelihood," says Mike McDermid, Vancouver Aquarium's partner relations manager for Ocean Wise™. "Designating March 18 as National Sustainable Seafood Day is a critical step we can take towards engaging the public in turning the tide on this issue. Our hope is to bring this concern to the forefront so that we're all considering sustainable choices to help preserve seafood stocks that are quickly depleting."
A national sustainable seafood day would be supported by many Canadians from coast to coast. Executive Chef Ned Bell from the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver strongly supports this day. "I am a father and a chef, as well as a proud and passionate supporter of sustainability. I want to use my platform to educate and continue raising awareness for our lakes, oceans and rivers. 'Globally inspired, locally created' together, we can make a difference," said Chef Bell.
Supporting sustainable seafood has become an economic imperative for Canada's coastal communities.
"Canada has a wonderful seafood heritage, and seafood remains a vital part of the economy in coastal communities. A national sustainable seafood day is a reminder that we must sustain this bountiful resource through good management and conservation," said Bill Wareham, SeaChoice representative from the David Suzuki Foundation.
SeaChoice and Ocean Wise educate Canadians on threats to our oceans and solutions for sustainable fisheries and seafood choices. Since 2006, SeaChoice has helped seafood consumers make informed choices that benefit healthy oceans and supported seafood retailers and suppliers through innovative partnerships. Initiated in 2005, Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise program works directly with restaurants, markets, food services and suppliers to ensure they can base their decisions on the most current scientific information to provide smart, sustainable choices for consumers.
The organizations have been at the forefront of educating Canadians about ocean-friendly seafood options and making sure that sustainable seafood is an option in the marketplace. Canadian consumers are making choices to support healthy oceans by choosing sustainable products.SeaChoice -- www.SeaChoice.org
Formed in 2006, SeaChoice is a national program that provides science-based sustainability assessments of seafood and helps Canadian businesses and consumers make sustainable seafood choices. SeaChoice is a joint initiative of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society BC, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecology Action Centre, Living Oceans Society and Sierra Club of BC. Working in collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium's acclaimed Seafood Watch program, SeaChoice undertakes science-based assessments, provides informative resources for consumers, and supports businesses through collaborative partnerships.Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise™
The Ocean Wise symbol next to a seafood item is the Vancouver Aquarium's assurance of an ocean-friendly seafood choice. With over 3,100 Ocean Wise partner locations across Canada, Ocean Wise makes it easy for consumers to make sustainable seafood choices that ensure the health of our oceans for generations to come. Learn more at www.oceanwise.ca.
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Lana Gunnlaugson, SeaChoice National Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 604-685-7445 (ext 26)
Linda Nishida, Communications Advisor
email@example.com | 604-659-3777
VANCOUVER - Grizzly bears could disappear from many parts of Canada unless action is taken to list them under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) and initiate immediate recovery efforts, including protecting their dwindling habitat in some regions.
That's the conclusion of a David Suzuki Foundation study that analyzed provincial and federal government data on the status of grizzly populations across Western Canada. The report, Securing a National Treasure, revealed that 16 subgroups are on the brink of extinction in regions where they once flourished. This includes nine groups in south-central British Columbia and Alberta's entire grizzly population, which remains vulnerable despite a recent hunting ban.
"Grizzly bears are at risk of disappearing completely from many parts of Western Canada, including all of southern B.C. and the South Coast Mountains, as well as a few subpopulations in west-central Alberta, unless immediate action is taken to list and protect them under the federal Species at Risk Act," said Faisal Moola, a scientist with the David Suzuki Foundation. "We must protect this iconic symbol of Canadian wilderness, which plays such a critical role in the maintenance of a healthy ecosystem," he added.
The Foundation's report comes on the heels of an assessment by Canada's expert science panel on species at risk, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), which found that although healthy populations of grizzlies remain in much of Canada's remote northern wilderness, southern populations in Alberta and B.C. are in trouble as a result of shrinking habitat and excessive human-caused mortality. For this reason, scientists have formally declared the animal a species of "special concern" that should be added to the official List of Wildlife Species at Risk (Schedule 1) under the Species at Risk Act.
Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent received COSEWIC's formal recommendation last fall and must now decide whether to legally list grizzly bears under the Species at Risk Act, reject listing, or refer the matter back to COSEWIC for further study.
"For the second time in 10 years, the federal government's advisory panel on wildlife has strongly recommended legally listing and protecting grizzly bears," Moola said. "Five different environment ministers, Liberal and Conservative, have failed to act on the scientists' advice. We hope Canada's current environment minister will listen to the experts and take action to save this iconic species."
Canada's grizzly bears are among the most vulnerable large mammals on the continent for a number of reasons, including low reproductive rates; increasing pressures from resource extraction, such as oil and gas development; climate change and death from sport hunting, control kills and poaching.
"First Nations have shared the land with bears for thousands of years," said Douglas Neasloss, a renowned bear guide and leader with the Kitasoo/Xaixais Band Council in B.C.'s Great Bear Rainforest. "We not only revere the animal in our culture but also depend on it as part of the sustainable tourism industry we are trying to create so that people from around the world can come to see bears in the wild," he added. "We must implement legislative measures to protect and recover grizzly bears before it's too late."
The Species at Risk Act is the key legislative tool for protecting declining species, such as blue whales, caribou and rare plants like butternut trees in Canada. If grizzly bears are successfully added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk (Schedule 1) under the Species at Risk Act as a species of "special concern", the government will have to initiate formal measures to protect and recover the species, including creation of a management plan and other conservation measures.
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For further information, please contact:
Faisal Moola, Director General, Ontario and Northern Canada, David Suzuki Foundation:
Douglas Neasloss, Resource Stewardship Director, Kitasoo/Xaixais Integrated Resource Authority, and Lead Guide, Spirit Bear Lodge: 604-354-5989
Ian Hanington, Communications Manager, David Suzuki Foundation, 604-732-4228, X 1238
VANCOUVER -- British Columbia's next government can help secure a better future by reforming the carbon tax and investing a portion of the resulting revenue in energy efficiency, innovation, public transit, and other community solutions to climate change.
That is the message that Better Future British Columbia, a coalition of five leading groups -- the B.C. Sustainable Energy Association, Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation, Organizing for Change, and the Pembina Institute -- is advancing through the 2013 B.C. election and into the term of the next government.
"B.C. has been a climate leader in the past, but other countries are now catching up," said Merran Smith, director of Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada. "We are challenging all parties to put climate solutions back on the front burner by creating a Better Future Fund that would strengthen communities, create jobs, and diversify the economy." The province could generate up to $1 billion per year in new revenue by adding slightly more than a penny to the current price of a liter of gasoline, and by closing the loophole that allows many industrial polluters to not fully pay their fair share.
The coalition proposes using a portion of that revenue to create three investment funds: A Home and Business Energy Efficiency Fund ($25 million/year), an Innovation Fund ($50 million/year), and a Better Future Community Fund ($375 million/year) that would fund transit and other local solutions.
"British Columbians are proud of their province's past leadership on carbon pollution, and would like to see that leadership continue," said Matt Horne, director of the climate change program with the Pembina Institute. "Strengthening and expanding our carbon tax is the best way we can demonstrate that renewed commitment."
All three of the proposed investment funds would help fight climate change while creating longlasting jobs that are less vulnerable to the boom-and-bust cycle of natural-resource economies.Together, the three funds would allocate less than half of the potential new revenue that an expanded and increased carbon tax would generate, leaving money available for other priorities.
"B.C.'s clean energy economy already employs well over 8,000 British Columbians," said Ian Bruce, manager of science and policy at the David Suzuki Foundation. "B.C.'s next government has an unbeatable opportunity to build on this success and position our province as a leading innovator and developer of solutions to climate change--something we can all be proud of."
"We can work together to build positive change in the face of the climate challenge," said Tom Hackney, Policy Analyst for the BC Sustainable Energy Association. "The Better Future Fund points the way forward."
The betterfuturebc.ca web site, launching today, offers more background on the proposed funds. The site will invite British Columbians to contact their candidates and ask them to commit to a better future for B.C. through a strengthened and expanded carbon tax.ABOUT BETTER FUTURE B.C.
Better Future British Columbia is a non-partisan partnership between the B.C. Sustainable Energy Association, Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation, Organizing for Change, and the Pembina Institute. All five groups are working to advance solutions that would reduce pollution, strengthen British Columbia's communities, diversify our economy, and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.CONTACT:
For Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada:
Merran Smith, mobile 604-816-5636, firstname.lastname@example.org
For the Pembina Institute:
Matt Horne, mobile 778-235-1476, email@example.com
For the David Suzuki Foundation:
Mara Kerry, mobile 604-836-3920, firstname.lastname@example.org