Elizabeth May Interview and the Battle Over Mountain Top Removal
This week Zane brought an insightfull look at the past weeks news. Here are those headlines and links.
According to a recent report prepared for Alberta’s Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) department, there are approximately 23 grizzly bears estimated to occupy Alberta’s Swan Hills. This new information brings the total estimated number of grizzlies in Alberta so far to 604. The status of Alberta’s grizzly bear is currently being reviewed. Following the review, Alberta’s Endangered Species Conservation Committee (ESCC) will make a status recommendation to the Minister of Sustainable Resource Development.
Council of the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada represented by Parks Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada signed a long-awaited agreement to cooperatively manage the proposed Gwaii Haanas national marine conservation area. The federal government and the Haida protected the land through a national park reserve and Haida Heritage Site. But the surrounding ocean ecosystem remains largely unprotected, despite a commitment by both governments to also protect it over 20 years ago. The partnership agreement announced today with the Haida is an important step forward for a future Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA). (Article)
The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled Thursday that a British Columbia mining development can go ahead, even though the court said the project didn’t go through all the required environmental assessments. The Supreme Court sided with the appellant, MiningWatch Canada & Eco-justice which had argued that the Red Chris mine project did not go through a full federal environmental study. The decision is expected to mean that future large development projects will need to go through full environmental reviews. (Article)
Sea Shepherd Announces Mediterranean Campaign for the Bluefin Tuna. Both Sea Shepherd ships, the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker, will head for the Mediterranean from the Southern Ocean. The objective will be to intercept and oppose the illegal operations of Bluefin tuna poachers. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meets in March to debate banning trade in the Bluefin. Yet in the lead up to the meeting, the European Union has taken the Bluefin off the agenda so as not to offend the fishermen of France, Malta, Italy, and Greece. Sea Shepherd intends to confront the poachers and will not back down to threats and violence from the fishermen. (Article)
Canada has aligned itself with U.S. policy as it gave the United Nations its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions under the Copenhagen Accord. Environment Minister Jim Prentice on Saturday said that by 2020 Canada would reduce emissions by 17 per cent from 2005 levels, the same target the U.S. announced to the UN on Thursday. Prentice made the announcement in Calgary, a day before the deadline stipulated in the agreement reached in the Danish capital last month. Prentice said his government now wants to work toward achieving a comprehensive and binding international treaty, building on the framework agreement reached in Copenhagen
Environmentalists with an interest in politics have had reason to feel energized since 2006, when veteran Environmental campaigner Elizabeth May was elected to lead the Canadian Green Party. Under her leadership the party took almost a million votes at the 2008 federal election, their best result ever. Prior to entering politics May was a high profile environmental lawyer and executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada. She has written 7 books and has advised federal governments of all political stripes on environmental policy. Last week Elizabeth May spoke to students at the Sierra Youth Sustainable Campuses Conference. Terra Informa’s David Kaczan caught up with Elizabeth after her address, to discuss climate change and the future of the green party.
In the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern US, a battle is raging. Mining companies are blasting away mountain tops to reach underlying coals seams, locals are worried about their health, and environmentalists have had enough. This past week they shut down one of Massey Energy‘s mines with a tree sit that lasted for nine days. Steve talked to a spokesperson for Climate Ground Zero to find out what was going on.