Tackling Climate Change, Balancing Development

People's Climate March

Today we’re live at the People’s Climate March in Edmonton. Reflecting on the challenge of tackling climate change, we’ve selected some pieces dealing with sustainability and social justice. Learn about Ecuador’s constitutionally enshrined ‘rights of nature,’ hear from Julian Agyeman on just sustainability, and meet a teacher bringing permaculture into the classroom.

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Good Living

When we think of a constitution we think of basic “human” rights. We, as humans, have the right to vote, the right to practice religion, the right to own property. But what about nature? Ecuador was the first country in the world to establish the rights of nature at a national level, including it in the 2008 constitution. Terra Informa’s Nicole Wiart talks to Doctor Kelly Swing of the Tiputini biodiversity station in Ecuador about how this constitutional change is great in theory, but in practice, there are a lot of hurdles to still overcome. Nicole Wiart talks to Doctor Kelly Swing.



Bringing Permaculture Back To School

When you were a kid in school, did you ever wonder what the point of subjects like math and science were? For instance, how they applied to the real world? What could that have to do with a food forest and an aquaponics system, or how permaculture projects can help people become more connected to their communities?

Dustin Bajer teaches at Jasper Place High School in Edmonton and is the brain behind the permaculture project started there in 2010. He has some interesting answers to these questions. Morgana Folkmann spoke to him over the phone this past week.



Just Sustainability

Julian Agyeman is chair of the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University in Boston-Medford, Massachusetts. His research focuses on the intersections between social justice and sustainability, an idea which he terms just sustainability. He describes just sustainability as “the need to ensure a better quality of life for all, now and into the future, in a just and equitable manner, whilst living within the limits of supporting ecosystems”. Kathryn Lennon spoke with him about the need for the sustainability movement to broaden its work beyond ecological and conservation issues, to include issues of inequality and social justice.


What’s Happening

Climate Fast on Parliament Hill

For the third year, people will be standing and fasting on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa. They will be there every day from September 28 to October 2. The peaceful action will call on policy makers to end fossil fuel subsidies, put a price on carbon and make a green energy plan for Canada.

Want to get involved? Fasters need volunteers to help out in Ottawa. You can also pledge to make your own fast on October first. Be sure to write to your political representatives, and tell your friends and family why you are fasting.

Backyard Biodiversity Exhibit

On a different note, Vancouver’s Beaty Museum has a new exhibit opening on Saturday, September 27. Come to a family-friendly celebration of BC writers and illustrators. Read, write, draw and discover backyard biodiversity with some of BC’s best children’s writers and illustrators. There will be story time under the blue whale and a puppet show too!

Treeplanting in Shediac

On Saturday, September 27, the Nature Conservancy of Canada is hosting a tree planting event in Shediac, New Brunswick. Help speed up the natural regeneration of a Barachois Acorn habitat, providing much needed homes for endangered piping plover. No experience necessary. Snacks and equipment are provided. Register online.

Wild Mushrooms Foraging

On Saturday, September 27, in Glassville, New Brunswick you can learn to forage—safely—for wild mushrooms. The Falls Brook Centre is bringing in naturalist Nelson Poirier to show you the ropes. Learn to identify wild mushrooms, avoid the poisonous ones and pick out the tastiest ones. Register online.

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