Ecuador

Just Sustainability: Social Justice and Nature’s Rights

Lagoon and lush forest in Ecuador.

Lagoon and lush forest in Ecuador.

This week we are bringing sustainability-related pieces from the archives. First, we hear from Dr. Kelly Swing about how Ecuador has enshrined the rights of nature in its constitution. Then we hear an interview with Winona LaDuke, an indigenous economist about the effects of colonization on Indigenous economies and food systems. Finally, we bring you an interview with Julian Agyeman, chair of the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University about how sustainability should be considered holistically.

Download the episode.

Download the program log.

Nature’s Rights in Ecuador

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.

Winona LaDuke, Anishinaabe Activist

Winona LaDuke is an Anishinaabe environmental activist, economist, and writer. She spent her entire career as an unflagging advocate for food and energy sustainability. She’s the kind of person who can tell you centuries of history about the corn her community grows and then rally it together to build a wind turbine. She ran as the U.S vice-presidential nominee for the United States Green Party in 1996 and 2000, and she remains a leader in North America on issues of locally based sustainable development. Terra Informa correspondent Matt Hirji spoke with Winona LaDuke from her home on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota.

More information: Winona LaDuke’s TedxTC Talk – Seeds of our Ancestors, Seeds of Life, Honour the Earth

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.

Image Credit: Alejomiranda, Pixabay.

What’s Happening?

Solar Trade Show: February 25th, Edmonton, Alberta

Free Admission

The Solar Trade Show is an event for everyone: homeowners, business owners, community organizations, job seekers, and Indigenous communities. Presentations and workshops will discuss careers in solar energy and how to finance solar energy projects. The event is organized by the Solar Energy Society of Alberta.

Click here for more info.

 

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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Act One

Over the winter holidays, Terra Informa will be re-broadcasting our three part series Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Thanks for listening!

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In a show recorded before a live audience, Terra Informa brings you stories of spirituality and the way it shapes our attitudes to the natural world. Act One features two intimate and thought provoking segments. First, a singer-songwriter whose connection to BC’s Sacred Headwaters put her family at the heart of a major confrontation. Second, an interview with one of the world’s leading naturalists who grew up in the Bible Belt, but now lives in Ecuador.

Thank you to the St. John’s Institute of Edmonton for hosting this special night of live radio.

Download this week’s episode

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Nature on the Brink

Courtesy: Courtney Johnson

Courtesy: Courtney Johnson

On Terra Informa this week,we look at stories of nature on the edge. From the Yasuni ITT in Ecuador and the failing fight to keep it protected from developers, to two stories from our archives. One on the Banff Spring Snail; an endangered species, and the other on the idea of ‘just sustainability’ and how a necessary shift in our perspective on what it means to be sustainable may include a cultural shift.

Download this week’s episode

Ecuador Abandons Unique Amazonian Nature Reserve

Take an area about one fifth of the size of Banff National Park, or around one eighth the size of the city of Edmonton. That’s roughly 120 thousand hectares and that is the size of Yasuni ITT (Ishipingo-Tambococha-Tiputini)  in Ecuador. What makes Yasuni ITT special, however, is that the area contains more reptiles than the entire continent of Europe, as many birds and mammals as the entire country of Canada, and in one hectare, there are more tree species than Canada and the US have combined.

Yasuni ITT was meant to preserve the country’s biodiversity and make a stand against global climate change. But, less than a month ago, the Ecuadorian government announced they were pulling the plug on the initiative, and allowing oil exploration to go forward in the area. Terra Informa’s Nicole Wiart talks to a Professor of Ecology and an Ecuadorian exchange student to get a better idea of what this announcement means for Ecuador.

More on this story: Amazonwatch, The Ecologist, Ecuadorian Government’s Yasuni ITT website

Girl Gone Wild: Banff Springs Snail

From the time we’re little, most of us are told to be proud of what makes us unique – what sets us apart. But what if the thing that made you different was also the thing that made you vulnerable? On this week’s edition of Girl Gone Wild, Chris Chang-Yen Phillips brings us the story of the endangered Banff Springs Snail from wildlife documentary filmmaker Jamie Pratt.

More on this story: Parks Canada, CBC Calgary, Girl Gone Wild documentaries

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.

More on this story: Julian’s Blog 

What’s Happening

Youth Summit for Biodiversity and Green Solutions

From September 20th to the 22nd, youth in Orillia Ontario are invited to take in the Youth Summit for Biodiversity and Green Solutions. It’s the 4th annual event of it’s kind, brining together young leaders from across the province of Ontario to partake in activities and workshops, everything from bird watching, to learning about First Nation traditional medicine. Its for people in grades 9 to 12, so if you, or someone you know might be interested in building your leadership skills and learning more about conservation, don’t miss it.

Public Lecture on Oil, Gas, Fracking and the Yukon!

In Whitehorse, Yukon on September 17th, be sure to head to Beringia Centre for a public lecture on how the proposed oil and gas and fracking industries might affect people in the Yukon. Journalist and author Andrew Nikiforuk is leading the event, and is also hosting a workshop during the day on understanding the oil and gas industry. It’s 5 bucks at the door, everyone’s welcome!

What is the universe made of? The case of dark matter and dark energy.

Have you ever wondered what the universe was made of? Well, at the University of Alberta on September 18th at 7 p.m. You’re invited to attend a public lecture about dark matter and dark energy. It’s a free event, but to reserve tickets, head to gpsa-symposium.eventbrite.ca

The 13th Annual Gorge Waterway Cleanup

Grab your boots and gloves and join in on the 13th annual Gorge Waterway Cleanup in Victoria on September 21st. Every year the community gets together to make a difference in the local environment and protect Canada’s shoreline. It begins at 10 a.m. and ends at noon.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Act One

In a show recorded before a live audience, Terra Informa brings you stories of spirtuality and the way it shapes our attitudes to the natural world. Act One features two intimate and thought provoking segments. First, a singer-songwriter whose connection to BC’s Sacred Headwaters put her family at the heart of a major confrontation. Second, an interview with one of the world’s leading naturalists who grew up in the Bible Belt, but now lives in Ecuador.

Thank you to the St. John’s Institute of Edmonton for hosting this special night of live radio.

Download

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Singing The Sacred Headwaters

Sierra Jamerson was born into a family of talented leaders and gifted musicians, and she’s been performing professionally since the tender age of eleven, singing traditional Black Gospel, jazz, soul and R&B music.

Part of that talented family of hers is in the Tahltan Nation in British Columbia. You might have heard of the Sacred Headwaters in Tahltan territory. It’s the origin point for three powerful rivers that run through British Columbia—the Stikine, the Skeena and the Nass. When the oil and gas industry tried to start mining in the area, Sierra’s family was at the forefront of Tahltan resistance.

Further reading

Biology & The Bible Belt

Dr. Kelly Swing is the co-founder of the Tiputini biodiversity station in the Amazon, and in all respects, this guy has an impressive resume and an even more impressive google search. He’s a go-to source for organizations and people all over the world, including National Geographic and theh David Suzuki Foundation.

Kelly grew up in the bible belt of North Carolina, but has lived in Ecuador for the past 20 years. He was raised in a very Christian home, going to church sometimes up to three times a week. But from an early age, he has always been interested in nature. So, upon going to college, he focused on biology and chemistry, and somehow managed to keep a balance of both religion and science in his life.

Further Reading

Live Show Sponsors

The St. John’s Institute is a 95 year old cornerstone of Edmonton’s Ukrainian Orthodox community. It operates a student residential centre near the University of Alberta, and runs many educational, spiritual, cultural and outreach programs.

CJSR-FM is a Canadian campus-based community radio station, broadcasting at 88.5 FM in Edmonton, Alberta. Thes radio station is volunteer-run and seeks to enlighten and entertain through high quality and diverse programming that constantly challenges the status quo.”

How We Live

This week on Terra Informa, we’re taking a look at how environmental issues cut close to the way people live; how we travel, how we eat, and how big issues like climate change affect us in our day-to-day lives.

Edmonton’s annual Bikeology festival is a way for Edmontonians to make a connection and a change with the city’s cycling community. We also dive deep into Ecuador to explore the  hurdles of nature being a legal entity, and also the term “Just Sustainability” and what it means for us as individuals concerned about social justice and sustainability.

How We Live

Karly Coleman is the one on the left, in front of Mike’s Bikes.

Download this week’s episode

Bikeology Festival

Winter in Edmonton is tough.

All that ice and snow for half the year —

No wonder people love getting outside when June rolls around. June is, not surprisingly, also when the city celebrates Bike Month.

And all month long, you can join in Edmonton’s Bikeology Festival, a love-in for bike culture.

Karly Coleman is a regular on our home station CJSR, and she used to be the bicycle traffic reporter for Terra Informa. She’s one of the organizers of the Bikeology Festival, and she told Terra Informer Chris Chang-Yen Phillips why she thinks it’s so important to have opportunities to make cycling fun in the city.

For more on this story:

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.

For more on this story:

Just Sustainabilities

We’ve seen that environmental issues can affect the way people get around, and what they eat. But they don’t affect everyone equally. Julian Agyeman is chair of the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. His research focuses on the intersections between social justice and sustainability, an idea which he terms just sustainability.

For more on this story: 

What’s Happening

Weeding for Wildlife 

An event in Edmonton’s Glory Hills property June 8th and 25th from 8:30am to 3pm; you can volunteer to improve the local habitat for wildlife nesting and feeding, and reduce the spread of invasive plants that displace the native vegetation Bring your gloves and hedge clippers

 To volunteer:

  • Rebeccca at Rebecca@ealt.ca or 780-850-3270

Emissions: A Climate Comedy

Part of Ottawa’s Fringe Festival from June 22 – 29, this comedy is an intelligent satire about the human dynamics behind climate change, and will explore what it is that makes us pee in our own swimming pool.

For more information:

NEERLS (National Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Summit):

A call out to listeners living up north, it’s the annual national environmental, energy, and resources law summit: natural resource and energy legal developments: north and south of 60. A bit of a mouthful, but if you happen to be in Yellowknife on the 20th and 21st of June and are interested in law and the environment, then this summit is made for you. With Canada’s economy increasingly revolving around extraction of natural resources, the need for legal advice is also increasing. The summit will focus on dealing with environmental matters, developing renewable energy generation projects, and learning how to consult with Aboriginal groups.

To register and find out more, head to the NEERLS website: 

Run for Biodiversity:

And in Vancouver, people are running “wild” for farmers and food. Everyone is invited to participate in Vancouver’s Run (or walk, if you are anything like me) for biodiversity on Sunday June 23. The fun and healthy fundraising project is in support of seed-saving farmers in Nepal. The Run for Biodiversity is hoping to raise $5000 to send to environmental initiatives in Nepal, and you can help them get there.