sustainability

Cooking Up Better Food Policy in Canada

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This week on Terra Informa, we discuss the ongoing consultations about Canada’s food policy with master food strategists Juanita Gnanapragasam and Kathryn Lennon.

Download episode now.

Canada’s Food Policy

The federal government explains on their website that “A Food Policy for Canada will set a long-term vision for the health, environmental, social, and economic goals related to food, while identifying actions we can take in the short-term. A food policy is a way to address issues related to the production, processing, distribution, and consumption of food.”

Consultations about the policy are being carried out by the federal government across Canada. Although they didn’t organize one in Alberta, luckily our AB food organizations have our backs and organized their own consultation event called “What’s Your Recipe for a Better Food System? Towards a National Food Policy…” This event will be happening on Wednesday September 13, 2017 from 6-9 pm at the Edmonton Food Bank (Annex) 11434-120 Street. If you’re not in Edmonton or you’ve missed the 13th – no need to worry! You can contact your local MP or email the federal government at foodpolicy-politiquealimentaire@canada.ca. The hashtag being used for this discussion is #Foodpolicy4Canada.

Terra Informer Amanda Rooney spoke with representatives from two organizations present at the upcoming event on Wednesday; the University of Alberta’s Sustainable Food Working Group and the City of Edmonton. 

Juanita Gnanapragasam talks about her work on making food culturally inclusive and what she believes a food policy could bring to Canada. Ms. Gnanapragasam is a student at large member of the University of Alberta’s Sustainable Food Working Group.

Terra Informa alumni Kathryn Lennon also weighs in on what a national food policy might entail and the role of federal government in our food systems. Kathryn now works for the City of Edmonton as a Principal Planner in Policy Development working on the city’s food strategy alongside the Edmonton Food Council.  

Download program log now.

Photo by Lou Stejskal on Flickr

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Faith + Futurism

church and mountains by edwademd.jpg

”The Swiss Alps – God’s Country” by edwademd

This week on Terra Informa, we have two great pieces from our archives. First we have a story on faith and climate justice. Terra Informer Trevor Chow-Fraser talks to Bishop Susan Johnson to hear more on what inspires people of faith to get involved in international climate negotiations. Then we talk to Alex Steffen, Planetary Futurist, journalist, and sustainability advocate. He thinks it’s time to stop looking at the second hand on our watch and look up and begin to think about what kind of world we’re leaving to our grandchildren. Matt Hirji sits down with him at the University of Alberta’s International Week 2014.

Download episode now.

Faith and Climate Justice

Previously we heard from three guests—an analyst, an activist, and a Bishop—about Fast for the Climate, a campaign based off of the hunger strike that thousands of people took part in during the Warsaw climate change talks. This week, Trevor Chow-Fraser wanted to hear more on what inspires people of faith to get involved in the international climate negotiations. To figure it out, Trevor step back and ask them how they first came to connect their faith with the environment.

Alex Steffen, Planetary Futurist

In today’s fast paced milieu, chasing the here and now can blind us from the dangers that lie ahead —  just past the horizon. Our conversations are often dominated by present concerns… with very little credence given to the impacts that our current decisions will have on our world in the future. Alex Steffen is a self-described planetary futurist. He sits down with Matt Hirji while at the University of Alberta’s International Week.

Headlines

Toronto the resilient: how the city plans to adapt to climate change in 2050

The city of Toronto has put forward a bill called Transform TO, calling to reduce the cities greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by the year 2050. Plans to meet this ambitious goal include the increased use of solar panels, dense urban centers and new homes that minimize greenhouse gas output. The city also plans to divert 95% of waste from landfills by increasing recycling and reuse programs. Read more here. 

Bear 148

Bear 148 was caught in Canmore this week after what seems was hundreds of encounters with humans. You may know this grizzly for when she became viral after joining a rugby practice in Banff, as well as many other encounters she has had with people. Bear 148 was not known to be aggressive, though in a recent incident she charged a man pushing a stroller while he was walking his dog. After this she was captured and released back into the far end of her home range to minimize human interaction. Parks staff say this comes as a reminder about the balance between keeping animal habitat and maintaining the safety of visitors in the park. Read more here. 

Ancient fungi could help Canada’s future northern forests

Research from the University of British Columbia has found a symbiotic fungi helping trees to migrate during times of high temperature stress due to climate change. These fungi had been laying dormant for thousands of years and were able to survive due to specialized spores. Jason Pither and Brian Pickles have been leading the new research. Read more here.

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There is no Planet B

Earthrise

This week we explore the origins of Earth Day with an ecobabble that spans the decades from 1970 to the March for Science of 2017. Next, we’re revisiting an interview with Chris Hadfield from our archives.

 

Download episode now.

Earth Day: Cause For Protest or Celebration?

Lauren Carter and Dylan Hall hit the streets to find out what the public thinks about Earth Day and the March for Science. You’ll be hearing some of those interviews throughout this ecobabble on the origins of Earth Day.  Earth Day began as the environmentalist movement was making its voice heard with protests and educational teach-ins. Today, Earth Day is celebrated across the planet, although its focus has largely turned from political issues to small-scale individual action. Find out how this transition happened, and how the March for Science is changing that with this ecobabble produced by Lauren Carter.

Chris Hadfield Interview From 2013

Most of us will never know what it’s like being in space. We’ve all seen the pictures of that familiar glowing green and blue orb from the viewpoint of a spaceship. We have rich imaginations and age-long fascinations of what could be out there beyond the sky. But what does it smell like? What does it really feel like to be out there? From the 2013 archives, our own Matt Hirji talked to Commander Chris Hadfield about questions like these.

Download program log now.

Photo by NASA

The Re-Re-Re-Return of Misinforma

 

Terra Informa Photo May 29 Taiga

Fake news! Trump’s Green House! Eco-amnesia: the terrifying new condition that’s gripping the nation! Terra Misinforma is back (again!) for an April Fool’s celebration. As well, from an archive, we ask the questions that are too controversial for you to ask yourself—like what to do with Iceland? Do we really need water? Plus a special investigative feature on Canada’s radical, extremist environmentalists.

Download episode now.

National Headlines

Were you upset when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he plans to revoke the transit tax credit? Well, good news! Listen to hear Trudeau’s newest reasonable proposals to help out transit-riders that may be considering a change in their commute. Additionally, Parks Canada has a new idea to boost tourism.

Trumps Corner: Newest Executive Orders

Think Donald Trump only cares about locker room talk and private email servers? Think again! We discuss Trump’s latest environmental policies, including new plans for the military budget, a fresh way to protect National Parks, and a policy aimed at lowering carbon emissions.

Ecobabble: Environmental Amnesia- A Troubling Disorder

This week we discuss Environmental Amnesia with world-renowned neuroscientist and psychologist, Dr. Lafaque. Learn more about this concerning condition that affects millions of people everyday, and if we are getting any closer to finding a cure.

Reflections on Water: A Debate

What’s water really good for besides hockey, hosing down activists, and raining on parades? As far as natural resources go, water’s just a drop in the bucket, and we’ve decided to wash our hands of it. But unlike most media outlets, we try to get you both sides of every story, even if the other is patently wrong. So, to stand up for the big blue—or green, or whatever colour gets you hippies out of bed these days—eco-conscious Canadian Nelly von Hoser joined us in studio for a short and shallow conservation—errr—conversation on the merits of water.

Spawns of Seitan: Canada’s Terrifying Ecoterrorists

You hear news on Terra Misinforma all the time about the misguided misdeeds of Canada’s environmentalists. Fortunately, our great government is starting to catch on. In recent years, politicians, pundits and police have all identified environmentalists as the leading threat to the nation. To tell us more, we’ve got Trevor Chow-Fraser, who went undercover in his fight to remain vigilant against domestic extremism in the name of environmentalism.

What’s Pissed Off Chris

Terra Misinforma’s regular shock columnist Chris Chang-Yen Phillips has an idea he’d like to get off his chest. It’s about a certain Scandinavian nation that’s become a hot tourist destination for those in search of a union of lava fields and icy slopes.

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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.

 

FunDrive 2013 Pt. 2

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Terra Informa’s Kyle Muzyka (far left) interviews David Herbert and Aliza Dadani, two of the voices behind Activat ED.

This week, hear Part 2 of the annual Terra Informa Fun Drive Live show! The live show features interviews from Canadians of all walks of life and focuses on municipal government and its power to affect a community. With Alberta-wide elections approaching quickly on October 21 this is an excellent time to get educated about the changes that can or can’t be made by your municipal government. In part 2, we spoke to an Edmonton group trying to promote progressive candidates, and to an Edmonton engineering student who’s seen the extremes of environmental issues municipalities try to deal with.

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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.