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Ecology

Stop Environmental Plunder, Start Ecosystem Restoration: Lingap-Canada Celebrates 2021 World Environment Day

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Dagami Daytoy exposed the problems experienced by the locals due to the impact of the Didipio Mine in Nueva Viscaya, Philippines. Documentary Film Credit: Noni Abao

“Ecosystem Restoration” is this year’s theme for the UN World Environment Day (WED). Pakistan in partnership with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) hosted the 2021 WED. This year (the second year of the Covid 19 pandemic), jumpstarts the UN Decade (2021-2030) of Ecosystem Restoration, a measure exhorting stakeholders to be ingenious and resourceful in restoring what had been annihilated, and destroyed by untenable damaging large-scale extractive industries, illegal logging, dynamite and over-fishing, irresponsible disposals of hazardous wastes, harmful use of toxic chemicals for agriculture, industries and informal sectors, among other human unsound environmental activities. Ecosystem Restoration can only be possible if actors Stop Environmental Plunder (SEP).  Pillagers are urged to SEP and join all concerned global citizens to Start Environmental Restoration (SER). SEPSER then is an apt move if we are to work with the United Nations, Church-based organizations, government agencies, NGOs, and civic movements for the healing and restoration of Mother Earth for the present and future generations.

Lingap-Canada Spearheads the WED Celebration

The Learning for Interdependence and Global Awareness of the Philippines-Canada (Lingap-Canada) celebrated the World Environment Day last June 5 (Edmonton MDT), and June 6, 2021 (Philippine time). It kicked off with a video reflection of the song “Masdan Mo Ang  Kapaligiran” by Asin, a Filipino folk-rock band. The first event highlight was the showing of a documentary film Dagami Daytoy (This is Our land) directed by Noni Abao,  a human rights worker who toiled in the Cagayan Valley Region where he made short documentaries.

Dagami Daytoy exposes the story of the Indigenous Peoples’s campaign against mining by OceanaGold Corporation [OceanaGold or OceanaGold (Philippines), Inc. or OGPI], an Australian-Canadian corporation which started to operate in 1994 on their ancestral lands in Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines. The Provincial Governor, local governmental units (LGU), Church leaders, academe, NGOs, and like-minded citizens have joined the campaign appealing to the National Government NOT to renew the agreement for the mining. The documentary is truly relevant for commemorating World Environment Day and for motivating Filipino Canadians and other Canadians to be in solidarity with the campaign of Indigenous Peoples and other Filipinos seeking environmental justice and building a sustainable society. Aside from the non-renewal of the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) between the OceanaGold and the Philippines, concerned citizens demand also that OceanaGold make way for the restoration of ecosystems ravaged at the mining site.

The documentary film won 2nd prize in the 2020 Yale Environment 360 Video Contest and the Grand Prize in the 2020 Gawad Cultural Center of the Philippines Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video (for Alternative Film & Video).

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Ecology

Yukon and Northern BC First Nations tackle climate change using Indigenous knowledge and science

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YUKON, June 18, 2021 /CNW/ – The Government of Canada is working together in partnership with Indigenous and Northern communities in finding solutions to adapt to the impacts of climate change in the North.

Today, Minister of Northern Affairs, Daniel Vandal, along with Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency), Larry Bagnell, highlighted progress on three unique, Indigenous-led projects that are helping communities in Yukon and Northern British Columbia adapt to the challenges posed by climate change.

The Minister and Parliamentary Secretary met virtually with Carcross/Tagish First Nation (C/TFN) to learn about their community-led climate change monitoring program. C/TFN has partnered with Tsay Keh Dene Nation (TKDN) and Chu Cho Environmental of Prince George, British Columbia, to build a community-led monitoring project that examines environmental data and Indigenous knowledge to create a holistic picture of how the climate is changing across C/TFN and TKDN traditional territories. The project combines tracking of current and historical climate trends with knowledge shared by Elders while also providing opportunities for youth mentorship and climate change awareness.

The Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN) is also leading a unique project to assess the impacts of climate change within their traditional territory. Climate change is causing many of the culturally significant ice patches to melt, exposing organic artifacts to oxygen and leading to rapid deterioration. The TRTFN ice patch mapping project will involve performing archaeological assessments to prevent the degradation of artifacts. Research will be guided by traditional knowledge, Elders and oral histories, when available, and heavily involve community, Elders, youth and Knowledge Keepers.

The Pelly Crossing Selkirk Development Corporation is leading the Selkirk Wind Resource Assessment project through the installation of a Sonic Detection and Ranging (SODAR) system. The initiative includes a feasibility study leading up to the construction of a renewable energy facility, including wind, solar and battery energy storage. Expanding clean energy within the region will have direct benefits for communities, including reduced reliance on diesel, job creation and revenue generation for Selkirk First Nation. 

These projects are delivering important environmental, social and economic benefits that lead to healthier, more sustainable and resilient communities across Yukon and Northern British Columbia. They also build community clean energy capacity and help to avoid the impacts of climate change.

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Ecology

Atlantic Provinces Ready For Aquaculture Growth

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Aquaculture is an important economic driver for rural, coastal and Indigenous communities, and Atlantic Canada is well positioned to increase aquaculture production as global demand for sustainably sourced seafood grows.

That is why the ministers responsible for aquaculture in the Atlantic provinces have agreed to the ongoing development and management of their industries based on common principles. A new memorandum of understanding has been signed by the four ministers, which extends the previous agreement signed in 2008.

“In a time when food security is especially important, it is good to see our aquaculture industry has grown steadily and is poised for continued growth in 2021 based on environmentally responsible, science-based policies and practices,” said Keith Colwell, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture for Nova Scotia. “Our Atlantic partnership continues to help the industry grow sustainably.”

Cooperation between the provinces and the aquaculture industry has led to improvements in pest management, environmentally sustainable aquaculture methods, aquatic animal health and policies to support the shared use of marine and freshwater resources. It also aims to align regulation and policy between the provinces to make the regulatory requirements easier to understand by industry and the public.

Each province has a comprehensive and robust legislative and regulatory framework to ensure environmental sustainability, economic prosperity and public accountability. The provinces update their legislation and regulations regularly. Nova Scotia revamped its regulatory framework in 2015; New Brunswick received Royal Assent for a new Aquaculture Act in 2019 and is working on the supporting regulations; Newfoundland and Labrador completely revised its aquaculture policy in 2019; and Prince Edward Island has recently drafted a new Aquaculture Act.

The ministers have agreed to continue to use science-based evidence for management decisions, thereby increasing public and investor confidence in the Atlantic Canadian aquaculture industry.

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Ecology

COMING SOON: A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy 2.0

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We all want the same thing: a clean and responsible energy future for our children and future generations while continuing to enjoy a high standard of living.

On December 11, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new climate plan which he claimed will help achieve Canada’s economic and environmental goals.

The proposed plan by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) entitled “A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy” will have an initial investment of $15 billion of taxpayer’s money. It is built on 5 pillars of action:

  1) Making the Places Canadians Live and Gather More Affordable by Cutting Energy Waste

2) Making Clean, Affordable Transportation and Power Available in Every Community

3) Continuing to Ensure Pollution isn’t Free and Households Get More Money Back

4) Building Canada’s Clean Industrial Advantage

5) Embracing the Power of Nature to Support Healthier Families and More Resilient Communities  

In my paper, “A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy 2.0” I will objectively critique each pillar in the government’s new climate plan and provide alternative solutions to the same issues.

  This is an alternative plan that supports workers, protects lower income earners and creates economic growth while respecting the environment and focusing on the dignity of work.

  This plan abandons virtue-signaling projects and relies on Canadian ingenuity to build our economy and restore Canada’s role of responsible leadership in the world.

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