SEN Info Bulletin

February 17th, 2015

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News

Action Alert

Opportunities

Events

News

SEN Fracking Resistance Strategic Meeting

SEN is organizing a provincial meeting for the purpose of helping groups and individuals interested in fracking to get organized and resist the spread of fracking in our province and to work toward a ban in Saskatchewan. The meeting will take place on February 28th at PAVED Arts Centre in Saskatoon (424 – 20th St West), starting at 9:30 am.

We are excited to have two great speakers to be joining us for this meeting. Emily Eaton is a professor of geography at the University of Regina and has done research on the extraction industries within Saskatchewan. She will speak on her research and experiences with fracking in Saskatchewan. Larry Kowalchuk is a Regina based lawyer who represented the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance in their successful quest to place a moratorium on fracking in New Brunswick. He will speak on his experiences fighting against fracking and how we can accomplish the same in Saskatchewan.

We are hoping to get as many groups and individuals as possible to participate in this meeting and emerge with a meaningful plan that includes legal, educational, and legislative goals for fracking in Saskatchewan. If we work together as a network and a community, we too can get fracking banned in our province.

For more information contact us at info@econet.sk.ca or by phone at (306) 652-1275

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A Fresh Start for Saskatchewan Organic Industry Association

Members of the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate (SOD) met in Saskatoon in January to consider the organization’s future direction. Members voted unanimously to adopt a new set of bylaws resulting in new name, membership structure and funding model..

SaskOrganics is the new name for the revitalized industry association. From this point forward, everyone who is certified organic in Saskatchewan will be a member removing the requirement to purchase a membership fee to belong. Having all certified organic entities in the province as members will create a much stronger body and a more representative voice, which will enable SaskOrganics to better fulfil its mission to advocate for a sustainable and thriving organic community through leadership in research, market development and communications. As an alternative to the membership fee funding model, SaskOrganics is working with Organic Alberta, Manitoba Organic Alliance and organic industry partners to establish a more sustainable funding mechanism - The Prairie Organic Development Fund (PODF) - for the organic industry on the prairies.

SaskOrganics’ President, Garry K. Johnson commented “The changes signal a fresh start for Saskatchewan’s organic industry association. The organic industry recognizes the need for unity and collaboration from the producer through to the consumer and all of the stake holders in between. The demand for Saskatchewan organically grown products continues to be strong and the sector is poised for growth. SaskOrganics is committed to playing a vital and responsible role in the future of organic agriculture in Saskatchewan.”

You can find out more by visiting their website here.

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Over 100,000 Canadians Ask National Energy Board to Include Climate Change When Reviewing the Energy East Pipeline

More than 100,000 messages from people across Canada were hand delivered early February to the National Energy Board's (NEB) office in Calgary demanding climate change be included in the NEB's review of the Energy East tar sands pipeline. With participation from 350.org, Leadnow.ca, the Council of Canadians, Greenpeace & Avaaz, it is the largest petition ever delivered to the National Energy Board.

Organizers point out these messages are a response to changes in Canada's environmental review processes that exclude climate and community participation – including changes in 2012 to the National Energy Board Act. Only people considered "directly affected" by the NEB and who choose from a pre-determined list of issues are allowed to provide input into the review. Climate change is not on the list of issues, although concerns related to marine shipping have already been added to the list of issues for Energy East.

From February 3rd to March 3rd, 2015 people in Canada can file applications to intervene in the NEB review of Energy East. Adding climate change to the list of issues under review it would mean that everyone in Canada would be "directly affected" by the pipeline due to it's climate implications. If approved, this would allow people from across the country to be included in community participation with the NEB review.

Read more about this here.

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Nationwide Coalition Plans "Epic" Rally During April Climate Talks in Quebec

On April 11, people from all walks of life will march through Quebec streets demanding action from government leaders to seriously address climate change in Canada. Act on Climate, a coalition of environmental groups, students, unions, First Nations, and grassroots organizers will bring together thousands of people while Canadian premiers follow up on climate talks initiated in Peru.

On the heels of September’s People’s Climate March and December’s Lima protests, this mass mobilisation is the latest effort to test leaders -- especially from Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia -- on their commitment to act on climate and move away from fossil fuel industries. With national targets due next month (INDCs), this rally will signal support for a strong domestic and global climate agreement as the international community gears up for December UN talks in Paris.

Find out more about Act on Climate and this march they are planning at their website here.

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Action Alert

Volunteer at "The Village" for Ecological and Social Justice at the Ness Creek Music Festival

The Saskatchewan Eco Network is happy to be co-coordinating "The Village" for Ecological and Social Justice at this year's Ness Creek Music Festival. By being a volunteer at "The Village" you get the opportunity to experience the entire Ness Creek Music Festival for free! Show up a day early and scout out the perfect site for your home base during the festival weekend. Hang out in the hospitality lounge backstage and enjoy a delicious hot meal every day. Join us for a volunteer barbecue to kick off the weekend, and cap off your festival experience with the volunteer appreciation party on Sunday. Make new friends, gain valuable experience, and know that you are playing an essential role at the festival!

You can find out more about how you can become a volunteer here. If you want to volunteer specifically for "The Village" please email me at info@econet.sk.ca so I can give you a reference and insure you will be placed in "The Village."

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Volunteer With Friends of the Park

Friends of the Park is a new SEN member who is a 31 year old non-profit organization who finds value in the rich diversity sheltered within the historic context of Prince Albert National Park. They are planning to host the first "Friends Environmental Film Festival" on June 19th to 21st in Waskesiu, SK and are looking for some volunteers to help in the planning process for the festival and during the festival weekend. If you are in the area and are interested in being a part of what should be an exciting festival, you can contact Bentley Crozier at bentleycrozier@friendsofpark.ca. If you`d like to find out more about Friends of the Park or become a member of their organization visit their website at www.friendsofpark.ca

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Tree Canada's 10,000 Tree Challenge

Tree Canada is launching their second annual 10,000 Tree Challenge. Join them in an effort to plant 10,000 trees across Canada in celebration of Earth Day!

As one of Canada's leading national environmental not-for-profit organizations, Tree Canada is calling on all Canadians - individuals, companies, and groups alike - to join in this effort to green our great nation.

Join the 10,000 Tree Challenge today:

  • Individuals or non-profit groups can click here to contribute to a greener tomorrow.
  • Companies can click here to contribute trees on behalf of employees, customers and/or CSR.
  • Hosting a fundraiser? Click here to pledge your support by registering your Earth Day event.

From fighting climate change to filtering our waterways, trees play a vital role in keeping our planet and its inhabitants healthy. Please click here to find out more about the countless benefits of trees to our environment, to our communities, and to our well-being!

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Petition: Don't Rubber Stamp the Tar Sands

Right now a group of energy sector insiders are deciding on the future of a massive oil pipeline that will cross rivers and cut through communities from Alberta to the East Coast. And it seems ludicrous, but the panel isn't even looking at its impact on climate -- let's make them!

We're all affected by climate change, from vulnerable coastal communities to those suffering through drought or food shortages, but TransCanada's proposed pipeline will unleash even more carbon-intensive tar oil on the planet, and the review panel doesn't even want to talk about the problem.

Now citizens groups are coming together to make the biggest combined push yet for fair and inclusive hearings that will look at all the issues, and we could take a major stride towards a victory if we all pile on.

Sign the Avaaz petition here and tell these decision makers to put their rubber stamp back in their pockets.

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Opportunities/Call for Proposals

Call for Participants: Ness Creek Music Festival's "The Village" for Ecological and Social Justice

The Saskatchewan Eco Network is very excited to be co-coordinating this year's "The Village" for ecological and social justice (formerly known as the Eco-Village)! The Ness Creek Music Festival will be celebrating its 25th anniversary year this July 16th – 19th in the beautiful boreal forest 12 km from Big River, Saskatchewan. Over the last quarter of a century, Ness Creek has grown into a major Canadian music festival, drawing 4,000 people over four days to enjoy music, dance, theatre, art, culture and community. We invite you to be a part of this anniversary celebration by participating in “The Village."

Ecological awareness and the promotion of alternative ideas has always been an important part of the Ness Creek Music Festival, not least because the pristine boreal forest location is a cornerstone of the festival experience. This year's Village is hoping to get back to the roots of its predecessor, the Eco-Village, by giving non- and for-profit organizations with ecological mandates and solutions the chance to display, promote, workshop, discuss and sell their ideas and services with festival-goers. We are also expanding to give more space to organizations pursuing social justice, as Ness Creek has always been interested in building and enriching community. While traditional table displays are always welcome, we are especially interested in interactive displays that invite festival-goers to participate, learn a new skill, or otherwise actively engage.

Vendor guidelines for "The Village" can be found here. Note that non-profit organizations receive a 50% deduction in the vendor fee, and members of the Saskatchewan Eco-Network, a major partner in this year's festival, receive an additional $20 deduction ($205 for for-profits and $92.50 for non-profits. If you are not already and would like to become a SEN member, please email info@econet.sk.ca).

Interested participants are encouraged to apply on-line by visiting nesscreek.com, and following the links "Get Involved" and "Be A Vendor." Alternately, you can reach the online application form directly by following this link here

Any questions can be directed to The Village coordinators Mike Wolsfeld (info@econet.sk.ca) and Irena Smith (irena.smith@hotmail.com).

We hope to see you at the 2015 Ness Creek Music Festival!

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Call for Nominations: 2015 SEN Environmental Activism Awards

Do you know someone who has gone above and beyond in your community to promote sustainable living, green technology, or other environmental values? Is there someone you know who you admire as an environmental activist and you think deserves recognition for their contribution to the community? Planning has begun for the 2015 SEN Environmental Activism Awards to be presented at our 10th Annual Environmental Film Festival in spring of 2015, and we are accepting nominations for potential recipients of this award.

Send in your nominations to info@econet.sk.ca with the subject line "*NOMINATION* 2015 Environmental Activism Awards".

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Call for Nominations: RCE Saskatchewan Recognition Event

The Regional Centre of Expertise for Education for Sustainable Development Saskatchewan (RCE Saskatchewan) is again holding its annual event to recognize excellence in efforts to promote education for sustainable development (ESD) in Saskatchewan. This year's event is on May 6, 2015, at the University of Saskatchewan.

If you would like to nominate an initiative (either yours or someone else's) or if you have any questions you can email Heather at rcesk.event@gmail.com .

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Call for Nominations: SWRC Waste Minimization Awards

The Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council is seeking nominations for the Saskatchewan Waste Minimization Awards for 2014. These Awards recognize excellence in waste reduction in Saskatchewan, and are intended to promote leadership and inspire all sectors of the province to undertake waste reduction activities. SWRC hopes not only to provide well-deserved recognition, but also to highlight success stories for others to consider adopting.

If you know of an individual, business, municipality or community organization who should be recognized for their waste minimization efforts, please go to their website page here and submit a nomination. Help SWRC celebrate the good things happening in Saskatchewan!

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Call for Nominations: Starfish Canada Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25

The Starfish Canada's Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 program recognizes and rewards young Canadian leaders creating positive environmental change in their local communities. By showcasing these individuals, Starfish hopes to inspire other Canadian youth to become leaders in their local communities. It's the fifth year of this program and our prizes are bigger and better than ever, with the grand prize being a trip for two to Whitehorse, Yukon!

To find out more and to give your nomination, visit their website here.

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EcoKids Battery Hero Art Contest

The EcoKids Battery Hero Art Contest, in partnership with Call2Recycle, is now open! It is a fun new contest for students in grades K-8 to put their creative talents to work. To boost awareness around proper battery recycling, they're asking students to create their battery hero, a superhero who prevents batteries from filling up our landfills.

The contest runs from January 12 - February 27, 2015. The winning battery hero will star in a new episode of Paddy the Beaver on the Kidoons Network and be featured on ecokids.ca!

For more information about the contest, visit their website here.

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Coming Events

Regina

Project WET Workshop

Saturday, February 28th, University of Regina

SaskOutdoors is hosting a Project WET workshop on Feb. 28 in Regina. Project WET is an instructional resource for K-12 teachers and employs various learning styles. It's suitable for multi-ethnic and multi-grade classrooms. It covers topics such as water chemistry, water quality and human health, climate and weather, water demand management, water conservation, cultural values about water, and how to launch action programs and water festivals. Participants receive a newly-updated 592 page resource manual that contains 65 current activities.

Find out more and register here

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Seedy Saturday Regina

Saturday, February 28th, Mary's Anglican Church, 15th & Montague

Come out to St. Mary's Anglican Church February 28th for the 5th annual Regina Seedy Saturday. Attractions at Seedy Saturday this year include a seed exchange table, heirloom seed vendors, demonstrations and presentations, a kid's area, bread bistro, and much more. A great event to learn more about gardening and meet other people in the community who share your love for gardening.

Find out more here.

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Saskatoon

UN Climate Change Conference Talk

Tuesday February 17th, 7pm, Frances Morrison Library

Megan Van Buskirk of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society will talk about her experiences at the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima at 7 pm, Feb. 17 as part of the Sustainable Speaker Series sponsored by the Saskatoon Public Library and the Saskatchewan Environmental Society.

Find out more here.

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Permasask Monthly Meeting & Potluck

Thursday February 19th, 6pm, Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre, 202 Ave C South

Join the Permaculture Research Institute of Saskatchewan for their monthly meeting & potluck. Paul Hanley will be there presenting ideas from his new book, 'Eleven'. 'Eleven' presents ideas for a transformational model to help individuals, institutions, and communities prepare for eleven billion people living on our planet by century's end.

Find out more here.

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Agricultural Intensification and the Fate of Wild Nature

Thursday February 19th, 7:30pm, Room 106 Biology Building, University of Saskatchewan

Branimir Gjetvaj is an environmental photographer and a biologist with a strong interest in land-use and food security. He is coming to the conclusion that our neglect of sound agronomic practices and the social and cultural aspects of farming undermine our efforts to protect the environment and puts human wellbeing at risk. Branimir will give examples of the effects of increased agricultural production on land cover and wild nature. These illustrate the need for integrated land use policies that place far less pressure on the environment and enhance the resilience of farming communities.

Through over-use and contamination of land and water, agriculture presents a greater threat to biodiversity than any other human activity. Despite the need to feed the growing world population, we must reduce the effects of agriculture on land, soil, water, climate and the natural world. Whether this is best achieved by farming less intensively, sharing land with nature, or by increasing the yield on existing farmland, leaving more land for conservation, is a critical question.

Find out more here.

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Seedy Saturday Saskatoon

Saturday March 7th, St. Mary's Wellness & Education Centre, 327 Avenue N South

Come out to Saskatoon's 17th annual Seedy Saturday Seed-Exchange and Eco-Fair. Seedy Saturday is a family-friendly eco-fair promoting open pollination and heirloom seed-saving, biodiversity, and sustainable living. Bring the whole family to check out over 40 exhibitors, various speakers, kid's activities, and more!

Find out more here.

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Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council Reforum

April 22-24, Sheraton Cavalier Hotel

The theme for the 2015 SWRC Waste Reforum conference is "Seeing Connections. Realizing Value." Everything is connected. Uncovering the connections helps us arrive at better solutions. The conference also highlights the need for all of us to look at ways we can create shared value -- operating our programs and our businesses for the purpose of creating value for ourselves, our communities and the planet.

Find out more and register for the conference here.

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Other

Nature Saskatchewan Conservation Awareness Day

February 26th, 5:30pm, Val Marie Community Hall, Val Marie, SK

This free event, held at the Val Marie Hall, will be catered by Val Marie's own Harvest Moon Café, and will feature a LIVE Burrowing Owl and presentations by the South of the Divide Conservation Action Program, Simply Ag Solutions, Old Wives Watershed Association and the Saskatchewan Burrowing Owl Interpretive Centre.

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Kaytlyn at obo@naturesask.ca or (306) 780-9832. Find out more here.

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Seedy Sunday Moose Jaw

Sunday March 1st, 1-4pm, The Legion Hall, 268 High St. West, Moose Jaw, SK

Seedy Sunday is a yearly event designed to bring together new and experienced gardeners to swap seeds, information and purchase seeds from Heirloom seed growers. Join in this year for seed vendors and exchanges, a seed saving presentation, kid's activities, community groups, and a chance to win prizes!

Find out more here.

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Seedy Saturday Yorkton

Saturday March 14th, 12:30-4pm, Yorkdale Central School, 270 Gladstong Avenue South, Yorkton, SK

Seedy Saturday is a yearly event designed to bring together new and experienced gardeners to swap seeds, information and purchase seeds from Heirloom seed growers. Speakers this year will be Rachelle Ternier on 'non-gmo heirloom seed', Laureen LaBrash on 'Cooking with Beans', and either Rob Tress on Vermicomposting or Paula Johnstone-Whitehawk with a 'Water Ceremony'. This year Seedy Saturday will also have a new kid's area and live music!

Find out more here.

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Seedy Sunday Estevan

Sunday March 1st, 1-4pm, Location TBD, Estevan, SK

Estevan Commnity Gardens will be hosing their very first Seedy Sunday coming up on March 15,2015. The event will be at the Estevan Public Library. More information will be posted on their Facebook page soon, here.

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