SEN Info Bulletin

August 14th, 2015




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News

Action Alert

Opportunities/Call for Proposals

Events

News

Aloha Fest - The Antidote to Overshoot


Bring your friends and family out to Aloha Farm just 30 minutes outside Regina on August 28th to 30th for Aloha Fest 2015!

SEN and Eat Healthy Foods Regina are proud to present Aloha Fest - the Antidote to Overshoot August 28th to 30th. Aloha Fest is a new and exciting music and sustainability festival 30 minutes outside Regina with camping, yoga, organic food, workshops, and more! Come see the amazing local bands Andino Suns, the Down Home Boys, and more to be announced soon!

So have a look through the information on the website, and if you come across something you think needs updating or you would like to add on to, please contact us at info@econet.sk.ca to let us know. With your help, the SEN website can be the place to go for anyone looking to learn about environmental issues in Saskatchewan.

While everyone is having a great time, there will be workshops, nature walks, and more to promote sustainability and stewardship of Earth's resources. Earth Overshoot Day is the approximate date our resource consumption for a given year exceeds the planet's ability to replenish. After this date, we begin using more resources than our planet can provide in a year's time. Every year this date gets earlier and earlier. Every year we use more and more resources that our planet cannot reproduce.

Tickets to Aloha Fest are $30 each and include camping, music and entertainment, community harvest and cook-out (farm fresh food), and skill workshops. If cost is an issue, contact Eat Health Foods at eathealthyfoods@sasktel.net for volunteer opportunities.

You can purchase tickets at the gate or online here. Visit the Facebook event page here for updates and more information.

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SEN World Rivers Day 2015 at Nuit Blanche!

We're incredibly excited to be partnering with the Nuit Blanche Arts Festival this year to present SEN World Rivers Day at Nuit Blanche!

This will be our 5th annual celebration of World Rivers Day in Saskatoon, and we're looking forward to reaching more people than ever this year. Nuit Blanche is an exciting new arts and entertainment festival in Saskatoon's bustling Riversdale neighborhood, which takes place on September 26th this year. In its first year in 2014 Nuit Blanche saw over 6000 people walk along 20th street to take in the amazing sights, sounds, and talents of Saskatoon and beyond.

Keeping in the same spirit of outreach and education as our past World Rivers Day Festivals, this is the perfect opportunity for us to reach more people than ever before with a fun and exciting event in Saskatoon. We're planning to have some of our amazing member groups in attendance with activities, displays, and information to promote water stewardship. Along with this we're planning a fun event with music, light shows, outdoor film projections and visual art, along with other performances to draw the crowds and entertain attendees.

If you're interested in an art piece, performance, talent, or anything else, don't hesitate to contact us at info@econet.sk.ca. If you're part of a SEN member group or environmental organization with programs that center around water issues please contact us soon and we can hopefully make some space for you to spread your message at the festival.

Keep your eye on our website, Facebook and Twitter for updates and more!

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United Church of Canada Votes to Divest from Fossil Fuels

Earlier this week the United Church of Canada voted to sell all its fossil fuel assets and commit financially to transitioning to an economy based on renewable energy. In a vote held on Monday they decided that climate justice, whereby the world's most vulnerable populations avoid disproportionate harms of climate chaos, stands as a clear priority for Canada's largest protestant denomination.

The denomination has addressed the climate crisis several times at previous General Councils. This is the first time it has committed to moving its investments away from fossil fuels the same way it moved away from tobacco and gambling companies years ago. This landmark decision follows the lead of several other religious and academic institutions who have committed to divestment.

During the debate on the issue, commissioners voiced concern for people in Alberta, Saskatchewan and elsewhere who will need support to transition away from economies that are presently so dependent on fossil fuels. While they recognize the need to transition to alternate energy sources, they are aware that this transition in economies such as ours will require careful planning and execution in order to preserve and perhaps enhance our standard of living.

Read the full story here.

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Ontario Energy Board Says Energy East Pipeline Risks Outweigh the Benefits

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) says the environmental risks of the $12 billion Energy East pipeline project outweigh the potential benefits, and warns it will drive up natural gas prices. After 15 months of consultations with people in communities along the route of the pipeline in Ontario, the energy board found people are worried about the possible polluting of lakes, rivers and drinking water supplies. The existing natural gas pipeline in which TransCanada intends to convert to transport oil runs across many waterways, and potential spills could be catastrophic for wildlife and drinking water.

The OEB report also said that along with the environmental and public health risks associated with the project, it will likely also have a large impact on natural gas prices. Because a current natural gas pipeline would be converted to transport oil would result in less supply. OEB vice-president Peter Fraser predicts in the report that this would result in an 11.9 per cent increase in winter time natural gas prices.

Read the full CBC article on the report here and a statement from the NGO Environmental Defense here.

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Action Alert

Have Your Voice Heard at UNESCO Youth Forum in Paris

The 9TH United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Youth Forum is taking place in Paris on October 26-28, 2015. The purpose of the Youth Forum is for young people from around the globe to co-create strategic recommendations and action to be presented at the 38th session of the UNESCO General Conference happening two weeks later in Paris. The UNESCO Youth Forum also takes place only a few weeks after the UN General Assembly will have debated and adopted the new Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs (September 2015) and one month before the 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - UNFCCC (30 November – 11 December 2015). This unique moment provides a strategic opportunity for UNESCO to offer a visible platform through which young women and men can voice their opinions that could also feed into international discussions and UNESCO's future role.

In celebration of International Youth Day, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO is launching their National Youth Consultations in preparation for the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum! The objectives of this youth consultation process are the following:

  • Inform youth on issues related to climate change, global citizenship and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD);
  • Engage youth to have a voice on these issues;
  • Gather youth's perspectives on these issues in order to create a set of youth-led recommendations in preparation for the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum.

If you are between the ages of 13 and 30, you can contribute and have your voice heard by:

  • Filling out the online survey here to have your voice heard and contribute to a set of youth-led recommendations in preparation for the UNESCO Youth Forum.
  • Hosting a Regional Youth Consultation in your community! If interested, please contact Isabelle LeVert-Chiasson at Isabelle.levert-chiasson@unesco.ca. They will provide you with all the guidance you need.

You can find out more about UNESCO and how you can contribute here.

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Fill Out Survey to Match Candidates to Your Preferences for Environmental Issues

With the election around the corner we need to ensure that there are environmental leaders in Ottawa who know what needs to be done and how to do it. The Climate Action Network has partnered with GreenPAC, a non-partisan initiative for Canadians to create a powerful voice for the environment in Parliament.

GreenPAC will match your preferences with a candidate who has demonstrated experience of moving the needle forward on environmental issues. Regardless of where you live or what party you might lean towards, if we all work towards electing these endorsed candidates together we can guarantee there will be a strong environmental team in Ottawa the day after the election.

Take just two minutes to fill out the survey here. You can learn more about GreenPAC at their website here.

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Watch September 17th Leaders' Debate and Send Your Message to Party Leaders

The most important tool in institutional progress on environmental issues is an educated and informed public. As activists, organizations, and members of your communities in Saskatchewan it is vital you have the tools and information you need to make an educated and informed decision in this federal election regarding climate change and other environmental issues. On September 17th, the party leaders of Canada's three leading parties will be getting together in Calgary for a debate on issues regarding the economy.

Central to this debate on economic issues facing Canadians today will be our energy economy, and the jobs, taxation and environmental issues that will depend on where the elected party stands on the subject. Party leaders are likely to go into further detail on where they stand regarding energy and the environment. The debate will no doubt include important discussions on tarsands development, pipelines, renewable energy jobs, and more.

The Globe and Mail is hosting this leaders' debate, and has asked voters to submit their messages that may be included in the questioning. To submit your message to the leaders, fill out this online form here.

Find out more about the September 17th Leaders' Debate and how you can watch it here.

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Petition: Show the Party Leaders Your Opposition to Bill C-51

In June, the Canadian government passed Bill C-51, which among other things disproportionately targets indigenous communities, environmental activists, and other groups. This bill will make it easier and ostensibly lawful for government to infringe upon the rights of peaceful people.

If you oppose the bill, you can show your opposition and join this petition to demand the party leaders commit to repealing Bill C-51 here.

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Opportunities/Call for Proposals

Funded Postdoctoral Fellowships & Staff Opportunities at U of S

The Sustainability and Education Policy Network (SEPN), based at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, is seeking to fill several positions. There is a preference for all positions to be based at the University of Saskatchewan; however, remote work with some commuting to the University of Saskatchewan may be negotiated for strong candidates. The following opportunities are currently available:

  • Research Fellow
    The Research Fellow will assist in the coordination of SEPN's national sustainability education research network and develop funding proposals, undertake research projects, and generate strategically targeted reports and publications based on SEPN's findings. This full time position is for up to a three-year term and may be held as a postdoctoral fellowship if preferred.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
    This fellowship will focus on developing and mobilizing research-based models of exemplary sustainability policy and practice at the early childhood to grade 12 and/or post-secondary education levels. This one to two year term position is expected to begin May or September, 2016.
  • Data Analyst
    SEPN is seeking applicants for a 0.4 FTE Data Analyst to manage, create, and maintain SEPN's databases. Candidates should have experience with both qualitative and quantitative data analysis. The successful applicant will be expected to contribute to publications.
  • Knowledge Mobilization Specialist
    The Knowledge Mobilization (KM) Specialist will take a lead role in developing, implementing, and coordinating SEPN's KM strategy. This position involves mobilizing SEPN's research results, developing innovative, powerful content strategically targeted to SEPN's stakeholders and key audiences. The position is 0.4 FTE for up to a three-year term.

For more information on SEPN, visit www.sepn.ca. All SEPN's job postings are available here.

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Affinity Credit Union Community Development Funding Opportunity

Is your organization fundraising for a project or program that is working to build a stronger and more sustainable community and to improve the quality of life for local residents? Your local Affinity District Council 23 may be able to help!

The application deadline for communities in the area of Saskatoon, Warman, and Muenster is fast approaching! The deadline to apply is August 24th, 2015.

To learn more about the funding guidelines for your local District Council, visit the Affinity Credit Union website. To submit an application, select the "Community Development Funding Application" link. Ensure you select "District Council Funding" when asked what type of funding you are applying for. Contact community@affinitycu.ca if you have any questions during the application process.

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Coming Events

Regina

Wascana Marsh Annual Purple Loosestrife Pull

Wednesday, August 19th, 6- 8pm, Douglas Park Track and Field Complex

Help protect Wascana Marsh by participating in their annual Purple Loosestrife Pull. Volunteers are needed to help protect the wetland ecosystem from this invasive species. Purple Loosestrife is not native to North America, but was introduced from Europe. It spreads into natural areas and competes for resources with native vegetation. Native vegetation provides food, shelter, and habitat for wildlife whereas an introduced species, like purple loosestrife, usually has limited value to the waterfowl, insects and other animals. This plant also produces a lot of seeds that spread into rivers, streams, canals, and drainage ditches and are transported by water to areas beyond the initial infestation.

Find out how to join the purple loosestrife pull here and visit purpleloosestrife.org for more information on the invasive species.

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Saskatoon

Saskatoon Zoo Society Young Naturalists Events

Monthly events, Saskatoon

Young Naturalists' activities are open to all ages and offer nature-based activities designed for families. Content is geared towards the 5 to 11 year old range, and operates on the belief that children's (and parents') learning is enhanced when the parents/guardians are present. Parent/Guardian supervision is required on all Young Naturalists' Programs. Each Young Naturalist activity is an individual activity, separate from the other activities. You must regisiter for each activity separately (however you cn register for more than one activity at one time).

To register or for more information call (306) 975-3042 (this is an answering machine that is checked frequently during the day) or send an e-mail to saskatoonnaturekids@gmail.com. Space is limited on most programs so advanced registration is required. Registration is on a first-come basis. You can register at any time.

Find out more about the Young Naturalist events here.

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Household Hazardous Waste Day

Saturday, August 15th, Sasktel Centre

To help you dispose of household hazardous waste, the City coordinates regular Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Days. On the dates listed below, a temporary site is set up at SaskTel Centre parking lot (101 - 3515 Thatcher Avenue) from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for residents of Saskatoon to drop-off their household hazardous waste materials for recycling or safe disposal.

Find out more about household hazardous waste here.

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Wild Weekends at the Zoo

Every weekend until September 7th weekend, Saskatoon Forestry Farm & Zoo

Until the Monday of the September long weekend (September 7th), the Saskatoon Zoo Society staff and volunteers will be out and about in the Zoo with our socialized animals and biofact touchtables. The program runs every weekend from 10am-4pm, weather-permitting! This is a free activity with a Saskatoon Zoo Society membership or with your Forestry Farm Park Zoo admission. It's also a casual, drop-by activity provided by the Saskatoon Zoo Society. No pre-registration required!

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Saskatoon Nature Society Trips

Throughout August, Various locations

Invite your friends! Non-members are welcome to participate in any field trip. Carpooling for out-of-town trips is usually arranged at the meeting place. Participants are expected to share gasoline costs and should make arrangements with the driver to do so. Unless indicated, there is no other charge. Phone the trip leader if you have any questions. Participants are free to depart early if they wish. SNS members with CB radios or FRS radios should bring them on out of town trips.

Find the list of Saskatoon Nature Society trips and activities at their website here.

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SaskOutdoors Advanced Wilderness First Aid

August 21st - 24th, Near Saskatoon

Comprehensive first aid and CPR techniques for those who need a higher level of training to work and respond to emergencies in isolated or wilderness settings. Training is also suitable for those who act as guides or supervisors for groups of people. The course covers material in Standard First Aid & CPR, plus advanced strategies for providing extended care for more than 24 hours. Part of the course is taught in an outdoor setting and requires greater physical activity and endurance than typical first aid training.

Find out more here.

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Other

Community Pasture Ride

August 15th or 16th, Milestone, SK

Head out for 15 miles of beautiful wide fire break trail, excellent footing for horseback riding, bird watching, walking or mountain pedal biking. For a thirty mile experience, go out and back. Enjoy vistas, rolling hills, wildlife & birds while enjoying virgin prairie that may not be available to the public very soon. Located between Avonlea & Milestone - this pasture is home to species at risk, fossils, archeological sites & the great outdoors. To reduce human impact on this pasture, everyone is required to stay on the trail (there are bogs).

Find out more here.

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Sask Waste Reduction Council Regional Workshops

September 15th - Kerry Vikar Centre, Melfort September 21st - Golden Eagle Casino, North Battleford September 22nd - Temple Gardens Hotel & Spa, Moose Jaw September 24th - Gallagher Centre, Yorkton

The Sask Waste Reduction Council (SWRC) is pleased to announce our four regional workshops taking place this September in Melfort, North Battleford, Moose Jaw, and Yorkton.

The workshops will focus on local programs, landfill bans, littering and illegal dumping, options for dealing with wood waste, a review of the Dishing the Dirt Program, and solid waste strategies for Saskatchewan. For full details specific to each event, visit their website. here.

Registration for the workshops are $100/person for SWRC members, and $125/person for potential members.

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Be a Week Warrior - Flowering Rush Removal

Contact Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan for specific dates, Young, SK

Do you want to meet people, have fun, get some fresh air and help the environment? Why not join the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan (NPSS) to help pull invasive flowering rush from a wetland. They will provide the tools - all you have to do is be willing to get your hands dirty. Also, please bring rubber boots or waders if you have them, sunscreen, a hat, plenty of water and a lunch.

The wetland is between Young and Watrous, SK and is the only wetland in Saskatchewan with flowering rush, so if it can be eradicated from here it will save the province from a potential disaster.

To find out specific dates, times, and to let them know you'll be attending, contact the NPSS at info@npss.sk.ca or at (306)668-3940.

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Edenwold Fence Pull

Saturday, August 22nd, 10am - 6pm Edenwold, SK

Join the Nature Conservancy of Canada at its Edenwold property on August 22 and help remove obstacles dangerous to wildlife. Sign up if you'd like to carpool to the event.

Find out more and sign up here.

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Wapiti Bush Run

Saturday, August 22nd, 10am - 6pm Gronlid Cross Country Ski Trails (map at site linked below), SK

The Melfort Cross Country Ski Club, in conjunction with the Tisdale Running Club, is hosting the Wapiti Bush Run on August 30. Their goal is to draw attention to the trails in Fort a la Corne Provincial Forest, which the ski club is repairing after they were badly damaged by quads.

Find out more and register here.

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