Environmental reporter Andrew Blackwell was inspired to write Visit Sunny Chernobyl after realizing he hadn’t had much personal contact with Eco Disaster Sites. Before writing the book, he did a sort of Eco Disaster World Tour as research.
His book is an exploration in contradictions. Such as how is it that a radioactive site like Chernobyl becomes a defacto wildlife refuge/ nature habitat? Read more in this insightful, humorous and also penetrating look at how our Eco Disaster Sites have greater breadth in their identity than simply locations of extreme environmental degradation.
GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST SET TO SHINE IN WORLD PREMIERE
VANCOUVER — For decades, British Columbia environmentalists have clashed with the groundfish bottom trawl fishing industry, but the two have come together to find common ground, and fragile ocean habitat is the big winner. The two groups have developed innovative measures to conserve corals, sponges and deep-sea habitats. These new management measures have been implemented through
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Groundfish Integrated Fisheries Management Plan. Both the environmentalists and the industry representatives agree that these unique measures represent significant progress in the management of this fishery.
The David Suzuki Foundation and Living Oceans Society have been working closely with B.C.’s groundfish bottom trawling industry to develop new measures that are meant to reduce and manage the fishery’s impacts on fragile ocean habitats. The management changes include:
· defined boundaries for the fishery
· individual limits on coral and sponge bycatch
· a procedure to alert skippers if a bycatch in excess of 20 kg of coral or sponge occurs
· a joint habitat conservation review committee composed of representatives from industry, environmental groups, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada
“It’s the first time anywhere that individual bycatch limits have been used to manage habitat impacts,” said Scott Wallace of the David Suzuki Foundation. “The B.C. groundfish bottom trawl industry should be congratulated for taking on this new level of individual accountability.”
Both sides are quick to point out the important achievement of the formation of a long-term collaborative relationship
through a formal habitat conservation committee. This will allow both sides to work together to address habitat concerns going into the future and ensure that the measures are achieving the expected results.
“The development of the habitat committee is a major step forward by itself,” said John Driscoll of Living Oceans Society. “When you view it alongside all of the other changes that are being put into place as a result of this effort, it’s clear that this fishery is changing in some very real and exciting ways.”
For the industry, the economic rationale is clear: “Our markets are increasingly demanding evidence that fisheries are well managed, employ sustainable practices and address ecosystem impacts,” said Brian Mose, a fifth generation fisherman and member of the Canadian Groundfish Research and Conservation Society. “We know that in order to maintain and expand market opportunities, we need to provide assurances to environmental organizations, retailers, and consumers that we are serious about managing and reducing our impacts on ocean ecosystems.”
“It is important to address these habitat conservation issues, because we recognize that our industry’s future is reliant on a healthy ecosystem,” said Bruce Turris of the Canadian Groundfish Research and Conservation Society. “Our partnership with the environmental organizations has allowed us to come up with an innovative solution that works for our industry and conservationists.”
For the environmental groups, the conservation improvements are significant. Deep sea corals form forests far b
elow the surface of Canada’s Pacific Ocean, supplying places for juvenile fish to hide from predators and for many organisms to feed. British Columbia environmental groups have long singled out the bottom trawl fishery for its impacts on these marine habitats. Rather than publicly disputing the criticism, industry opened up lines of communication with the environmental groups that continued for more than three years, leading to this precedent setting effort to work together to change the fishery for the better.
Both industry and the conservation organizations are grateful for the support provided by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Pacific Region staff who were instrumental in providing data analysis and showing management leadership.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada Sensitive Benthic Area Policy available at:
Pacific Region Cold-Water Coral and Sponge Conservation Strategy available at:
Photo credit: Living Oceans Society
More than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour last year alone, sending a powerful message for action on climate change. It also ushered in a new era with members going Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action for the planet. Without a doubt, it’s shown how great things can be achieved when people come together for a common cause.
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· Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment, Government of Canada
· Velma McColl, Principal, Earnscliffe Strategy Group, Canada (Moderator)
· Lars Christian Bacher, President and CEO, Statoil Canada Ltd., Canada
· Eric Marsh, President, Encana Natural Gas Inc. & Executive Vice-President, Encana Corp.,USA
· James Rogers, Chairman, President & CEO, Duke Energy USA
Energy Dialogue on Thursday, March 15th at the Vancouver Convention Centre East.
“As Canada emerges as an energy ‘superpower’ there are many challenges as well as tremendous opportunities in the area of environment and energy development. Minister Kent will bring with him an important viewpoint on developments in global environmental business policy and practice,” says John Wiebe, President and CEO of the GLOBE Foundation. “We are honoured to be able to welcome the Minister to the GLOBE program.”
Kitzhaber, who is currently serving his third term as governor, will lend his insights on the topic of innovation and collaboration in advancing the clean economy.
“Innovation will be one of the most important drivers of a greener economy,” says John Wiebe, President and CEO of the GLOBE Foundation and Opening Plenary moderator. “Governor Kitzhaber is recognized for his refreshingly innovative approach to policymaking and we’re looking forward to the perspective that he will bring to this critical discussion.”
GLOBE 2012 Opening Plenary confirmed speakers:
· Jim Weigand, President, DuPont Sustainable Solutions, USA
· Steve Williams, President & Chief Operating Officer, Suncor Energy Inc., Canada
· John Kitzhaber, Governor, State of Oregon, USA
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“Not one piece of our structure will end up in landfill,” says Smallworks president, Jake Fry. The gingerbread dwelling is fully sustainable and environmentally responsible with net zero impact on anything aside from your belly. “Every peppermint swirl, candy corn, and multi-coloured jujube will be stuffed into someone’s gob, probably at the end of a huge holiday dinner.”
Who hasn’t decorated their dining table or sideboard during the festive period and wanted to fit in an extra miniature Christmas tree, shiny bauble, or even one more entire gingerbread house? Smallworks has launched this increased density action for better and more efficient space use for your holiday table. Designed to fit on a standard-sized, appropriately-zoned holiday decorating space, the Gingerbread Laneway House works as a stand-alone structure or an additional dwelling to the rear of your traditional Gingerbread House.
Founded 6 years ago, Smallworks is Vancouver’s first and most established laneway house builder. They specialise in building small, beautiful homes and exceed the green building practices of Vancouver’s Green Home program. Inspired by Smallworks’ West House laneway house developed for the LiveCity site at the 2010 Olympics, this is their first foray into baked goods. The Gingerbread Laneway House was constructed by Kreation Artisan Cakes, experienced builders in fine gingerbread architecture.Metro Vancouver residents can visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/smallworks.homes between now and December 15 for a chance to win The Gingerbread Laneway House.