People and the Planet

On the 10th Anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit, the Sierra Club of Canada and the Kingston Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology held a national environment conference to address the state of our natural and human environments. Held in June 2002, at Queen’s University in Kingston (Ontario), five days of plenary presentations and over fifty workshops were attended by approximately 500 delegates from across Canada and around the world. To view the proceedings online, please see the Sierra Club Web page. Building on that success, Sierra Club of Canada will host the second People and the Planet conference in Calgary, Alberta, from May 14-16, 2004. Participants at the conference will include scientists, university professors, physicians, lawyers, native elders, authors, farmers and artists, as well as representatives from industry, all levels of government, and local, national and international citizen groups. Our main purpose is to derive solutions to major environmental problems by examining their root causes: fundamentally, problems with western values. Topics examined will include climate change, water, biodiversity, food safety and sustainable agriculture, spirituality, social justice, and many more. Please view the link below to People and the Planet for a full description of the event and sponsorship opportunities.
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Sustainability Primer

The Sustainability Primer aims to be a practice specific tool for applying sustainability principles to engineering and geoscience. Through case studies and analysis of best practices, the primer seeks to demonstrate sustainability in action. See Series Primer below to view or download the practice specific modules.
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Building Local Living Economies, BALLE, Launched in BC

BALLE BC is a network of local business owners and leaders with a direct stake in the livability of our communities and bio-regions. By connecting business-to-business, leader-to-leader, this network is building an important resource for the local living economy that already exists in British Columbia. BALLE BC is also part of a much bigger network that is growing and connecting across North America. Be sure to check out the opening on February 25 from 6 to 8 pm at the Vancouver Public Library featuring Judy Wicks. To register call 604.947.2941 or email See the weblink to get more information.
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Oxfam Launches Market Campaign Against Gold

According to Oxfam America, Earthworks/Mineral Policy Center and Oxfam America have collaborated on the launch of “No Dirty Gold, a consumer campaign intended to shake up the gold industry and change the way gold is mined, bought and sold. The two organizations have targeted the US gold jewelry market for the major consumer campaign, because gold mining is arguably the dirtiest industry operating in the US and in many parts of the world. “Right now, purchasers of gold jewelry and high-tech products have no alternative but to buy products that contain dirty gold, said Keith Slack, Senior Policy Advisor with Oxfam America. Adds Payal Sampat, International Campaign Director with Earthworks, “We’re asking consumers to consider the real cost of gold and we’re enlisting their help to put an end to mining practices that endanger people and ecosystems.” Gold mining is being targeted as an industry ripe for reform through consumer pressure because of the extensively documented human and environmental costs of gold mining. Most consumers don’t realize that in developing countries gold mining is associated with protests, human rights abuses, and even imprisonment, along with environmental devastation. The production of a single 18 Karat gold ring weighing less than an ounce generates at least 20 tons of mine waste. Metals mining employs less than one-tenth of one percent of the global workforce but consumes 7 to 10 percent of the world’s energy. Additionally, Earthworks and Oxfam are releasing a report today, called “Dirty Metals: Mining, Communities and the Environment, which details the massive pollution and, in many cases, human rights abuses that have become hallmarks of gold and metals mining in countries such as Peru, Indonesia, Ghana and in parts of the United States. The report and a fact sheet on gold mining can be downloaded from “Our people have suffered beatings, imprisonment, and murder for standing up for our community rights against multinational mining companies, said Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, a mining activist from the Tarkwa district of Ghana where 30,000 people were displaced by gold mining operations between 1990 and 1998. “We want buyers of gold to support our rights and demand that mining companies adhere to higher ethical standards.”
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Canadian Hydro Producer’s Green Power Presentation

This presentation by Canadian Hydro Developers gives a snapshot of the potential in green power in BC and Alberta. The independent power production field is growing rapidly and holds promise for economic and environmental gains. Follow the link below to view the presentation in pdf form.
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