The UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) comes to an end next year. What have we accomplished in Canada to support the Decade? What challenges did we face? And where do we go from here? It was these questions that shaped the discussion at a national ESD workshop I attended at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO annual meeting recently. In general, the workshop provided an interesting discussion, although it was a bit too much of listening to ourselves talk and not quite enough of concrete action items for my liking.

 

Perhaps one of the most thought-provoking comments included the best definition of ESD – more often called sustainability education here in NB! – that I have ever heard. Here it is: ESD is about figuring out the kind of future we want and then preparing people with the skills, knowledge, and values they need to make that future a reality.

 

The workshop helped me think about our various ESD initiatives in New Brunswick in terms of international priorities and those in other provinces. UNESCO has developed three priorities for ESD internationally; these have been adopted provincially in Manitoba. Should we in NB be focusing on these priorities also? The priorities are:

 

  • All schools have an ESD or sustainability plan by 2015,
  • Faculties of Education incorporate ESD into their teachers’ education programs, and
  • Vocational education (e.g., community collges) re-orient their programming to help us move from a “brown economy” to a “green economy.”

 

There is research underway internationally that may help our cause here in the province. We, as “believers” know that ESD improves the quality of education. However, research is needed to demonstrate this to non-believers. This research is being undertaken by a number of countries working together to explore the links between ESD and quality education and to find qualitative and quantitative data to support these links.

This workshop was attended by 29 representatives from organizations across the country. The official minutes can be found here.

Spotlight

Blog

National Spotlight on Moncton

Monday, 27 November 2017
by Raissa Marks
The NBEN is pleased to be the local host partner for EconoUs 2018, the annual conference of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network, which is coming to Moncton in September 2018.
ECONOUS LOGOS 2018 w tag

With a focus on green community economic development, EconoUs 2018 will feature leading speakers, engaging sessions, and tailored networking opportunities about People (inclusive communities), Planet (sustainable environments), and Economy (local prosperity) and how these things, together, create an economy that works for all.Who or what should be included in the agenda?  Let the planning committee know here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/V2QXMY2

New NBEN Logo!

Tuesday, 31 October 2017
by Raissa Marks
A new logo for the NBEN was launched at the Eco-Confluence gathering last weekend!
logo 1

The violet, as New Brunswick’s provincial flower, represents the province and its environment.  The centre is the network which brings us all together.

The logo was designed by Annika Chiasson, the NBEN’s Communications Coordinator and talented graphic designer.

Action Alerts

Have your say on Draft Water Strategy!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017
by Conservation Council of New Brunswick
A Water Strategy for New Brunswick

On October 6, 2017, the department of Environment and Local Government released a draft water strategy for comments. The draft strategy is available on the government website. Comments can be submitted by email to: waterstrategy-strategiedeleau@gnb.ca or by mail to: Department of Environment and Local Government, Policy and Planning Division, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, N.B., E3B 5H1. Comments will be accepted until November 20, 2017.

In order to help groups with their submissions, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, in cooperation with watershed groups, has put together key elements of a watershed strategy and a sample letter to send to the Department.

Summary​ ​of​ ​8​ ​Key​ ​Elements​ ​of​ ​a​ ​Strong​ ​Water​ ​Protection​ ​Strategy

New​ ​Brunswick​ ​deserves​ ​a​ ​water​ ​protection​ ​strategy​ ​that:
    1. is​​ ​​science-based;​ ​(involving​ ​baseline​ ​data,​ ​tracking​ ​and​ ​taking​ ​into​ ​consideration cumulative​ ​impacts,​ ​environmental​ ​flows)
    2. sets​ ​water​ ​quality​ ​standards​ ​within​ ​a​ ​working,​ ​legal​ ​mechanism;
    3. conserves​ ​all​ ​water​ ​within​ ​​watersheds​ ​including​ ​surface​ ​waters​ ​(lakes,​ ​streams,​ ​rivers) and​ ​groundwater,​ ​by​ ​developing​ ​good​ ​conservation​ ​plans,​ ​policies​ ​and​ ​practices,​ ​and uses​ ​the​ ​precautionary​ ​principle​ ​as​ ​a​ ​guiding,​ ​legally​ ​enforceable​ ​tool;
    4. protects​ ​our​ ​marine​ ​coastal​ ​areas​ ​in​ ​law;
    5. has​ ​a​ ​meaningful​ ​form​ ​of​ ​​co-governance​ ​with​ ​First​ ​Nations;
    6. includes​ ​the​ ​development,​ ​implementation​ ​and​ ​enforcement​ ​of​ ​watershed​ ​protection plans,​ ​developed​ ​in​ ​a​ ​transparent​ ​manner,​ ​involving​ ​government,​ ​businesses,​ ​watershed organizations,​ ​farmers,​ ​municipal​ ​officials,​ ​and​ ​citizens;
    7. is​ ​accountable,​ ​which​ ​includes​ ​ongoing​ ​monitoring​ ​and​ ​annual​ ​reporting​ ​to​ ​the​ ​public​ ​on the​ ​progress​ ​of​ ​goals​ ​and​ ​objectives​ ​outlined​ ​in​ ​the​ ​water​ ​protection​ ​strategy;​ ​and,
    8. is​​ ​enforceable​ ​through​ ​a​ ​modern​ ​legal​ ​framework
Sample Letter
 My name is ______, and I am writing to express my support for a strong Water Strategy in New Brunswick.

I live near ______ OR I live in ___________ watershed

Describe your favourite spot to fish/swim/paddle etc.

Share your favourite water memory.

Clean, healthy water is important to me because _____________.

Have you recently experienced a boil water order? Blue-green algae? Extreme weather? Describe what is of concern to you.

I applaud the provincial government for moving forward on its commitment to protecting our water; however I believe the draft strategy does not go far enough to ensure healthy water for my watershed.

We need a water protection strategy that (Insert one or multiple key elements).

I am afraid that if left unattended, my watershed will face ongoing and increasing treats from (pollution, wetland and coastal estuary loss, loss of adequate environmental flow to sustain aquatic life, and increasing climate change impacts such as floods, droughts, and high temperatures.)

Please protect my watershed by implementing a strong water protection strategy with modern legislation that (note key element(s)) to ensure the health of our water and people.

Thank you,
Your name.

For more information, visit the CCNB's website.

Call for nominations for the NBEN Awards - 2017

Monday, 31 July 2017
by Annika Chiasson
Every day people and environmental groups take action to protect and restore New Brunswick’s environment.  

Over this past year, who stands out in your mind? 

We invite you to nominate a group or individual deserving of one of the NBEN awards which will be presented in style at Eco-Confluence 2017.  Send an e-mail to nben@nben.ca describing your nominee’s work.  Nominees must be members or associates of the NBEN*.

Nomination deadline is September 13, 2017.

*Current NBEN Steering Committee members are not eligible for awards.

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Éducation à la viabilité – Comment ça va? Rapport de l’atelier sur l’éducation en vue du développement durable à l’AGA de la Commission canadienne pour l’UNESCO