Hard to believe that it has already been a month since our last update from Costa Rica! Only 4 weeks but so much to tell. We are very lucky to have had the opportunity to visit many different parts of the country in that time. So far we have seen majestic beaches and isolated pristine waterfalls in the tropical forest surrounded by lush vegetation. We have spotted monkeys, sloths, toucans, dolphins, whales and more! We also hiked in some beautiful mountains surrounded by scenic coffee plantations and have visited several organic Agro-Forestry farms.

Make no mistake, however, we are also here to do some work! J In the past few weeks, we started elaborating our workplans and our tasks have become clearer. As the Forestry Communication and Research Assistant, I am helping to build content for the organization’s social media, newsletter and website. I am also starting a research project on participatory guarantee systems (PGS) which will lead me to do field work to visit organic farms around San Jose.

What is PGS you ask? They are essentially systems to guarantee the quality of products issued from organic farms that are both participative and inclusive. These systems are based on trust, social networks, transparency and the exchange of knowledge between producers and stakeholders. It is a very interesting alternative tool for smaller scale producers to gain access to more direct and local markets because, unlike conventional organic certification systems, they do not involve a third party, which can be prohibitively expensive. The International Analog Forestry Network (IAFN) is interested in developing such a system to certify products issued from Analog Forestry (AF) sites. It is my hope that my work will enable our partners to know more about how to develop and operate PGS. At the present moment, AF’s products can only be certified under the Forest Garden Product (FGP) system.

We continue to meet wonderful, inspiring and passionate people and learn everyday about the country and the culture here. Our internship at the IAFN is teaching us so much about Analog Forestry and the many issues related to conservation, reforestation and organic agriculture.

Pura vida!

Anne-Marie Dufour

For more information about PGS and the FGP accreditation, follow these links:

http://www.ifoam.org/en/value-chain/participatory-guarantee-systems-pgs

http://www.analogforestrynetwork.org/en/accreditation.php

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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