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Guy Dauncey, Editor
395 Conway Road, Victoria, BC
CANADA V9E 2B9
Tel (250) 881-1304
www.earthfuture.com

Executive director of The Solutions Project

 

Newsletter No. 101 - Promoting the Vision of a Sustainable Vancouver Island - January 2001


LET US DECLARE A CENTURY OF ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION

In 1950, the historian AJP Taylor spoke for many when he wrote: "In the first half of the century Western man has achieved every ambition which he set before himself since the Renaissance. He has conquered space, disease, poverty. The scientific method which he has perfected guarantees that he can do anything that he wishes."

Fifty years later, the United Nations Global Environment Outlook 2000 contained a stark warning about looming water shortages, global warming, and worldwide nitrogen pollution. Klaus Topfer, executive director of the UN environment program, said "A series of looming crises and ultimate catastrophe can only be averted by a massive increase in political will. We have the technology, but we are not applying it."

The promise of fifty years has vanished. We have applied the methods of science and created an economic miracle – but for only a minority of the world’s population, and at a great cost to our planet’s ecosystems, much of which is still to be revealed. For the first time in centuries, most of today’s younger generation believes that the future will be worse then the present.

In March 2000, after input from 200 NGOs and thousands of people all over the world, The Earth Charter was released: "We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. It is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations. Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life. The protection of Earth’s vitality, diversity and beauty is a sacred trust." (www.earthcharter.org)

The vision that drove the past 500 years is over. We must create a new vision, or surrender our spirits to pessimism. "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Eleanor Roosevelt

What are our dreams? From Scotland, Alan Watson Featherstone is promoting the vision that the United Nations should declare the 21st century a Century of Ecological Restoration. He is proposing that each nation be requested to redirect 10% of its annual military budget (in cash or kind) to ecological restoration work, and that an Earth Restoration Service be created, enrolling volunteers from all over the world to restore the mangroves to Vietnam's Mekong Delta, the cedar forests to Lebanon, the Caledonian pine forest to Scotland; to clean polluted beaches; to remove unnecessary roads from wild places; to take down the dams that block wild rivers; to clean toxic waste sites; to restore the forest to the African Sahel; to heal the holes in the ozone layer; to heal our planet’s atmosphere; to fill the world’s cities with trees and gardens; to restore the Black Sea to its former health; to return the tiger to India, the wild buffalo to the American mid-west, the beaver to Scotland, the wolf to Japan, the Arabian oryx to the wild Oman. (www.restore-earth.org)

Our world is one village. We breathe the same air; we drink from the same well. We have to cope with each other’s wastes. We need an effective Village Council where we can address the issues that concern us, and act on them. The United Nations should be our village council, but it has been pushed to the margins by the larger powers, and excluded from decisions on trading and finance, which have been taken over by the global corporations, their bankers, and the World Trade Organization. When confronted with the evidence of climate change, they offer a few platitudes, then continue to buy and sell fossil fuels.

There is nothing wrong with global trade – but it must be fair trade, not free trade untrammeled by social responsibility. The miracles of science must be used with caution; the lands of which we are ignorant are vastly greater than the lands of which we know. The old millennium is over – on this we can agree – a new one has begun. Let us begin it with vision, caution, reverence and delight.

"There can be no purpose more enspiriting than to begin the age of restoration, reweaving the wondrous diversity of life that still surrounds us." (See Action of the Month)

Edward O. Wilson, biologist, author of ‘The Diversity of Life’

Guy Dauncey


Please note:  the Green Diary has moved, click here to view.


ECONEWS

AG00119_.gif (2913 bytes)Published as a monthly service, nourishing the vision of an Island blessed by the harmony of nature and community, funded by your donations.

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A big thankyou to David Stott, Joan Waddell, Judy Norbury, Joan Tiernan, Ria Bos, David Greer, Christine Scotnicki, Stuart Wulff, Chris Morrison, Judy Nielsen, Maurice Tozer, Roger Colwill, Terra Verde Glassworks, Bernie Jones, Bo Martin, Marie Chanton, Ralph & Mallory Pred, John Munro, Pauline Kenneally, Roger Sandford, Don Shaw, UBC Student Env Centre, Bernice Packford, Colin Graham, Sky to Sky Outdoor School for Env Education, Judith Cullington, Sara Stallard, Alice Davis, Shirley Brodeur, Victoria Garden Fairies, Edward Jones, Victoria World Federalists, Lesley Wicks, James Holtz, Anke Bergner, The Troubador Institute, Richard de Candole, Tom Hackney & Mick Collins.

Donations can be sent to EcoNews, 395 Conway Rd, Victoria V9E 2B9. For a receipt, send stamped addressed envelope.

To receive EcoNews by email, send a message to guydauncey@earthfuture.com


THE ECO-CORNER

$5 line (free to non-profits & low-income). 1" box ad $30, $2" $55.

* EcoAction funding Deadline: Feb 1st 1-800-667-7779 www.ec.gc.ca/ecoaction

* Senior with SCS interested in the arts, env. issues, needs suite in house or apt for Mar 1st. Hardwood flrs, elec or hot water heat, n/s, no pesticides. Please leave message with Mary Lou, 721-2390

* Reach for Unbleached's Office Paper Buying Club deadline: Jan 31st. Rolland New Life Dual Purpose, 80% recycled content, 60% post-consumer fibre, 100% Processed Chlorine Free. $53.50 per case of 8.5 x 11 (5000 sheets) for less than 80 cases; $51.00 for 80+, +taxes and delivery. Payment in advance, by check to Reach for Unbleached! on invoice. 250-935-6992 info@rfu.org

* Want to help establish the world's first International Marine Protected Area in the Southern Gulf Islands/San Juans? Sign and help circulate the Orca Pass Stewardship Petitions. Contact Peter Ronald, 361-3621 or peterr@island.net

* Reminder! The Georgia Strait Alliance's ToxicSmart Home Visits are available in Greater Victoria only through March. To book your free visit, call the ToxicSmart Hotline 381-8321


PLASTIC-BAG-ITIS?

Do you suffer from an excess of stored plastic bags? Relax - there’s relief in sight! Planet Recycling, operated by Victoria’s recycling pioneer, Chris Mowat, has transferred its business to Pacific Mobile Depots which offers wider recycling services, including - yes! - plastic bags. Call 544-3153, or pick up brochure at 6772 Kirkpatrick Cres (Crown Packaging/ Recycling) or behind Tudor House Pub, 533 Admirals (closed Mon).


WHITHER EARTHDAY?

Doug Koch writes: It has been my privilege to serve as Vancouver Island’s Earth Day/Week coordinator for the past 11 years, but now it is time for others to take the lead, as I move on to new endeavours. Every April, thousands of Islanders participate to create the largest set of community activities in the country. New blood is needed to coordinate the program, and our flagship event, the 20th annual Earth Walk. If anyone would like to help create a team to organize the Week or Walk, or for more information, please call me at 383-5765. Thanks to the many sponsors, volunteers and participants for ensuring the success of past programs. With your continuing support and commitment, we will fashion a better future together.


"I WISH WE HAD BETTER INTERNET ACCESS"

Do you work with a non-profit group that needs Internet access, or whose staff want to email confused@geek.com without having a panic attack? VolNet is a federal initiative with a mandate to offer Internet connections, computer equipment, skills and development to 10,000 voluntary organizations by March 2001. Yes, you heard that right! So move quickly – the initiative is being managed locally by the BC Museums Association, at 387-3971 on an old-fashioned telephone. But don’t delay – they may all soon be gone!


SACRED GIFTS

What a birthday gift to the new millennium! 15 years ago, leaders of the world's major faiths met with conservationists in Assisi, Italy, to explore their teachings on the environment. As a result, with help from the World Wide Fund for Nature, faith communities around the world have created a partnership called ‘Sacred Gifts for a Living Planet’, not of money, but actions that will make a difference:

* The Methodist Church is launching a worldwide drive to develop an ethical investment framework for US$30 billion of church assets, and supporting environmental and social justice through shareholder action, engagement with corporate heads, and consumer choice.

* In Mongolia, Buddhists are reinstating a hunting ban that will help protect the endangered snow leopard.

* Leaders of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, representing 80% of US Jews, are launching a conservation program which emphasizes action to counter climate change, and consumer preference for FSC sustainably-managed forests.

* In China, the Taoist Association (an umbrella organization for all 40 million Taoists), is calling on its members to stop using endangered wildlife in traditional medicine products.

* Muslim fishermen are helping to save turtle nesting sites in Zanzibar

* In Saudi Arabia, the Islamic government is establishing the country's first ever biosphere reserve.

* Japan's Shinto community is vowing to purchase only sustainably grown wood for their 80,000+ shrines.

* Catholic Benedictine Sisters are doubling their school programs to reduce toxic waste in Lake Erie. www.panda.org/livingplanet


THANKYOU, MICHAEL

Michael Williams died shortly before Christmas, while flying to England. During his years in Victoria, he did so much for the community, whether taking a tatty old industrial building and turning it into Swans, helping the Upper Door and the street people, supporting local artists by buying and displaying their work, or organizing the busload of business-people who supported the peace camp at Clayoquot Sound in 1995. Only Michael knows the full list of kindnesses he gave us, while he was here. If you want to say goodbye, I expect you’ll find him at Swan’s, taking good care of his friends and customers.


LIVING BY WATER (1)

"Tell me, and I will listen. Show me, and I will remember. Involve me, and I will understand. Respond to my needs, and I will act. Remind me and support me, and I will keep on doing." (Shelly Sawada). These might be guiding words for any organization doing community or stewardship work, but in reality they come from ‘Living by Water’, a national non-profit which started with a dream by two people in Salmon Arm (Clive Callaway and Sarah Kipp) who wanted to help people be more sensitive to the wildlife and the natural habitat of the water they live by, and reduce the damage that occurs. Once there were loons at Prospect Lake; now there are front lawns and homes for boats. Living by Water has put together a handbook for waterfront living, and very thoughtful and colourful kit, including brochures, an event-planning mini-kit and a manual to guide participants through shoreline restoration activities and arts and kids events. They have also developed a Homesite Assessment Program and a Junior Shoreline Ambassador program. On Shushwap Lake, the Adams Lake Indian Band has done an outreach effort to shoreline property owners. The topics that arise include septic systems, wells, erosion control and flooding, habitat restoration, wildlife, fishing, boating, building design, and environmentally friendly household products. It is so easy to flush something down the sink, and

not understand how it may harm the creatures that live on the foreshore. Living by Water is supported by the Federation of BC Naturalists, Environment Canada, the Mountain Equipment Coop, and 38 other organizations. www.livingbywater.bc.ca (250) 832-7405 in Salmon Arm.


ORNAMENTUM FURNITURE

ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGNS

1780 Vernon Drive

Vancouver, V6A 3T8

(604) 215-7444


FSC accredited certification

means that the forest is managed

according to strict environmental,

social and economic standards. Chain of custody certified by Silva Forest Products.

SFF-COC-005 www.ornamentum.bc.ca


LIVING BY WATER (2)

About three years ago, an American woman visited Salt Spring and wrote a glowing article about the Gulf Islands in the New York Times. Soon after, our cousins from south of the border started arriving check-books in hand, eager to buy waterfront property. I mean, we’ve all got common ancestors, but no-one is taking the time to tell them that "Private Property – No Trespassing" signs are not what make the Gulf Islands so magical, or that in Canadian law, private property only reaches as far as the high tide line, and does not include the entire beach. No, sirree, there’s not a two-mile fishing zone with that there cottage. One of these dear cousins was spotted recently doing some serious waterfront modifications on his Lasqueti Island property, pulling rocks off the sea-shore to become a part of his fortress, to the despair of the locals. What can you do? Hey, man, this is my private property! On this one occasion, however, one of the locals felt that enough was enough. Time for action! Being a well-bred Canadian, he called the Coast Guard, who freshed up their ammunition, leapt into their Zodiac, and roared across the water. 20 minutes later, much to Cousin America’s surprise, they were giving him the most severe talking to, and telling him that if they found as much as one tiny Canadian barnacle on any of his rocks, they would personally make him demolish the entire structure while they watched. True story – hey, we’re Canadians! Maybe some Gulf Island realtors might start a little stewardship initiative of their own, and take the time to explain to the new owners that no, they are not entitled to help themselves to the shoreline, and by the way, would they care to see this little brochure on ‘Living by Water’? If we start protecting our world right here where we live, maybe we’ll learn to love the rest of it properly, too. (Thanks to Brett Black)


HOUSE FOR SALE

Lakefront, 2 bedroom house on Florence Lake. Organic hobby farm, $1,000 per month. Bruce, 391-9223


COLD BEER AND GREENSPACE

Bea and Ian McKenzie, of the Coalition of Langford Residents, will be selling raffle tickets during January for the beer fridge at Ma Miller`s pub (2903 Sooke Lake Rd) to support The Land Conservancy`s purchase of the Sea-Sea Greenbelt. The fridge comes complete with beer from Pacific Brewery, smoked-salmon, a 3-month T-C subscription, and brunch at Ma Miller`s. The draw happens on Superbowl Sunday at the pub in Langford. Tickets $2, 5 for $5, at the WCWC office and Ma Miller`s.


GREEN MPs IN OTTAWA

If you’re looking for support for a federal environmental initiative, try one of these MPs, who have a good green record:

Liberals: Charles Caccia (Davenport)

Aileen Carroll (Barrie-Simcoe-Bradford)

Sheila Copps (Hamilton East)

Joe Jordan (Leeds-Grenville)

Gar Knutson (Elgin-Middlesex-London)

Clifford Lincoln (Lac St. Louis)

Steven Owen (Vancouver-Quadra)

Karen Kraft Sloane (York North)

NDP: Rick LaLiberté, Churchill River

Peter Stouffer, Sackville Mosquodoboit

Svend Robinson, Burnaby-Douglas

BQ: Jocelyn Girard-Bujold, Jonquiere

PC: John Herron, Fundy-Royal

Thanks to Laura Telford, Canadian Nature Federation.


SEWAGE SOLUTIONS

Heather Goulet writes: For the past year our citizens group in North Saanich has been gathering information about alternative wastewater treatment for Deep Cove and Pat Bay. Four years ago the CRD directed North Saanich to solve the problems of failing septic fields, or face fines. The Municipality has been planning to run a pipe to the new secondary treatment plant at Bazan Bay, but our investigation is driven by a love of the rural nature of this community, and the conviction there are better ways of solving wastewater problems. On January 20th we are holding an Open House with international presentations at Deep Cove to demonstrate what we have learnt (see Diary). While the rest of the country and the US has known for years of these viable and cost effective solutions, British Columbia is just waking up to them. Our purpose is to advance that wake-up call by providing a full spectrum of alternate solutions from collection, conveyance, treatment and discharge. This issue is of vital concern to many rural communities who must find a better way to clean the water they use. Contact Heather Goulet (250) 656-1115. www.hermessenger.com


The Green Diary has moved!  Click HERE to see whats happening!

 


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EcoNews, Guy Dauncey
395 Conway Road, Victoria V8X 3X1
Tel/Fax (250) 881-1304

Sustainable Communities Consultancy

Author of 'After the Crash : The Emergence of the Rainbow Economy'
(Greenprint, London, 1988. 3rd edition 1997)

Now Available!
'Earthfuture : Stories from a Sustainable World'
(New Society Publishers, November 1999)
An ecofictional novel

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