SASKATOON — The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) and the David Suzuki Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding entitled the Gifts of the Creator/the Environment by our leadership, technicians and the David Suzuki Foundation. The signing ceremony was one of the highlights of the FSIN Spring Legislative Assembly held June 5 and 6, 2013, at the Dakota Dunes Casino on the Whitecap Dakota First Nation.
Vice Chief Kimberly Jonathan acknowledges the hard work and commitment needed to reach the Memorandum of Understanding. "As original stewards of this land, First Nations must assert their rights and responsibilities in protecting the environment for future generations as we were taught by our ancestors," she said. "The David Suzuki Foundation and First Nations have a lot of common principles when it comes to respecting the environment and living in harmony with the natural balance of nature. We look forward to working together to address our common interests."
First Nations continue to maintain and assert their inherent rights and laws that originate from the land, air, and water as gifts from the Creator. In moving forward with economic development in Saskatchewan, we must all be aware of the potential impacts that such development has on the environment.
"The David Suzuki Foundation is deeply honoured to be part of an agreement with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, one that creates a foundation of trust and respect from which we can address areas of mutual interest and concern," said Peter Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of the David Suzuki Foundation.
David Suzuki Foundation board member Miles Richardson emphasized that "First Nations are the best hope for Canada to achieve true sustainability. The David Suzuki Foundation recognizes this through our Aboriginal People's Policy, and today through the signing of this agreement with the FSIN."
The FSIN represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. The Federation is committed to honouring the spirit and intent of Treaty, as well as the promotion, protection and implementation of the Treaty promises that were made more than a century ago.
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Environmental groups suspend further work with Resolute Forest Products under Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement
Commitment to ongoing work with other forestry companies remains strong
On the third anniversary of the signing of the historic Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA), environmental signatories are suspending further work with Resolute Forest Products. They remain committed to continuing their work with other signatory companies to plan for protection of critical Boreal woodland caribou habitat and sustainable forest management practices.
"We are very pleased with the groundbreaking solutions for conservation we have forged under the CBFA with companies such as Tembec, Alberta Pacific Forest Industries, and Millar Western Forest Products in northeastern Ontario and Alberta respectively," said Janet Sumner of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS).
"We are also optimistic about advancing conservation and sustainable forestry plans through our on-going work with Tolko, Weyerhaeuser, and Corner Brook Pulp and Paper in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland.
"However, despite three years of work we feel we have not been able to make meaningful progress towards science-based conservation and sustainable forestry plans with Resolute Forest Products on its large tenures in Quebec and Northwestern Ontario. After creating and revising numerous conservation analyses, and putting several workable proposals on the table, we have come to the sad conclusion that Resolute will not do the minimum that the science says is required to protect our forests and the threatened caribou that call them home," adds Sumner.
"We believe that Resolute is not meeting its commitments to ensure caribou survive on the forests it manages. In our opinion, it has so far proven itself unwilling to strike a balance between its economic interests and the local survival of a nationally threatened species," added Todd Paglia of ForestEthics.
The environmental groups' assessment, based on federal government science, is that Resolute's forestry plans would severely diminish the chances that any caribou herds within their tenures will survive after their logging operations. The federal recovery strategy under the Species At Risk Act requires that all caribou herds in Canada be managed to create a minimum likelihood of 60% survival.
All environmental signatories to the CBFA are suspending further work with Resolute until it can commit to scientifically defensible conservation plans that would give caribou a reasonable chance of survival.
"The CBFA has proven itself a workable model with companies that honour their commitments. Last year, signatories announced a joint caribou action plan for northeastern Ontario that proposed an 8,000km2 logging-free zone to protect critical caribou habitat and an increase of wood supply for local mills," adds Sumner.
In Northeast Alberta, signatories supported the establishment of the proposed Dillon River Wildland Park and the Gipsy-Gordon Wildland Park, and this month have agreed on an approach for Caribou Action Planning in the Athabasca and Cold Lake regions. They are now commencing outreach to Provincial, Aboriginal, municipal and energy sector leaders to move forward.
The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement was signed in 2010 by all member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada and nine environmental groups. Environmental groups continuing to implement the CBFA are the Canadian Boreal Initiative, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, David Suzuki Foundation, ForestEthics, Ivey Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and the International Boreal Conservation Campaign.
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For more background on the CBFA, visit http://www.canadianborealforestagreement.com/
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Thousands expected to join 30×30 Nature Challenge during May
TORONTO - The David Suzuki Foundation is launching the 30×30 Nature Challenge today — a national campaign to get Canadians outside for 30 minutes a day for 30 days during May.
"I urge Canadians to join the 30×30 Nature Challenge," said David Suzuki, award-winning broadcaster, author and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. "Commit to getting outside for 30 minutes a day, for 30 days. Whether it's in a local park or backyard garden, getting your daily dose of nature is a key ingredient for a happy, healthy lifestyle."
Canadians have become increasingly disconnected from the natural world. Symptoms of our nature deficit are easy to spot: stress, obesity, heart disease, asthma and depression. However, it is now well documented that time spent in nature can improve physical and mental health — dramatically reducing stress and mental fatigue while boosting creativity and vitality. Throughout the month of May, participants of the 30×30 Nature Challenge will receive tips about how to reap the benefits of nature by adding more green time to their schedules.
"Fitting a daily dose of green into our busy routines doesn't need to be daunting," said David Suzuki's Queen of Green, Tovah Paglaro. "It can be as simple as holding your next work meeting outdoors, having lunch in a park or walking the kids to school. And since you will have more energy and increased concentration, the time spent in nature will pay off in spades."
The 30×30 Nature Challenge is being presented in partnership with Genuine Health, with generous support from Cisco Systems Canada, Interface Canada, Harvest Power, the Arcangelo Rea Family Foundation and Nature's Path Foods. CBC Live Right Now will be supporting the 30×30 Nature Challenge through its new Get Outside campaign at LiveRightNow.ca starting May 1st.
Stewart Brown, CEO of Genuine Health said, "In 2012, we supported the launch of Your Brain on Nature, a revolutionary book that addressed the importance of nurturing our health with nature. The reality of modern life is that many of us spend several hours each day in front of electronic screens and very little time outside in green space. This is why, for the second year in a row, we are proud and excited to partner on the David Suzuki Foundation's 30×30 Nature Challenge!"
As part of the 30×30 Nature Challenge, the David Suzuki Foundation will work with university researchers to analyze how time in nature affects well-being. By filling out surveys before and after taking the 30×30 Challenge, participants will help to document the benefits of getting outside.
"Through this research, we will explore the impact nature has on our lives," said David Suzuki Foundation spokesperson Aryne Sheppard. "We will test the theory that being more connected to nature goes along with greater environmental awareness and ecologically friendly behaviour — not to mention feeling happier and healthier."
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For more information, please visit www.davidsuzuki.org/30×30challenge or contact:
Jode Roberts, David Suzuki Foundation (Toronto) cell.647 456 9752 email@example.com
Manon Dubois Crôteau, Fondation David Suzuki (Montreal) 514-871-4932 poste.453 cell.514-679-0821
Theresa Beer, David Suzuki Foundation (Vancouver) 604-732-4228 ext.1239 cell.778.874.3396
The 30×30 Nature Challenge
- The David Suzuki Foundation is challenging Canadians to join the 30×30 Nature Challenge by signing up at www.davidsuzuki.org/30×30challenge.
- Participants start by signing up as an individual or workplace at www.davidsuzuki.org/30×30challenge/sign-up
- They will receive tips for how to add nature to their daily routine through the 30×30 website, hashtag #30×30challenge and David Suzuki Foundation social media (@davidsuzukiFDN and www.facebook.com/davidsuzuki)
- As part of the 30×30 Nature Challenge, the David Suzuki Foundation will work with researchers at the University of Trent to analyze how time in nature affects well-being through surveys before and after the challenge.
- Participants will also be eligible for weekly prizes through the 30×30 Photo Contest and if they complete the opening and closing surveys will be entered to win a $500 prize package from Genuine Health.
Benefits of connecting with nature
- Spending an hour in nature can improve memory performance and attention span by 20 per cent. Natural views at work result in increased job satisfaction, better concentration, decreased mental fatigue and lower stress levels.
- Plants in a workplace can reduce feelings of anger, anxiety and fatigue by about 40 per cent and stress levels by 50 per cent over three months.
- Spending four nature-filled days away from electronic devices can increase your creativity by 50 per cent.
- Only a few minutes of exposure to nature can immediately reduce stress levels, blood pressure and muscle tension.
30×30 Nature Challenge partners
- Genuine Health
- Cisco Systems Canada
- Interface Canada
- Harvest Power
- The Arcangelo Rea Family Foundation
- Nature's Path Foods
- Bullfrog Power
- Usability Matters
- CBC LiveRightNow.ca