RogerPetry's blog

RCE Facilitation Group Meeting May 10, 2012, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

Dear RCE Working Group Coordinators, RCE Partners, and Regional Representatives,

There will be an important meeting of the RCE Facilitation Group on Thursday, May 10, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. The RCE Facilitation Group is designed to help facilitate the work of the RCE, connecting our various working groups and partners and acting to facilitate international collaboration with other RCEs and the UN University. For those in Regina, a meeting room has been booked in Luther College at the University of Regina, Room 207. We also will be using Skype for participation by other centres (Saskatoon, Craik, and Nipawin) and for those unable to attend in person in Regina. If possible it would be great if individuals in other centres could perhaps come together in their respective communities to participate in the meeting.

The RCE Facilitation Group provides an important opportunity for knowledge sharing between communities within the RCE region and between sustainability issue areas. In addition there will be updates regarding the UN University, the Rio +20 Conference, and the upcoming 7th Global RCE Conference in Korea in September. Important issues to be discussed at this meeting also include:

(1) the upcoming RCE ESD Recognition Event on June 7, 2012, in Regina (note: deadline for applications is May 1, 2012--please encourage projects to apply; see
(2) the upcoming RCE/SEdA Event on June 7-8, 2012, in Regina and opportunities for participation
(3) structural issues of the RCE (including whether or not to proceed with legal incorporation and opening a separate bank account)
(4) in-kind and financial support for ongoing RCE activities and a possible RCE secretariat

The success of the meeting will very much be enhanced by participation of our RCE working group coordinators, representatives of our 8 higher education partners and other community partners, and our two regions (the Midlakes Community Coalition (including Craik) and the NorthEast region (including Nipawin). Please feel free to send a designate for your organization if you are unable to attend.

Any agenda items to should be sent to us so that these can be included. A formal agenda will be circulated closer to the meeting date. If you plan to participate by Skype, please forward this Skype information as well so we can contact you.

Best wishes and we look forward to your participation on Thursday, May 10.


Roger Petry and Lyle Benko
Co-coordinators, RCE Facilitation Group
RCE Saskatchewan

Climate Change Policy Rankings by Canadian Jurisdictions

The following article discusses the David Suzuki Foundation's findings on climate change policies in Canada and opportunities for action.

"Responsible Resource Development" vs. "Sustainable Development" Article

Please see the link to the following article that was forwarded to me suggesting the federal government is moving away from the concept of "sustainable development" to a much more ambiguous term "responsible resource development". The article really shows the need for education of Canadian policy makers and citizens on the concept of sustainable development, a term that has been embraced by the global community for more than two decades and is now a basis for much scholarly work while being operationalized in business, government, and at the community level (not to mention framing most international agreements of the U.N.). It also shows the need to constantly emphasize an "outcomes focus" for development, namely simultaneously advancing the goals of human well-being and ecosystem health while minimizing/eliminating environmental degradation and poverty/vulnerability (goals central to the concept of sustainable development). Here is the link to the article:

It is surprising (and disheartening) that the federal government would make these changes in the year of the Rio +20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development given the signals it sends to the international community. Again, this is perhaps simply a matter of lack of awareness on the part of our federal government. Unfortunately our country pays a political price on the global stage for this lack of awareness and being out of step with our neighbours. Here is the link to the Rio +20 website:

We all need to work hard, especially here in Saskatchewan given the development underway, to ensure that sustainable development remains top of mind and is operationalized at all levels of government and organizations within our community. Hopefully Saskatchewan can aim to be a true leader in this regard and help inform our federal counterparts where they lack the appropriate knowledge and/or resolve.--Roger

2012 Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest for Youth


The Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest for Youth

Nature Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Outdoor and Environmental Education Association (SOEEA) would like to announce the 2012 Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest which is open to all youth 19 years old and under. The contest theme this year is: Get to Know Your Wild Neighbours. The contest runs from April 8th to July 16th, 2012. The Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest encourages youth to get outdoors, connect with their wild neighbours and celebrate nature through the arts. Youth can enter the contest with original pieces of art, writing, video, photography or music. You may enter as many categories as you want. There are exciting prizes to be won for each category! For more information on the contest, including how to enter, contest rules, prizes, virtual hikes, launch events, and other interesting information, please visit You can also contact Deanna at for additional information.

Nature Saskatchewan and SOEEA will be launching the contest at École Massey School in Regina in April. We hope that many Saskatchewan youth will enter the contest this year. Good luck!

University of Regina Launches New Edible Garden

Release: March 28, 2012

Contact:    Natalie Tomczak, External Relations
    Phone:  (306) 337-2452

University of Regina launches new edible garden

Regina's Edible Campus unveiled its plan for a new campus garden
project today designed to promote and expand community engagement and
sustainable development.

The project includes two existing campus gardens*the First Nations
University Shared Garden, and Le Potager*and adds a new garden plot:
The Regina Public Interest Research Group (RPIRG) Green Patch, a
5400-square-foot garden south of the Dr John Archer Library. With the
generous support of the President’s Advisory Committee on
Sustainability, landscape architectural plans for the new Green Patch
were unveiled at a launch event.

Regina's Edible Campus partners include Wascana Centre Authority, the
University of Regina, the Institut Français, First Nations University of
Canada, and the Regina Public Interest Research Group, but the project
reaches beyond these groups.  

“The launch of this project is a significant commitment to
sustainable development by the University of Regina,” said Edible
Campus Chair Frédéric Dupré. “Not only does the project provide
education about healthy, low-cost food, it also contributes to the
aesthetic appeal of the campus. Most importantly, it supports community
work against poverty in Regina.”

Shawn Fraser, Executive Director of the Carmichael Outreach Centre,
spoke about the community impact of the garden pilot project in 2011
when vegetables from Le Potager were donated to the Carmichael Outreach
Centre, helping to feed Regina residents in need.

Dr. Annette Desmarais introduced the concept of food sovereignty: the
right of peoples or countries to define their own agriculture, food,
labour, fishing and land policies in ways that are ecologically,
socially, economically and culturally appropriate to their
circumstances. She contrasted it with food security and spoke about the
role of community gardens in providing sufficient, good-quality food and
contributing to a diverse, democratic, ecologically sustainable food

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