Simple plans for a sustainable world 

Dr. David Suzuki special guest of sustainability speaker series


What: Dr. David Suzuki presents Sustainability within a Generation: A New Vision for Canada

Where: Telus Conference Centre

When: Monday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m.

Cost: Admission by donation, with proceeds going to the 2004 Sustainability Speaker Series.

Although Canadians like to think of ourselves as environmentally aware and consistently rank the environment as one of our top priorities, the facts tell a different story.

According to a 1999 survey by the Organization for Co-operation and Development Canada ranked 28 th out of 29 developed countries with low marks in 25 key environmental indicators, including air quality, water quality, energy use, climate change initiatives and biological diversity.

The David Suzuki Foundation unveiled a new Web of Life campaign last year to promote sustainability in Canada, with separate initiatives geared towards individuals and institutions like government and industry.

The first initiative is called The Nature Challenge, which is a simple 10-step program for people to follow to reduce their net negative impact on the environment. It was launched in September of 2003 and already more than 111,000 people have signed up.

The most recent initiative is the Sustainability within a Generation project, which outlines a series of steps that governments must take to achieve social, economic and environmental sustainability in Canada in the next 25 years.

Dr. David Suzuki will give a special presentation on this project in Whistler this Monday, April 26 as part of the Sustainability Speaker Series, hosted by Whistler. It’s Our Nature and the Early Adopters of The Natural Step.

David Suzuki was not available to comment but David R. Boyd, the author of the Sustainability within a Generation report, says that it has been well received at all levels of government.

"The response has been fantastic. David Suzuki had a one hour meeting with (Prime Minister) Paul Martin back in February when we released the report in Ottawa, and Paul Martin was really engaged, really interested," said Boyd. "I actually have a follow-up call tomorrow with a couple of people from the Prime Minister’s Office to talk about moving forward on this Sustainability within a Generation agenda, so certainly at the highest levels of government the response has been positive.

"They also distributed this report at the annual meeting of the Canadian Federation of Municipalities in February, so pretty much every municipal leader in Canada has a copy of this, too, and we’ve been getting some really good feedback from folks."

The goal is to make Canada sustainable by the year 2030, giving governments, businesses and citizens a generation to adjust to changes. According to Boyd it was important to set a realistic timeline, given the complexity and scope of the issues.

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