SGI-Canada Vancouver Earth Charter Committee Promotes Sustainability
In April 2008, SGI-Canada's Vancouver Earth Charter Committee members participated in two high-level conferences addressing sustainability issues in British Columbia (B.C.). In July they continued their successful program of distributing a checklist of 50 simple actions people can take to reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to building a more sustainable society. Carbon footprint is the term used to describe the direct effect one's actions and lifestyle have on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.
On April 21, the committee participated in the Climate Action Youth Dialogue at Simon Fraser University's Wosk Centre for Dialogue in downtown Vancouver. At the youth-focused event, B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell announced a 3.0 million (Canadian) dollar program to create a Youth Climate Leadership Alliance providing opportunities for youth to tackle climate change issues within the province.
On April 28, the committee participated in the Faith and the Environment Conference held at Vancouver's Langara College. The event brought together more than 120 leaders from every major faith tradition in B.C. Sustainability advocates from different religious communities discussed the various projects and opportunities available to help them reduce their ecological impact, both at home, in their communities and in their own buildings.
Premier Campbell commended the attendees for encouraging people to reduce their environmental impact. He promised to eventually expand the province's new LiveSmartBC Program, which provides financial incentives to conduct energy audits and building retrofits of homes. At the event, a small-scale version of the SGI exhibition "Seeds of Change: The Earth Charter and Human Potential" was displayed.
The Earth Charter Committee has also been involved in the creation of a multi-faith sustainability resource guide aimed at showing faith communities how they can reduce or eliminate actions that have negative environmental consequences in their lives, homes and religious communities. Members of the committee contributed an article providing the Buddhist perspective on sustainability and the text of the Earth Charter.
[Adapted from an article in the July 2008 issue of the SGI Canada News, SGI-Canada]