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The Invasive Species Centre is hosting the 19th International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species that will be held at the Fort Garry Hotel, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, April 10-14, 2016.
This conference series is widely considered the most comprehensive international forum on aquatic invasive species and continues to evolve to address new and emerging issues.
Sessions and presentations include the review of accumulated scientific knowledge; presentation of the lat...Read More
PROVINCE HIGHLIGHTS MANITOBANS’ CONTRIBUTION TO COMMUNITY SUSTAINABILITY
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2015 Excellence in Sustainability Awards, Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Tom Nevakshonoff announced recently.
“The Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Awards bring well-deserved recognition to individuals, organizations, communities and businesses that are enhancing sustainability in our province,” Minister Nevakshonoff said. “The awards showcase success stories and, most importantly, inspire Manitobans to take action.”
The annual sustainability awards program was established in 2008 by the Manitoba Round Table for Sustainable Development, an advisory board that provides advice and support to the Manitoba government about responsible resource management and land use, as well as environmental, social and economic development.
The minister noted this program complements TomorrowNow – Manitoba’s Green Plan, which emphasizes steps and actions to protect the environment while ensuring a prosperous and environmentally conscious economy.
Any individual, business, organization or community group in Manitoba is eligible to apply or be nominated for one award in the following categories: * action on climate change, air quality and energy efficiency; * sustainability in water and natural area stewardship; * sustainability in pollution prevention and product stewardship; * education for sustainability; * innovation and research for sustainability; * champion for sustainability; * sustainable community; and * outstanding achievement in sustainability.
The awards are open to all Manitoba residents, any organization or business operating in Manitoba and initiatives taking place in Manitoba.
The deadline for nominations and applications is noon, Sept. 25. Information about the awards program and how to apply can be found at www.manitoba.ca/conservation/susresmb/mrtsd/mesa/, by calling 204-945-1985, calling (toll-free) 1-800-282-8069, or e-mailing email@example.com.
For information on TomorrowNow, visit www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/tomorrownowgreenplan.
If you are developing a technology applicable to green buildings, we can help you access the funding and industry partners you need to get your technology to market.
SDTC, Athabasca University and Brantwood Consulting invite you to pitch virtually to green building influencers.
Examples of technologies we are seeking include, but are not limited to, the following:Building Integrated Renewable Energy Low-Energy Distribution Systems (HVAC, Lighting, etc.) Distributed Generation Passive Energy Systems Solar-Powered Absorption/Adsorption Chillers Next Generation Geothermal Systems Integrated Equipment Efficiency and Renewable Energy Control Systems Biomass Cogen & District Heating Next Generation Thermal Storage
Actual virtual pitch session to take place on September 18, 2015.
For more information and to apply: www.sdtc.ca/workshops
CCME has published an Implementation Framework for Climate Change Adaptation Planning at a Watershed Scale. The Framework provides a process to identify, assess and manage or reduce vulnerabilities and risks stemming from climate change at a watershed level, and build resiliency within a watershed. The Framework is composed of seven key steps, each with a series of tasks and outcomes.
Please click on the following link for details:http://www.ccme.ca/en/resources/cci.html
GLOBE-Net, July 21, 2015 – Canada’s Premiers released a Canadian Energy Strategy statement last week, calling it a demonstration of their commitment to strengthening the economy, creating jobs, ensuring a secure supply of energy for all Canadians, supporting energy innovation and addressing climate change.
“What we have here is a visionary document that agrees that provinces will work together to allow the transfer and the movement of energy throughout our country,” said Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Paul Davis at the end of last week’s meeting of provincial and territorial heads of government.
Much of the post-meeting commentary focused on the sometimes tense debate between the Premiers on such contentious issues as new oil pipelines and further development of Canada’s oil sands. However the strategy document is based on a carefully-articulated exploration of a wide-range of energy and environmental issues carried out by the Council of the Federation Secretariat. Hydro-electric power and natural gas also figured prominently in the strategy document.
The strategy focuses on three broad themes:
SUSTAINABILITY AND CONSERVATION Building on the ongoing efforts of individuals, businesses, governments and others to improve energy efficiency, lower carbon footprints, and improved understanding of energy in Canada. Key focus areas included: Promote energy efficiency and conservation; Transition to a lower carbon economy; and Enhance energy information and awareness.
TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION Pursue research and education initiatives to develop new technologies, build human capital, and become a more innovative and competitive provider of energy. Key focus areas included: Accelerate the development and deployment of energy research and technologies that advance more efficient production, transmission, and use of clean and conventional energy sources; Develop and implement strategies to meet energy sector human resource needs now and well into the 21st century; and Facilitate the development of renewable, green and/or cleaner energy sources to meet future demand and contribute to environmental goals and priorities.
DELIVERING ENERGY TO PEOPLE Work to develop infrastructure, enhance energy regulatory processes, open markets and responsibly move energy products to the people who need them. Key focus areas included: Develop and enhance a modern, reliable, environmentally safe and efficient series of transmission and transportation networks for domestic and export/import sources of energy; Improve the timeliness and certainty of regulatory approval decision-making processes while maintaining rigorous protection of the environment and public interest; Promote market diversification; and Pursue formalized participation of provinces and territories in international discussions and negotiations on energy.
Collaboration key theme
Though the many ‘Action Items’ set out in the document lack precise targets or timelines, they do provide a general foundation for further action by provinces and territories to work together on energy priorities and shared goals for energy production, supply and transportation.
These very broad, open-ended areas of endeavor rely heavily on intergovernmental collaboration on areas of mutual interest involving energy resources, energy conservation, and technology development. They also call for more open and transparent co-operation and partnership with between governments and key stakeholders in a national context, something that has not been much in evidence in recent years.
The Premiers noted in their communique that provincial and territorial governments will collaborate in different ways to pursue initiatives and address energy issues in line with their unique strengths, challenges and priorities, another point reflective of the open-ended and essentially non-binding nature of the commitments made.
The fact that the Premiers and territorial leaders were able to reach an agreement on a national energy strategy stands as a significant achievement, notwithstanding the fact that under the constitution they the authority to enforce or prevent energy transmission across provincial boundaries.
However, the impetus the agreement provides for the sharing of knowledge and the joint development of cooperative frameworks in specific areas having environmental or energy related implications should not be dismissed lightly.
Having agreed on a vision, common principles and objectives for energy development, the provinces and territories are better able to identify opportunities to develop, transport and transmit energy and to promote a robust research and technology sector to enhance the competitiveness of Canada’s energy sector and encourage the transition to a lower carbon economy.
At their meeting Premiers backed a call from British Columbia and Saskatchewan for a national approach to fighting forest fires. They also charged their ministers responsible for emergency measures to work with the federal government on recommendations made at the meeting.
Immediately after the Premiers’ meeting Energy Ministers from Newfoundland and Ontario announced an initiative to explore opportunities for importing clean and reliable electricity from Newfoundland and Labrador into Ontario. An agreement between British Columbia and Nova Scotia to share knowledge about tidal energy is another example of energy-related cooperation opportunities underway between stakeholders from different jurisdictions.
Climate Change Downplayed
The strategy document has been criticized because of its watered down commitment to fight climate change. An earlier promise that all provinces would adopt absolute cuts to greenhouse gas emissions was stripped from an earlier draft of the document.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, quoted in a Globe and Mail article said the final version “is the language everybody could live with,” stressing that the fact that until this document was signed, there was no shared goal on energy and climate change among the 13 provincial and territorial leaders.
“This is an issue of a strong economy and strong environmental protection and those two things are not mutually exclusive,” she said. “They must be complimentary.”
A press release issued after the summit noted that the Premiers will continue to work toward concrete climate related solutions including technological investments such as the continued development of wind energy, carbon capture and storage, and innovations that reduce the reliance on diesel fuel in remote communities.
They will also explore policy levers such as “carbon pricing, hard caps on emissions from electricity generation, and renewable energy targets so that GHG emissions may be better taken into account in decision-making processes.”
B.C. Premier Christy Clark reinforced the point that measures to contained emissions growth need not have detrimental impacts on economic growth, citing B.C.’s carbon tax as a prime example.
“Canadians want jobs. Canadians want economic growth,” she said. “The only way to do that is to get to yes on development of all kinds, but the only way we can get to yes and guarantee that those jobs will be created is if we can assure Canadians that we are doing it in an environmentally sound and responsible way. And that is ultimately the benefit for Canadians out of the energy strategy in my view.”
The full document is available here.
July 17, 2015--This week, a delegation from Australia met with officials from the Composites Innovation Centre to discuss various development strategies related to bio-fibre and bio-mass applications.
Next week, more than a dozen Manitoba industry leaders will be at the Bio World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in Montreal and two of them will lead key workshops at the conference that is expecting about 1,500 delegates.
Interest in the use of bio-mass and bio-fibre -- traditionally the waste product from agricultural production -- for industrial purposes and fuel is growing, and Manitoba and Western Canada are on the leading edge of that trend.
"Bio-materials have an untapped potential," said John Pacak, the chairman of the Life Science Association of Manitoba.
(The association just received $58,000 from Western Economic Diversification to underwrite some of the costs of attending the conference in Montreal.)
The underlying potential for the development of such an industry -- which is still in its early days -- is the environmentally friendly and economically sound principals it's based on.
"Imagine being the reason why more people are living better lives or being a significant contributor to a more sustainable Earth," Pacak said.
Sean McKay, the chief executive officer of the CIC will present one workshop at the Montreal conference called Bioproduct Supply Chains In Action that gives three examples of how the early stages of a supply chain are already working.
"Materials are starting to move from the farm gate through processing and into actual products that are actually taken up by consumers," he said.
One example is the use of hemp fibres harvested and processed by Prairie Industrial Hemp Processing Ltd. in Gilbert Plains, that are made into ceiling panels and cinder blocks by Tekle Technical Services of Drayton Valley, Alta., that are to be installed in the new Hemp Oil Canada facility in Ste. Agathe.
The CIC was integral in making those linkages happen.
"We're using this example to demonstrate that these materials are real," McKay said. "We're looking for investments to building a manufacturing plant for these material in Manitoba."
McKay's colleague at the CIC, Simon Potter, is leading another workshop at the Bio World Congress, called Practical Magic: Genomics, Phenomics and the Next Generation of Advanced Materials.
Potter is heading up the development of the CIC's FibreCity project, a 9,000-square-foot production plant that can take commercially grown bales of biomass, such as flax and hemp straw, and separate it into fibres. Those fibres can be tested and the data entered into a grading system and database that can be used to provide predictive models for various properties of the fibre. It will allow producers to go into a field and be able to tell what that bio-fibre can be useful for.
It's anticipated that by 2020 the use of advanced biomaterials -- agricultural fibres -- will be widely used in the automotive, construction, aerospace and consumer products industries.
FibreCity's science will eventually be used to help determine the best crop to produce the fibre with the most appropriate qualities for the specific industrial part to be manufactured.
Pacak said, "The technology already exists so that today we can literally plant a seed and tomorrow grow the crop to provide the raw material that can be utilized in the manufacture of the tractor that's used to plow and harvest that crop."
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 17, 2015 B6
July 10, 2015--A "significant" number of young zebra mussels has been discovered in the Red River south of Fargo, N.D., a sign the aquatic pest is more established in the Red River Valley than previously thought.
The task is finding out where they're coming from.
"They are now in our backyard," said Candace Parks, the province's aquatic invasive species specialist. "All water users need to take steps so they don't move water out of the Red River to another place."
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department said testing done June 23 to 24 showed numerous zebra mussel veligers were found at six sites along the river from Wahpeton to Pembina. Veligers are the microscopic larvae adult mussels release into the water.
The state's aquatic nuisance species co-ordinator, Fred Ryckman, said it was the first time a significant number of zebra mussel veligers have been discovered downstream of Wahpeton.
The state initiated the tests after officials in Manitoba found zebra mussel veligers in the Red River near Emerson. It was the first time veligers have been found in that portion of the Red River.
"Although these results are not totally surprising considering the recent findings of large numbers of zebra mussel veligers in the Red River at the Canadian border, and in past years near Wahpeton in the Otter Tail River in Minnesota, the results are certainly surprising in that so many veligers were detected at each of the six sampled sites," Ryckman said.
"And it's even more incredible considering that in similar sampling over the past several years we've only detected about a half dozen veligers in total."
Veligers were also found in the most recent survey at Pembina, Drayton, Grand Forks, Fargo and Abercrombie.
Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship has been monitoring the Red River at Emerson since the discovery of adult zebra mussels in Pelican Lake, Minn., which is part of the Red River basin, in 2009.
Parks said officials do not believe the veligers recently found in the Red River originated at Pelican Lake but are coming from an undetermined location in the river.
"I can't even speculate where they are coming from," She said. "We are all scratching our heads."
Ryckman said surveillance efforts on the Red River in the past five years detected the presence of zebra mussel veligers in 2010, 2011 and 2014, all found at the same single site near Wahpeton.
But he said the volume of veligers found this year along the entire length of the river has biologists questioning if there aren't undiscovered colonies of adult zebra mussels elsewhere within the Red River watershed.
Young zebra mussels float with the current and can attach in large numbers to hard surfaces such as rocks, boat docks and bridge pilings, and as adults can clog pipes such as those used for municipal or industrial water systems. They also feed on organisms that are primary food sources for newly hatched fish.
They can also be transported to new areas in undrained water from boat bait buckets, float-plane pontoons, watercraft motors or any on-board compartments.
In Manitoba, mature zebra mussels were recently found in the Red River on a dock near Selkirk and have been detected at several locations in the south basin of Lake Winnipeg during the past two years.
Zebra mussels have also been found on a lake southwest of Detroit Lakes, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Lake Eunice has been designated as infested with zebra mussels.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 10, 2015
Ontario and Alberta have become the first provinces to agree to work with Manitoba and others to improve water health
By Shannon VanRaes FOLLOW
A Manitoba-made agreement aimed at protecting lakes and waterways has gained two new signatories.
Last week, Alberta and Ontario signed on to the Lake Friendly Accord, which already includes many mayors and reeves, as well as the Lake Winnipeg Foundation, Manitoba Hydro, the government of Canada and state of Minnesota.
For Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP), it’s welcome news.
“We’ve been working with the accord quite closely over the years and were involved in developing the Lake Friendly practices for farms,” said KAP president Dan Mazier, as he returned home following a meeting of the Assiniboine River Basin Initiative. “KAP has been at the table all along, and yes, I think this is good.”
He added that by participating in the process, the organization has been able to make sure farmers’ needs were met and understood, while also ensuring the health of waterways.
Bringing two new provinces into the fold will only help move the accord forward by adding that knowledge and experiences to the mix, he said.
“Ontario has the advantage that it has the Great Lakes, so they’ve been there, done that, and brought it back to life. They have a lot of knowledge, not just about water, but about people and how you bring these things together,” said Mazier, noting that Alberta’s experiences with the oilsands would also add to the discussion.
“But we all have agriculture and I would think we in Manitoba are at the forefront in how we manage nutrients,” he said.
Manitoba’s Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship Tom Nevakshonoff said Ontario has pledged to undertake numerous actions to reduce nutrient loading in the Lake of the Woods area, Lake Simcoe and the Laurentian Great Lakes. Alberta has agreed to a similar pledge to address the issue of nutrient loading in its watershed.
“There are many opportunities for different jurisdictions to work together on this issue because nutrient loading poses one of the most serious threats to water quality across North America,” said Nevakshonoff.
The hope is that by adding these two new provinces to the accord, all partners in the Lake Friendly Stewards Alliance will be better able to share and implement best management practices, the minister added.
“I’m very much encouraged by seeing governments work together,” said Mazier, adding that for “too long” Manitoba has been left alone to deal with the issues affecting Lake Winnipeg, even though several jurisdictions feed into the water system.
The accord has its roots in local government and was the brainchild of nine communities concerned with deteriorating water quality in Lake Winnipeg in 2008. The South Basin Mayors and Reeves launched the Lake Friendly Initiative in 2009, aiming to create a community-to-community approach to improving water quality. It has expanded and evolved since.
“The South Basin Mayors and Reeves recognizes that we need to engage a diverse range of partners to reduce nutrient loading in Lake Winnipeg,” said Rick Gamble, chair of the South Basin Mayors and Reeves and co-chair of the Lake Friendly Stewards Alliance. “We have much to learn from and much to offer our neighbours to the east and our friends to the west as we welcome them as signatories to the accord.”
Source: Manitoba Co-operator, July 19, 2015
|09/14||-||Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) Funding Workshop|
|09/30||-||People-Planet-Profit / a discussion on CSR|
|10/21||-||Construction, Renovation & Demolition Waste Forum & Consultation|