Environmental Sector Roundtable
Strategic eco-innovation: integrating health and environment into sustainable urban practices
Organized in cooperation with the Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN).
The round-table discussions were chaired by Ms. Arciris Garay, Coordinator, Youth for Social Justice Network and National Chair, Canadian Environmental Network and Health Caucus Steering Committee, Canada; and Ms. Hayat Redi, Deputy Director, EVERYONE, Ethiopia. Ms. Amelia Clarke, past President, Sierra Club of Canada served as moderator.
The round table was aimed at fostering strategic alliances within the environment sector, including Canadian and international non-governmental organizations, health professionals, labour unions, indigenous and youth groups, universities, the private sector and governments. The round table drew from participants’ experiences and particular areas of expertise to identify the challenges and opportunities to achieving sustainable cities and developing cross-sectoral partnership projects to address those challenges.
The round table was attended by organizations undertaking focused discussions in five different working groups (community capacity-building; energy and resource management; food; safe environment and health communities; and youth). The intentions of the round table were to identify areas of commonality; better understand existing partnerships and the steps involved in forming new partnerships; and identify initial partnership projects and ideas designed to come up with solutions to overcome the challenges identified.
Each working group reached conclusions specific to its topic, including a list of challenges, resources which each could provide to tackle the challenge, initial partnership project ideas, goals and strategies, and the way forward. The working groups also identified other potential partners that were missing from the workshop but should become involved in the follow-up.
The initial partnerships and project ideas included:
- Establishing four model projects related to community capacity-building;
- Piloting a public-private partnership called Net Zero Resource Use in Urban Areas and studying its progress as a potential model;
- Creating an arts-based approach to youth engagement to be piloted in Nigeria and Canada;
- Developing an online resource centre on healthy-food-related issues and engaging with more partners in that endeavour;
- Conducting three model projects related to a new model on healthy communities in Peru, Egypt and Canada;
- Creating a North-South partnership related to the health impacts of asbestos.