Sask RCE Meeting

2006-11-15 15:00

Location: Luther College (University of Regina), Room 207 

This meeting is to discuss recent SK RCE developments requiring our attention prior to a conference call with Environment Canada and UNU representatives on Thursday, November 16 (we apologize for the short notice and its close proximity to the SESDWG meeting in Kenaston on November 20th that many of us will also be attending). A tentative agenda for the SK RCE meeting on November 15th is outlined below. SK RCE Proposal Update: Our SK RCE application was submitted in August, 2006, to meet the September deadline set by the United Nations University. Thanks again to everyone for your constructive comments and letters of support! This was followed by a request on October 3 from the United Nations University (UNU) for further information and clarification to supplement the application. Given the quick turnaround time that was given, 3 additional appendices were added to the proposal leaving the rest of the original proposal unchanged. These new appendices include information gathered from our earlier workshops addressing the specific questions asked by the UNU (found in appendix H). You can find the original proposal with the 3 new appendices (appendices G, H, an I) at the following web address:

- http://142.3.35.101/RCE/

A follow-up e-mail from the UNU requested that we prepare a map of the SK RCE. Once again, given the very short turnaround time, we consulted the details of our proposal submitted in August and earlier workshop material. Keith Fortowsky (thank you Keith!) of the University of Regina prepared a map that was submitted on October 26, 2006. It is also available at the above Internet address in a variety of formats. Finally, the UNU prepared a draft summary of the SK RCE application that we received on November 2, 2006 (something it is doing for all the RCE applications to the UNU). Revisions to this document were provided to the UNU by its November 7th deadline. The application summary is also available on the above website. We have received considerable praise from the UNU for what they have described as being "favourably received", "exemplary" and a "near perfect application". We have also had a number of other regions globally modelling their activities on our processes and structure here in Saskatchewan. CONGRATULATIONS EVERYONE!!! We have also had a doctoral student in computer science working on creating a web based networking structure for the SK RCE over the last four months which is ready for our use.

Meeting Agenda for Wednesday, November 15, 2006, 3:00 pm: There are three items tentatively proposed for our meeting on November 15th:

(1) Planning for a SK RCE celebration We have been informed that the UNU will be making its formal decisions regarding the RCE applications it has received globally on December 5, 2006 in Paris. We have, however, been encouraged to start planning for a celebration in the new year in recognition of this achievement. Tentatively March 1st and 2nd, 2007, have been set aside for representatives of the United Nations University, UNESCO, Environment Canada, and other RCEs to attend. At the November meeting we will discuss the possible structure of this event which we anticipate will include time for meetings, seminars, media events, and, of course, celebrations. For those of you unable to attend this Wednesday meeting, please forward any ideas you have (for example about possible events/locations/itinerary, themes, those who should be invited, etc.) by e-mail to roger.petry@uregina.ca or call Lyle Benko in Regina at (306) 949-7992.

(2) Creation of SK RCE Structures The SK RCE proposal envisions the formation of a number of structures to accomplish the goals of this UNU initiative. These structures are outlined in both the SK RCE proposal (Section 5.3 and Appendix D) as well as the proposal summary. These include 6 working groups focusing on specific ESD themes that were identified by participants to serve as an initial focus for the SK RCE. These Theme Area Working Groups include: 1. Climate Change
2. Health
3. Farming and Local Food Production, Consumption, and Waste Minimization
4. Reconnecting to Natural Prairie Ecosystems
5. Supporting and Bridging Cultures for Sustainable Living and Community Building
6. Sustainable Infrastructure including Water and Energy As well, there is need to establish an RCE Facilitation Group (to work with the UNU and coordinate regional work) and additional members for the RCE Technology Group (developing the web based networking structure). At the meeting on Wednesday, November 15, we will discuss the formation of these structures and receive initial expressions of interest. For those of you unable to attend yet having specific interest in participating in one of the 6 theme areas or other SK RCE structures, please contact Lyle Benko by telephone (see above) or Roger Petry by e-mail.

(3) SK RCE Web Based Networking Structure This technological tool has been developed to help facilitate our work at a regional level on a day to day basis and has been built using a number of flexible and advanced open source software tools. The meeting will provide an opportunity for an exploration of this technology that has been developed for the SK RCE. Thank you everyone for your support of the SK RCE initiative and your efforts to attend this meeting on short notice. Feel free to forward any comments or questions you might have regarding the items being discussed at the meeting to Lyle Benko or Roger Petry. Feel free to forward this invitation to others you feel might be interested in the SK RCE or who may have inadvertently been left off this e-mail list.