Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do; learn more about the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals!
The UNESCO Biosphere Regions were created to promote solutions in the reconciling of biological conservation with its sustainable use. They are learning sites for sustainable development under diverse ecological, cultural and economic contexts.
There are many different viewpoints of the concept of sustainability, that vary culturally and socially worldwide. The basis sustainability is the ‘capacity to be continued at a certain level or functioning”. In the context of the UN Sustainability Goals, this applies to environmental, social and economic sustainability, and the processes and actions through which we can avoid depletion of natural resources, promote human well-being and ensure the quality of life of current and future generations increases.
The concept of sustainability has existed within cultures for centuries. The missions of UNESCO Biospheres align with the cultural beliefs and practises of Indigenous people, who have sustainability lived off the lands for generations. Indigenous people have used these lands to secure resources with the knowledge that resources should not be used beyond the ability of future generations to also use them. The concept can be seen in the Seventh Generation principle in Haundensaunee knowledge which emphasizes that the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future.
One of the best ways to inspire sustainable mindsets and initiatives within local communities is to get outside and connect with nature. Getting connected with our natural environment can help improve human livelihood, inspire innovative approaches to economic development that are culturally and environmentally sustainable and help safeguard the Frontenac Arch for generations to come!
At the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network, we work to incorporate many of the UN Sustainable Development goals into our programs and outreach. Our Nature Camps aim to bring a new approach to learning through fostering connections with our natural environment and exploring the natural wonders of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere. Our Nature Camps work with many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals relating to Quality Education (Goal 4), Life on Land (Goal 15), Climate Action (Goal 13) and Partnership for the Goals (Goal 17). Through education and hands-on experiences with nature, the FABN Nature Camps work to build deeper connections between youth and the environment. The knowledge and experiences gained from outdoor education help youth make sustainable choices and allow them to share that knowledge with others, building community sustainability and resilience.
The Frontenac Arch Biosphere has amazing ecosystems, that are home to many incredible plants and animals, and many diverse communities. Implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the Frontenac Arch promotes finding local solutions to global issues and ensures the environment will be protected and communities will flourish for years to come.
There are many ways that sustainability can be implemented in everyday life. Small actions such as reducing waste, buying locally grown produce or increasing the energy efficiency of homes can have huge impacts! There are many things you can do to be sustainable in your home. This not only protects valuable resources and prevents damage to the environment, but can also save you money!
Check out these great resources...
- Ontario Power Authority - SaveONenergy - advice and tips on how to save energy and money.
- How to Recycle Anything - a comprehensive list of places to recycle your unwanted items.
- Water Waste Calculator - a water conservation tool that calculates how many liters of water faucet leaks waste per day. The tool can help environmentally conscious individuals determine how imperative it is to get a leak fixed in a timely manner. And as an added bonus, it can give individual an idea of how much the leak is costing them financially.
- How to Make Cars More Eco Friendly and Sustainable
Great Resources for Kids…
- Great Resources for Teachers Ontario EcoSchools is designed to help school boards and schools play their part in responding to one of the great challenges of our time: the increasingly urgent need to live more sustainably.
- David Suzuki Foundation - everyday tips for living sustainably.
- Earth Day Canada helps Canadians of all ages achieve local solutions while improving the environment.
- EcoMentors gives hands-on, real-world experience working with elementary school students. Be an ecoMentor and help kids explore the planet.
- Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario is a volunteer-based organization that promotes safe and high-quality outdoor education experiences for people of all ages.
- Green Teacher Magazine is created by and for educators to enhance environmental and global education across the curriculum at all grade levels.
- Beyond the Playground: Outdoor Activities for Kids - this page has so many great ideas for playing outside! (Special thanks to Nicole for finding this great page!)
- The Bottle Store: Ways to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Your Plastic Bottles - Links and downloads with ideas for all ages on how to get started recycling