So All 17 UN SDGs are (1) No Poverty, (2) Zero Hunger, (3) Good Health and Well-being, (4) Quality Education, (5) Gender Equality, (6) Clean Water and Sanitation, (7) Affordable and Clean Energy, (8) Decent Work and Economic Growth, (9) Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, (10) Reducing Inequality, (11) Sustainable Cities and Communities, (12) Responsible Consumption and Production, (13) Climate Action, (14) Life Below Water, (15) Life On Land, (16) Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, (17) Partnerships for the Goals.
So it is really easy to say that forests support habitats and biodiversity for Life on Land UN SDG Goal 15. Yay!
Did you know that afforestation, and nature based solutions are great ways to mitigate climate change as forests absorb GHG from the air. That means, that forests also contribute to UN SDG Goal 13 Climate Action.
Richard St. Barbe Baker says “When the trees go, the rain goes, the climate deteriorates, the water table sinks, the land erodes and desert conditions soon appear”. Therefore, protecting forests have a definite function in UN SDG Goal 14 Life Below Water.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations mentions that ” some cities have started to change towards a greener, more sustainable and more resilient model of urban development. They are investing in forests, wetlands and other green spaces – “green infrastructure” – to tackle urban issues previously addressed with engineered solutions that often involve concrete, asphalt and steel.” Voila! Afforestation definitely contributes to UN SDG Sustainable cities and communities.
“Whether you drink water from a well or a municipal supply, forests keep that water clean and abundant. They do this by capturing rainwater and recharging underground aquifers. They also act as a natural filter as water moves over land, cleaning it of pollutants so it arrives at our lakes, rivers and streams in a better condition.” –Source So here we have a free ecological service provided by forest for the UN SDG Goal 6 Clean Water and Sanitation.
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is the UN SDG Goal 7. Well, Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and George Genereux Urban Regional Park contribute to Sask Power’s transmission lines, and Sask Energy Trans Gas Natural Pipe lines to keep Saskatchewan residents safe, and warm with efficient, sustainable and modern energy.
This brings us to UN SDG Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development mentions that those adhering to Goal 16, “agree to work more closely with major groups and other stakeholders and encourage their active participation, as appropriate, in processes that contribute to decision-making, planning and implementation of policies and programmes for sustainable development at all levels” and further acknowledges “the need to facilitate informed policy decision-making on sustainable development issues and, in this regard, to strengthen the science-policy interface.”
So you say how would you say that afforestation areas address the UN SDG Goal 2 of Zero Hunger? Ethnobotany, along with health and wellness of course fulfills this goal, Expanding on this goal, when the time is right and the ecological assessment is completed there will be opportunity to explore restoration and rehabilitation of degraded areas. What comes to mind is native permaculture three sisters community gardens, followed by native forests included berry bushes. Now this is a solution in a growing city, to afforest trees in an afforestation area.
So, we have covered a few of the UN SDGs now, but you say, how is it possible that an afforestation area can focus on the UN SDG Goal 17 Partnerships for the Goals. Well the City of Saskatoon long range planners agree with the UN on this, “A successful development agenda requires inclusive partnerships — at the global, regional, national and local levels — built upon principles and values, and upon a shared vision and shared goals placing people and the planet at the centre.”
Now we come to UN SDG Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. encourage everyone to celebrate Global Recycling Day March 18 Waste Reduction Week in Canada Monday, October 16 to Sunday, October 22. In light of the waste dumping which occurs in these amazing urban regional parks, those park users alongside the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. are committee to promoting Reduce, Reuse, Recycle lifestyle.
When we get to UN SDG Goal 4 Quality Education, we can bring to mind the child in nature, and place-based learning. Our urban students don’t have the opportunity to explore a mixed woodlands forest like their rural counterparts do. There are so many subjects open for classrooms at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area and at George Genereux Urban Regional Park. There is science of course learning about the flora and fauna. There is also geology, geography, en plein air art is amazing, history, ethnic and cultural learning, and English composition when it comes to learning about the three amazing role models whom the afforestation areas and wetlands commemorate, and don’t get me started on health, wellness and physical education. The possibilities are endless!
How in the dickens would an afforestation area meet the needs of the UN SDG Goal 3 Good Health and Well-being? Perhaps this one is one of the easiest of them all. We know that the Fatbike Fat Tire Brigade has created a winter trail network to enable walking, cycling, snowshoeing, bird watching hikes, tours, and cross country skiing. Those promote good health and well-being. The PaRx team program is expanding from British Columbia to Alberta, and next – who knows Saskatchewan? What is PaRx? They are doctors who recognize that connecting with nature, and being out in a forest, say, is a great presecription for health. PaRx states that, “Backed by hundreds of studies over several decades, research suggests that connecting to nature is one of the best things you can do to improve your health” Wow! Check it out how Shinrin-Yoku or Nature Bathing is a great prescription for health and wellness.
So, the The United Nations International Day of Forests takes place on March 21. For the Take it Outside Winter Staycation Challenge we have two opportunities for you to be entered into the prize draw! One is to take photos of the afforestation areas while out enjoying them. The other challenge is to identify how you personally can take action locally on the UN SDG goals as you celebrate the afforestation areas. Email your photo, or Email how you, personally, are taking action on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals! Good luck!
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.
What does Climate Action Day mean to you. We just got through St. Patrick’s Day with the wearing of the green, and trying Irish cuisine. But, now today, we need to reflect and not just wear green for St. Patrick’s Day but contemplate Climate Action Day, and what we as individuals may do to celebrate and take action on Climate change.
Alan Silverman at the Star says, “Following the lead of the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, many Toronto youth — under the banner of Fridays for Future — are calling on our governments to forcefully address the climate emergency. The theme is “no more empty promises.”
Jens Marquardt, a postdoctoral researcher in climate change politics and societal transformation at Stockholm University. mentioned that “It is actually quite astonishing to see that this [FFF] movement has been so resilient and robust, despite this massive crisis. This year of reflection has been helpful in shaping the agenda about what this movement is about and what this movement wants to achieve in the future.”[source]
Today commit to cut CO2 emissions by driving and travelling less via combustible engine vehicles. Find a means to participate in active transportation. Take a bus or even car pooling is better than one driver per vehicle. Go cross country skiing, walking, running, cycling, skateboarding, snowshoing to get from place to place.
Hang your clothing out on a clothes line.
Today reduce, reuse, recycle take action on waste reduction.
And it doesn’t hurt to think green and engage in nature based solutions to climate change today. Plant a tree this summer. Better yet plant ten trees, take care of trees everywhere and do a good deed every day, as Richard St. Barbe Baker would say
George Patrick Genereux born March 1, 1935, passed April 10 1989 first came to public attention in 1952 when he won Canada’s only Gold Medal at the Helsinki Olympics.
An all-round athlete, Genereux suffered from crippling from Rheumatoid Arthritis which forced him to give up his sports career. With a bachelor of arts from the University of Saskatchewan and a Master of Surgery CM along with a Doctorate of Medicine from McGill University, Genereux persued radiology. He soon became a professor, author of some 20 papers, and contributed to book publications. Notably he illustrated and co-authored the Diagnosis of Disease of the Chest four volume work. Genereux, visiting professor and speaker was in demand across Canada at Universities, and delivered the 1987 Fleischner lecture.
“If you can’t help yourself, you should use your God–given talents to help others,’
The third sustainable development goal of the United Nations is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Dr George Genereux is indeed a role model for all!
“To be standing together in a frosty field, looking up into the sky, marvelling at birds and revelling in the natural world around us, was a simple miracle. And I wondered why we were so rarely able to appreciate it.”
“Creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for: enlivenment, peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty.” -Anne Lamott
The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. is proud to partner with organisations taking action on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to take urgent action to combat Climate Change and its impacts around the world. We joined the global dialogue to magnify and intensify the voice through Satellite Events at the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 hosted out of the Netherlands. We hosted our own satellite event delivering the theme of nature based solutions via afforestation with Richard St. Barbe Baker as a mentor. It is a great opportunity to interact and network with those groups who are exploring ongoing and future avenues to meet and support challenges world wide. The Climate Adaptation Agenda is truly a roadmap for a climate resilient future by 2030. We embrace this unique opportunity to act locally and think globally for climate led adaptations and solutions for transformation.
“I have learned you are never too small to make a difference.”
“Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming whether you like it or not.”
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
We forget that we owe our existence to the presence of Trees. As far as forest cover goes, we have never been in such a vulnerable position as we are today. The only answer is to plant more Trees – to Plant Trees for Our Lives.
“The future of the planet concerns all of us, and all of us should do what we can to protect it. ” Wangari Maathai. “The science of forestry arose from the recognition of a universal need. It embodies the spirit of service to mankind in attempting to provide a means of supplying forever a necessity of life and, in addition, ministering to man’s aesthetic tastes and recreational interests. Besides, the spiritual side of human nature needs the refreshing inspiration which comes from trees and woodlands. If a nations saves its trees, the trees will save the nation. And nations as well as tribes may be brought together in this great movement, based on the ideal of beautifying the world by the cultivation of one of God’s loveliest creatures – the tree.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker.
“Calm soul of all things, make it mine, To feel amidst the City ‘s jar That there abides a peace of thine Men did not make and cannot mar. “ ~Richard St. Barbe Baker