Inuit youth funded to tell their climate change stories, plus British Columbia Invests $19M to up forests carbon storage. A primer on bioeconomy, and listeners’ call to action
Inuit Youth Funded to Tell Their Climate Change Stories, British Columbia Puts $19M to Up Forests Carbon Storage, Primer on BioEconomy, Listeners’ Call to Action
INUIT YOUTH GET FUNDS TO TELL THEIR STORIES
According to a press release from the University of Saskatchewan, a Canadian-United Kingdom research team recently received $1.5M in funding to undertake a three-year project titled ‘Carving out Climate Testimony: Inuit Youth, Wellness & Environmental Stewardship’ that will address two important questions: how does climate change impact Inuit youth and what factors enhance youth mental health and well-being?
Funding for the project comes from a new Canadain-Inuit-United Kingdom Arctic Research Program. The project hopes to uncover how to best support and build resilience in Inuit youth as global warming continues in the Canadian arctic.
The research team will work alongside Inuit artists to explore how traditional practices of Unikkausivut (storytelling) can be used to convey how Inuit youth are experiencing climate change in the Canadian Arctic.The research team will consist of researchers from USask, the University of Victoria, as well as institutions from the United Kingdom; Newcastle University, the University of Aberdeen, and the University of St. Andrew’s.
Why do the voices of Inuit youth matter to us? It’s imperative that we include indigenous voices in climate change research and policy discussions. After all, they’re experiencing it now, and at a faster rate than lower North America.
And as Dr. Jen Bagelman (PhD), co-principal investigator of the study and a Reader at Newcastle University in England, says, “Our Inuit-led team brings the necessary expertise to address these questions in a way that supports youth self-determination, centering youth as stewards of their own changing environments.”
DEEPER DIVE: USaskatchewan Presser, UKRI
BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTS $19M TO INCREASE ITS FORESTS CARBON STORES
Government of British Columbia, Canada is dedicating $19 million over three years to increase the carbon stored in B.C.’s forests and develop innovative, low-carbon forest-based products that support good jobs for people.
The funding is part of British Columbia’s CleanBC funding under the 2022 budget. This investment includes more than $15 million to implement enhanced forest management. This will fund the fertilization of 25,000 hectares (61K acres) of forests, which increases the growth rate of trees and promotes the storage of carbon in biomass, dead organic matter, soils and wood products. The investment is expected to generate a net reduction in the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases equivalent to nearly 3 million tons of carbon dioxide by 2030.
Almost $4 million will be invested to expand the existing Indigenous Forest Bioeconomy Program to include a new accelerator stream, which will help participants commercialize and scale up innovative, low-carbon forest-based products.
Since 2019, the Indigenous Forest Bioeconomy Program has delivered 41 projects with 24 Indigenous communities and organizations throughout that Canadian province. Projects include essential oils extracted from conifer needles; engineered wood product made from dead and degraded wood from fires and beetle kill; textiles made from bark; and insulation made from scrap wood fiber. This program supports increased Indigenous participation in the forest sector and the development of an Indigenous-led forest bioeconomy in B.C.
And that’s why BC’s investment in its forests matters to us. The forest bioeconomy is focused on using materials left over from logging and forestry, such as bark, shrubs, branches and berries, to make everyday products. This helps shift the forest sector to a high-value, waste-free circular economy that reduces the use of petrochemical-based products and helps fight against climate change.
A PRIMER ON BIOECONOMY
The European Commission defines the bioeconomy as “the production of renewable biological resources and the conversion of these resources and waste streams into value added products, such as food, feed, bio-based products and bioenergy.
According to the U.S. Congressional Research Service, The term bioeconomy refers to the share of the economy based on products, services, and processes derived from biological resources (for ex plants and microorganisms). The bioeconomy is crosscutting, encompassing multiple sectors, in whole or in part (e.g., agriculture, textiles, chemicals, and energy).
No matter how you slice it, it comes up peanuts. The point is, it doesn’t matter on which side of the pond you reside, most people agree that pushing the rapid evolution of a world bioeconomy will help stem climate change. Specifically, many view the development of and transition to predominantly a bioeconomy as a means to address grand challenges such as climate change, food security, energy independence, and environmental sustainability.
The term ‘bioeconomy’ became popular from the mid-2000s with its adoption by the European Union and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development as a policy agenda and framework to promote the use of biotechnology to develop new products, markets, and uses of biomass. One initial source was a 2002 Harvard paper referring to the “biotechonomy.” In 2010, it was defined in the report “The Knowledge Based Bio-Economy in Europe: Achievements and Challenges” by Albrecht & al.
Advancing the bioeconomy is also viewed as an opportunity to create new jobs and industries and improve human health. Some experts estimate the direct economic impact of bio-based products and services at around $4 trillion per year globally over the next decade.
But in order to transition successfully, it’s crucial to align research to the solution of the emerging societal challenges.
THE CLIMATE DAILY LISTENER CALL OUT CHALLENGE
Recently, one of our listeners shared her story of how listening to the climate daily helped her deal so well with her climate change overwhelm, that she got out and started working with the local community based group. Then she challenged us to ask you all to share any stories you might have of how listening to the climate daily might have inspired you into action, so we can share them with the world.
Remember, we’re all about sharing stories of people taking positive action to combat climate change. And that’s you listeners. You can hit us up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter at #wetheclimate or Jeffrey at The Climate dot org or Maude at The Climate dot org, too.