Winterlude 2015!

By Marcelo Kawanami

Hi everyone! Winterlude at Gamiing Nature Centre is right around the corner! It will be hosted on February 16th, 2015 from 11am to 4pm at Gamiing’s facilities. So bundle up and head down to Winterlude 2015 for a fun afternoon full of outdoor activities!

Winterlude 2015

Numair Uppal on WRAIN and the Kawartha Lakes!

By Marcelo Kawanami

So we are continuing with our interview series with Movers & Shakers that has significantly contributed to the development of the Kawartha Lakes region and Gamiing. Our conversation today is with Mr. Numair Uppal, Economic Development Officer at the Water Research & Innovation Network (WRAIN).

In this conversation, Mr. Uppal shares with us his work at the Water Table andalso his opinion on how economy development and sustainability can work together.

Gamiing: Tell me a little bit about yourNumair Uppal work and the Water Table.
Numair Uppal: My work as the Economic Development Officer is with The Water Research and Innovation Network (WRAIN), which is the innovation arm of the Economic Development department at Kawartha Lakes. Our objective is to help accelerate the market adoption of new and innovative water treatment technologies through the implementation of demonstration and pilot sites in a real time, real operational facilities in Kawartha Lakes. WRAIN works with all levels of city staff, government officials and private sector companies to help identify and solve issues surrounding one of our most valued resources in Kawartha Lakes.

The City of Kawartha Lakes formed the Water Table to collectively share knowledge, perspectives, experiences and opportunities. The Water Table consists of researchers, municipal services and economic development professionals involved in conservation, management and research throughout the City of Kawartha Lakes.

Gamiing: What’s the importance of water conservation to leverage business and economic development?
Numair Uppal: Water conservation and sustainability is a topic of inordinate importance for both businesses and economic development in Kawartha Lakes. On average Kawartha Lakes can expect anywhere from 100,000 to 150,000 seasonal guests and tourists. Ensuring the quality of our beaches, lakes and rivers is at the forefront of any discussion can yield huge benefits to our tourism sector as well as foster growth, expansion and investments being made in the community.

Gamiing: What are the key topics in the agenda of the Water Table for 2015?
Numair Uppal: One of the key topics for the Water Table for 2015 will be around rehabilitation of our beaches and recreational water bodies in Kawartha Lakes.

Great interview with Linda Skilton from Fleming College!

By Marcelo Kawanami

Hi everyone! This is our first post of 2015, and it could not be better! I had the privilege of interviewing Ms. Linda Skilton, PhD, Dean and Principal of Frost Campus at Fleming College. Gamiing Nature Centre and Fleming College’s School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences (SENRS) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to further develop and strengthen our relationship. Due to this reason, I wanted to know from Linda her opinion on the benefits of this partnership and also her point of view regarding environmental trends.

Gamiing: The School of Environmental & Natural Linda SkiltonResource Sciences (SENRS) atFleming College has a focus on active, outdoor, and hands-on learning. What are the main benefits that you believe that the partnership with Gamiing Nature Centre will bring to your students?

Linda: The students at the Frost Campus have been involved with many activities at Gamiing including course work in the Ecosystem Management program through the Credit for Product course, field placement in various programs and so on. The formalized partnership MOU that was signed in December 2014 will ensure our involvement with Gamiing in the future and lead to more activities for our staff and students.

Gamiing: According to a recent article from McKinsey, there is a chronic under-investment in leadership development within the fast growing social sector (which includes environmental organizations). What are the main attributes that you believe that the future leaders of these organizations need to have and that are being developed on SENRS students?

Fleming CollegeLinda: From the time that our students enter our programs at SENRS, we assist them in developing their leadership skills. These skills are developed through a number of courses and the applied activities that students participate in throughout their program of study. Many assignments include project/team work where the students are expected to demonstrate their leadership skills. Future leaders in the environmental sector need to be knowledgeable, critical thinkers, innovators and possess excellent communication skills. It is not only important to have the technical knowledge but it is critical that graduates can are able to communicate with those who may not have environmental knowledge. There are big environmental problems in need of big solutions and leaders who can contribute to the change necessary to address these problems. Colleges are investing in leadership development and our graduates are demonstrating these skills in a variety of careers in the environmental sector.

Gamiing: Partnerships with community stakeholders including the private sector, universities, and government are key to drive the growth of nonprofit organizations. In your point of view, how can we increase the engagement of community stakeholders and promote partnerships like the one between SENRS and Gamiing?

Linda: SENRS has over 100 partners including Kawartha Conservation, the Ontario Clean Water Agency, the City of Kawartha Lakes and Trent University. Our partners are both public and private sector, local, provincial, national and international. Partners bring opportunities for our faculty, staff and students to engage in applied activities and joint ventures that would not be possible to do on our own. Our partnerships are always growing and expanding with the goal of working collaboratively to achieve goals that contribute to positive change in our world. Increased engagement comes naturally when people rally around and are passionate about the things that matter. What matters to our staff, students and partners are clean air and water, social justice, food safety and security and the protection of our natural resources. Our shared goal is on the overall health and sustainability of our planet.

Happy Holidays!!!

By Marcelo Kawanami

Hi everyone! So this will be our last post of 2014. And this was another great year to celebrate. Our blog received over 1,000 visitors! Yes, over 1,000 visitors from all over the world: Canada, USA, France, Russia, Brazil, South Africa, India, and 33 other countries!!! On behalf of Gamiing’s team, I would like to say thank you all for your visit in our blog, your participation, contribution and support!Picture1

We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope!

Using the celebrity status for a good cause!

By Marcelo Kawanami

Hi everyone! It’s been a while that I do not write here, but the end of the year is always busy. But this is not an excuse. I was browsing the new publications and insights developed by top strategic consulting firms today – as this is part of my daily job as a market researcher and consultant – and I crossed a very interesting interview that actor Matt Damon and Gary White gave to Mckinsey & Company.

Making Water Flow

In addition to his successful acting career, Matt Damon is also the co-founder of the nonprofit organization Water.org, that works on projects to find sustainable solution to solve the global water and sanitation crisis.

This interview was published on April 2014, and  it is very interesting to see both interviewees debating about the importance of water in the world, the current impact of lack of access to water and sanitation, and their strategic approach to tackle this global issue, which they make very clear that is not charity.

You can click the video above to watch the interview of the following link: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/winning_in_emerging_markets/making_water_flow_an_interview_with_matt_damon_and_gary_white

NGOs teaming up!

By Marcelo Kawanami

The preservation of land, water, oceans, rivers and lakes are the core for Gamiing Nature Centre. Working closely with the local community, Gamiing has developed a set of programs such as trainings, workshops, recreational programs and events in order to educate the participants on the importance of land preservation and the environment.

We are also constantly benchmarking what similar organizations are developing regarding the topics that are important to us. Apart from the big global ones, we are always observing and collaborating with the local small ones like us!Imagem2

Today, I would like mention some these organizations that do amazing things for the environment. I selected some international ones that might not be well known to you, and also some very nice local ones with which your support will certainly make a difference!

Ramsar (Switzerland): http://www.ramsar.org/
The Convention on Wetlands, called the Ramsar Convention, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

Imagem1PFE (France): http://www.partenariat-francais-eau.fr/
The French Water Partnership (FWP – Partenariat Français pour l’Eau), a non-profit association, is a muti – actor platform which works on conveying key consensual messages on the governance and management of water resources in the international arena.

OCC (Uruguay): http://www.occ.org.uy/
Local organization from Uruguay (South America) that fights for the conservation of the oceans with a focus on the white whales.

BHNS (India): http://bnhs.org/bnhs/
One of the largest local Indian organizations, BHNS is a pan-India wildlife research organization, that has been promoting the cause of nature conservation for the past 131 years.

Creatures of Light

By Marcelo Kawanami

Today I would like to share with you the amazing exhibition that the Canadian Museum of Nature is currently hosting on bioluminescence creatures. Bioluminescence is light produced by living organisms.

Researchers estimate that between 80 and 90 percent of deep-dwelling animals are bioluminous, creating light by mixing the pigment luciferin with luciferase, the enzyme that makes it glow. The light tends to green and blue, colors that travel far in seawater. Glowing helps attract mates, lure prey or confound predators.

This particular exhibition will be open just until November 9th 2014. For further information, check the following link: http://nature.ca/en/plan-your-visit/creatures-light

Living Planet Report 2014

By Marcelo Kawanami

WWF has recently published is famous Living Planet Report 2014, in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London, the Global Footprint Network, and the Water Footprint Network. This 170+ pages report brings an in-depth analysis on the health of our planet and the impact of the human activity.

Covering the entire global ecosystem, the report was very focused on topics that are very relevant to Gamiing such as freshwater, marine biodiversity, and water scarcity. I separated below some key highlights from the report:

• Energy generation uses Living Planet Report 2014approximately 8 per cent of the global water withdrawals, afigure which rises to 45 per cent in industrialized countries

• The main threats to freshwater species are habitat loss and fragmentation, pollution and invasive species (Collen et al., 2014). Direct impacts on water levels or on freshwater system connectivity have a major impact on freshwater habitats

• More than 200 river basins, home to some 2.67 billion people, already experience severe water scarcity for at least one month every year

• Global freshwater demand is projected to exceed current supply by more than 40 per cent by 2030 (WRG, 2009); by 2030, almost half of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress (OECD, 2008)

• Energy generation uses approximately 8 per cent of the global water withdrawals, a figure which rises to 45 per cent in industrialized countries

You can download the full report in the following link: http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/all_publications/living_planet_report/

You can also find the booklet summary if you are too busy!

What a great summer! Ready for the next season!

By Marcelo Kawanami

So, the summer is over once again … but as usual it has left good memories for all Gamiing’s team. This year, we received approximately 1,000 elementary students visiting Gamiing’s center and facilities!!!

Kawartha Lakes - Fall picWe had tons of fun and Gamiing’s team prepared many activities in order to entertain and educate our visitors. This year, we not only received a record number of visitors, but we focused our activities on educating the kids on the new challenges that our planet is facing through dynamic and group activities. We all enjoyed the outdoors taking advantage of the amazing infrastructure that we have!

The end of summer means the beginning of a new season. Thus, we keep with our ongoing activities and preparing ourselves for the upcoming events. Interpretive Trails Walk, special workshops, Fall Festivals and Halloween party, Volunteer Days, Winterlude… Ow! So many things! And we hope to see you all.

Global Insights: Mongolia

By Marcelo Kawanami

Recently I hadthe chance to watch a Khövsgöl Nuur v1documentary regarding Mongolia. This far land located between China and Russia, the country has a strong influence from both countries but had the ability to develop a unique and rich culture. One of the things that called my attention the most was Khövsgöl Nuur. Known as the Blue Pearl of the Mongolia, Khövsgöl Nuur is an extraordinary lake that stretches 136km deep into the Siberian taiga. The lake and mountains that surround it form the basis for this popular national park, a major destination for both Mongolian and international tourists.

In surface area, this is the second-largest lake (2760 sq km) in Mongolia, surpassed in size only by Uvs Nuur, a shallow, salty lake in the western part of the country. But Khövsgöl Nuur (sometimes transliterated as Hövsgöl or Hovsgol) is Mongolia’s deepest lake (up to 262m) as well as the world’s 14th-largest source of fresh water – it contains between 1% and 2% of the world’s fresh water (that’s 380,700 billion litres!).

Khövsgöl Nuur v2Khuvsgul is one of seventeen ancient lakes in the world being more than 2 million years old, and the most pristine. The Lake area is a National Park bigger than Yellowstone and strictly protected as a transition zone between Central Asian Steppe and the Siberian Taiga. Despite Hovsgol’s protected status, illegal fishing is common and prohibitions against commercial fishing with gillnets are seldom enforced. The lake is traditionally considered sacred in a land suffering from arid conditions where most lakes are salty.

The Park is home to a variety of wildlife such as ibex, argali, elk, wolf, wolverine, musk deer, brown bear, Siberian moose, and sable.