Celebrating First Nations!

By Marcelo Kawanami, post suggested by Suzanne from Kawartha Lakes Mums

Curve Lake First Nation Pow Wow

National Aboriginal Awareness Month is recognized by the federal government every June
in an effort to celebrate the contributions of Indigenous peoples in Canada. During the month of June, Aboriginal history is brought to the forefront in Canada. It is a month for aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to reflect upon the history, sacrifices, contributions, culture and strength of First Nations, Inuit and Metis people. Thus, we could not forget to write a post regarding this special month that has just passed, once the First Nations have a direct link to the history of the Kawartha Lakes.

“Kawartha” is an Anglicization of the word “Ka-wa-tha” (from “Ka-wa-tae-gum-maug” or Gaa-waategamaag), a word coined in 1895 by aboriginal Martha Whetung of the Curve Lake First Nations. It was hoped that the word, which meant “land of reflections” in the Anishinaabe language, would provide a convenient and popular advertising label for the area, much as “Muskoka” had come to describe the area and lakes north of Gravenhurst. The word was subsequently changed by tourism promoters to Kawartha, with the meaning “bright waters and happy lands.”

According to the last report from Statistics Canada, 1.9% (1,385) of the population of Kawartha Lakes had an Aboriginal identity. Aboriginal Peoples of those, 47.7% (660) reported a First Nations identity Aboriginal Peoples only, 43.3% (600) reported a Métis identity only, and 5.4% (75) reported an Inuit identity only. An additional 35, or 2.5%, reported other Aboriginal identities.

Kawartha LakesIndigenous peoples are caretakers of Mother Earth and realize and respect her gifts of water, air and fire. First Nations peoples’ have a special relationship with the earth and all living things in it. This relationship is based on a profound spiritual connection to Mother Earth that guided indigenous peoples to practice reverence, humility and reciprocity. It is also based on the subsistence needs and values extending back thousands of years. We should all celebrate and recognize the importance First Nations every day of the year!

Water Country Profiles by Deloitte

By Marcelo Kawanami

Deloitte, a leading management and strategy consulting company, has recently released a report showcasing a summary of the water sector by country. The report brings highlights regarding the water industry structure, infrastructure, finance and regulation information.

Additionally, Deloitte discuss the main challenges regarding the water sector in each of the countries covered. The costly projects to export water from Manitoba and Quebec to the US is one of the topics discussed in the material.

To download the full report, please click in the image below.

Water country profiles - Deloitte

Curious Facts!

By Marcelo Kawanami

Today I was researching some interesting topics for the blog and I crossed many interesting facts and figures that I thought very interesting to post here! Did you know that:

  • Canada is home to approximately 60% of the world’s lakes?
  • Lake Karachay, Russia, is considered the most polluted lake in the world? It was used as a radioactive dumping ground for years.
  • the Caspian has characteristics common to both seas and lakes? It is often listed as the world’s largest lake, although it is not a freshwater lake.
  • Lake Titicaca in Peru is the highest navigable lake in the world? It is about 12,500 ft (3,810 m) above sea level. This lake is also South America’s second largest freshwater lake.Lakes
  • the lowest lake is the Dead Sea (it’s considered a lake but called a sea), which is in the Jordan Valley of Israel? The surface of the water is 1,340 ft (408 m) below sea level. Almost nothing can survive in it besides simple organisms like green algae.
  • Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes and it’s also the freshwater lake that covers the greatest surface area in the world?
  • Lake Baikal is the world’s deepest lake and is located in Siberia, Russia, north of the Mongolian border? It is 5,369 ft (1,637 m) deep – more than one mile straight down.

Nearly $1M Committed to Further Lake Winnipeg Clean-Up

By Marcelo Kawanami

Manitoba’s Lake Winnipeg has been given the dubious distinction of “Threatened Lake of the Year” by an international environmental organization.

According to the Germany-based Global Nature Fund, the health of Canada’s third largest freshwater lake and the world’s tenth largest lake was in jeopardy due to increasing pollution from agricultural run-off and sewage discharges.Lake Winnipeg

The wake-up call worked and clean-up initiatives started to take place. The federal government is funding 16 new projects to clean-up Lake Winnipeg. The nearly $1 million in funding announced Friday comes from the Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund, part of the Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiative.

These funds and projects are in addition to more than $5 million in funding for 59 previously announced community stewardship projects that are helping to restore the health of the lake.

For further information about The Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund, please check the following link: http://www.ec.gc.ca/eau-water/default.asp?lang=En&n=D7134110-1

Global Insights: Panama and its open-ocean fish farm

By Marcelo Kawanami

Most known for its canal, Panama is also the base for the largest open-ocean fish farm in the world. By using innovative, open ocean aquaculture technology, Open Blue has moved fish farming into the deep sea. The farms are carefully located, far from shore and sensitive ecosystems.

Two weeks ago, National Geographic posted a very interesting video about this open-ocean fish farm that you can check right here.

Environmental sustainability and social impact are top priorities to Brian O’Hanlon, President of Open Blue. “A big reason why we’re going so far offshore is to get out into an environment that is essentially like the desert of the sea away from highly senstitve ecosystems, away from corral reefs, away from mangroves and seagrass beds”, says O’Hanlon.

He also adds “One of the first reasons to move out offshore was environmental, but along with that came social impact. We’re using parts of the ocean that no one uses, so we don’t have that issue with fisherman, we don’t have navigational issues, we don’t have recreational conflict.”

Geoengineering: is this the right solution for climate change?

By Marcelo Kawanami

David Keith

Hello everyone! I know we have been absent from the blog lately, but things are quite busyat Gamiing Nature Centre with our workshops and programs. This Sunday (May 18th) we will host our famous Frog Call Identification Workshop! This is a great workshop for the entire family to enjoy the spring in our Centre and learn more about the native frogs and toads.

 

Today I would like to share with you a great interview sent by Mieke Schipper with David Keith regarding a controversial topic called geoengineering. Geoengineering is the deliberate and large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climatic system with the aim of reducing global warming.

GeoengineeringClimate engineering has two categories of technologies- carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management (SRM). Just as an example, SRM techniques aim to reflect a small proportion of the Sun’s energy back into space, counteracting the temperature rise caused by increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which absorb energy and raise temperatures.

This is a very polemic topic once the interference of engineering techniques in order to revert global warming can also negatively impact the environment. Below I selected some links for you guys to know more about this topic. Share your thoughts with us regarding geo-engineering!!! Do you think geoengineering is a possible solution to climate change?

Interview with David Keith: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/04/13/david_keith_makes_the_case_for_geoengineering.html

Oxford GeoEngineering Programme: http://www.geoengineering.ox.ac.uk/what-is-geoengineering/what-is-geoengineering/

GeoengineeringWatch.org: http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/

Global Insights: Middle East

By Marcelo Kawanami

Picture 1

The lack of fresh water is an increasing global concern for many cities and villages. Thisconcern is aggravated in deserted areas such as the Middle East. Nevertheless, they are studying sustainable and smart ways to overcome the dryness of the area and use the local resources to build a magnificent oasis in the middle of the desert.

To discuss this topic, I would like to share some insights and pictures brought by Raquel Laé, a close friend and world traveler. Raquel is a content editor and web writer who is always searching for new adventures across the world.

1) Tell me about your recent experience in the Middle East.

It was an incredible experience. I was very impressed with their urban development and how they manage their resources in order to maintain and improve the landscape of the city. Walking through cities like Abu Dhabi and Dubai, I realized how critical water is to these thriving countries. One of the local projects that deserves attention is the seawater desalination. With the UAE’s growing economy and rising population, it is crucial that they identify a sustainable desalination solution to meet their long-term water needs.

Picture 22) Could you share some insights regarding this project?

They are partnering with global research centers and universities in order to find renewable and energy-efficient solutions for their desalination process. Just for you to have an idea, the Gulf region represents 50% of the world’s desalinated water. They have already started to run some pilot plants with renewable sources with the aim of building a full-scale plant by 2020. It is undeniable though that they still have a lot of work to do once the desalination process requires huge amounts of energy and leaves behind hazardous waste.

3) What are the main challenges that they still need to overcome in order to achieve a sustainable development system?

From my point of view, the main challenge is to change the mindset of locals that are very accustomed with the abundance of this precious resource despite the lack of the same in the region. When you drive through Dubai, the lack of a water control is outright on the gigantic shopping malls that boast not only the requisite air conditioning, but also waterfalls, ice rinks, fountains, and event an indoor ski hill and an aquarium.

I would like to thank Raquel for providing these amazing pictures and this insightful interview. For more information on her world trips, check her blog: viagenslegaisebaratas.com.br

Events & Workshops!

By Marcelo Kawanami

Ow the spring! It has finally arrived. And with that Gamiing is ready for a full season of events and workshops. Next Saturday, we are hosting our annual Easter EcoEgg Hunt. We have prepared tons of activities for the entire family, including forest Bingo and Hunting with Your Senses!

Gamiing Nature Centre property - great infrastructure and natural space for fun and education

The admission for this event is by donations which will support our Eco Guardian programs. Apart from our annual events, Gamiing has also prepared a calendar of workshops for the spring. Some of our already famous and well known workshops are in the agenda such as the Wild Edibles and the Tree Identification.

The workshops are a great opportunity to visit Gamiing`s space and also increase your knowledge on relevant topics regarding our fauna and flora. Additionally, it is a moment to relax, interact and learn!

Please check our workshop calendar in the following link: http://www.gamiing.org/Workshops.php

Special thanks: I also would like wish Katie Clapham all the best on her new endeavor! Thank you!!!

Global Insights: China – Part II

By Marcelo Kawanami

China indeed attracts a lot of attention from around the world. A prove of this is the number of visitors that we received from our latest article on China. The country is fast emerging as a global economic power but is still failing in managing sustainable growth.

China Pollution

The lack of reliable information due to banned and controlled media and social networksavailable in the country can sometimes misinform the population and the global community. Nevertheless, this reality is changing. China’s new leaders, including President Xi Jinping, haven’t embraced environmental protection by choice. They’ve been compelled by a new political reality: an informed Chinese public. Throughout 2011 and 2012, American Embassy officials in Beijing measured and tweeted the true levels of hazardous pollutants in the capital.

Today I selected some organizations that are fighting for the environmental protection in China. It is no surprise that many of China’s NGOs try to avoid tackling sensitive issues: not only their legal status but also their channels for funding rely directly on authorization from the government. As long as it remains risky for NGOs to contradict the official stance on environmental problems, the amount of pressure they can put on the government to implement environment-friendly policies will be seriously limited.

Natural Resources Defense Council: http://www.nrdc.cn/english/E_index.php
WWF China: http://wwf.panda.org/who_we_are/wwf_offices/china/wwf_china_conservation/
Greenpeace East Asia: http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/
Wilson Center: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/program/china-environment-forum

And we reached over 200 fans!

By Marcelo Kawanami

Like!

Last week, the Facebook page of Gamiing Nature Centre achieved over 200 fans! This is a milestone to celebrate. Through the effort of Gamiing’s staff and volunteers who are constantly posting news and relevant information, we reached a significant and loyal base of fans who are constantly following our posts. Social media platforms are key nowadays in order to communicate with communities and interact with other organizations.

Gamiing has already shared its social media content with global organizations such as WWF, David Suzuki Foundation, China Environmental Forum, among others. And we cannot forget to mention the great organizations that are always liking and following our posts such as Ontario Trails, Discover Play and Stay, The Green Party of Haliburton, and many many others!

We would like to thank all fans that already like and follow Gamiing’s Facebook page. Please share our page with your family and friends as well! Let’s spread our words and leverage a bigger and better community focused on a better future to our planet.