The Our People Our Climate project focuses primarily but not exclusively on UN Sustainable Development Goals 12, 13 and 17.
SDG Goal 12 – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
This project addresses how unsustainable energy consumption and production patterns have produced catastrophic effects on climate and environment in the regions addressed in this proposal (Boztas 2017). Previous work informing this proposal, for example, has shown that Inuit life in the Arctic is fundamentally impacted by imported foods and especially pre-packaged meals.
Historically, the majority of foods consumed in Inuit communities consisted of locally hunted animals, but since the 1960s, a large influx of subsidized “Southern Foods” (from packaged meals to fast food to canned sodas) has not only disrupted the low-carbohydrate traditional diet, shifted food priorities and spiked diabetes rates, but also increased the influx of plastic waste in the Arctic.
For the purposes of this project, the conversation about the impact of consumption on climate change will be expanded to a hemispheric dialogue. Students will specifically focus on the problem of food products, changes in packaging and hygiene standards and resultant issues of waste, waste disposal, lack of recycling and the impacts this has on local watersheds and ecosystems.
SDG Goal 13 – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. This project explicitly engages with a key problem in combating climate change:
Providing convincing evidence to people that engages them to a) recognize climate change and real and relevant and b) actually change their own behavior so that it has a meaningful individual and cumulative impact on climate change (Potter 2012, Venkatraman et al 2015).
Students will learn about the scientific work on climate change and climate change visualization, to recognize and create convincing visual documentation that might actually change their peers’ and their societies’ behavior. Students will also contribute this imagery to large global institutions such as the United Nations, and be active producers of globally recognized visual evidence.
SDG Goal 17 – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
This project brings together high-school students from the Canadian Arctic, Mexico, Honduras and Colombia through international online dialogue, to collectively produce professional imagery and video on climate change visualization.
The Latin American and Caribbean Regional Youth Group (GRULAC Junior) is a working, discussion, negotiation and preparation group for the active participation of young people from Latin American and Caribbean countries on issues related to the environment and sustainable development, and they are coming together here with youth from the Canadian Arctic to learn together, create evidence together and to produce powerful imagery that will have an opportunity to influence policy and be seen globally.
As such, we are creating a platform here for developing global partnerships and activism among youth across hemispheres and from different climate regimes that will hopefully result in future activism and that provides a practice platform to participate in global dialogue.
The project is decidedly applied in focus, in that the main outcome is meant to be exactly the facilitation of global youth dialogue across countries, ecosystems and hemispheres, to contribute to this SDG.