People and their natural environment
Environmental issues are widespread and a source of concern for people all over the globe. Competition for food, water, clean air and natural resources is leading to conflict. Like other countries, Canada must acknowledge the degradation of the natural environment and the threat this poses to the health and security of Canadians. Even the most remote community in the country is not exempt. Beyond environmental protection and conservation measures, research into new ecological measures and human adaptation are other ways to reduce the risk of confrontation between different sectors of society or different countries. The notion of environmental justice will no doubt play an important role in the future, inspiring decisive changes in the economic, political and social order.
Research on this theme may focus, for example, on environmental security at the global level and on approaches for reducing the vulnerability of ecosystems, especially in regions such as the Arctic and the boreal forest. It could explore the notion of environmental justice by looking at the impact of certain decisions on the poorest segments of society, on immigrants, on people affected by major energy projects and on First Nations. The Foundation is also interested in studies of a social, economic or political nature that lead to the identification, evaluation or dissemination of sustainable environmental practices. The link between healthy ecosystems, communities and individuals is understood intuitively but would benefit from more robust multidisciplinary scientific assessments.
Among other issues related to this theme, which is likely to be at the crux of many future debates, there are questions linked to freshwater resources, the restoration of high priority ecological regions, the build-up of toxic chemicals in people and ecosystems, transportation strategies, «green» technological innovations and climate change.