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What Parent Action Looked Like, and Sounded Like, in 2022

Here are a few of our favourite memories from 2022. As one of our members said, it's amazing what a network of dedicated parents can accomplish between naps, playtime, dinner, and work meetings. Wow! We're looking forward to 2023!

You can watch the End Of Year Video here

 

Parents delivered a strong message for Biodiversity at COP15

With the end of COP15, two parents from the For Our Kids network delivered a gift to the office of Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault in Montréal. 

We gave the Minister a copy of the letter that parents across the country have sent to Guilbeault, Prime Minister Trudeau, provincial premiers, their MPs, and the Executive Secretary of UN Convention on Biological Diversity Elizabeth Maruma Mrema. We also included op-eds written by parents about COP15 (check them out here and here), and a collection of nature-inspired artwork from families across Canada as showcased in our book "What We Love", as well as photos from kids and parent actions at COP15.

COP15 set an important foundation for global commitments to protecting biodiversity and reversing human impact on the natural systems that sustain us. We now hope world leaders will use what happened at COP15 as a springboard to accelerate efforts and meet targets. 

A huge thank you to the parents and allies who sent letters, who marched in Montreal and in their communities, and who have been following COP15. And to all the over forty parent organizations worldwide who signed onto our letter, thank you -- for your support and crucial work fighting for our kids and the planet!

The work's never over, and while we're happy that an agreement was reached, we'll be continuing to watch and push to ensure that Canada and the provinces really do deliver on 30 by 2030. And that globally and in Canada, Indigenous rights are protected - check out these recent articles for more on Indigenous rights and biodiversity: Amnesty article, Narwhal article

 

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published Parents Want Urgent Action in In the News 2022-12-16 09:32:55 -0800

Parents Want Urgent Action at COP15 and beyond

Marianne Ariganello's op-ed in the National Observer talks about what will be lost if we don't take rapid action to protect nature -- at COP15 and beyond. 

Read the full article here

Want to read more about For Our Kids' actions during COP15? Read about the March for Biodiversity here and check out Jennifer Smith's op-ed and commentary here. 

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published All I Want in Past Actions 2022-12-12 13:39:37 -0800

Send a free postcard to your MP

This holiday season, tell your government that all you really want for our kids is meaningful climate action.

Right now, leaders are deciding how to limit Canada’s biggest source of climate pollution – oil and gas industry emissions.

You can help make a difference.

Add your voice for a strong emissions cap. Click here to send a free postcard to your MP.

More info and resources about the emissions cap here.

Want to be part of a follow-up action in January, where we'll contact MPs for their responses? Sign up here!

Parents come together to protect biodiversity at COP15

For Our Kids Montreal parent Jennifer Smith and Gabrielle Spénard-Bernier, of Mères au Front had their op-ed published in the Montreal Gazette. 

"Parents, grandparents and all who care for children are, therefore, calling on leaders at all levels of government to be courageous to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. All governments — municipal, provincial, and federal — must seize this opportunity to show true leadership."

Read the full article here

Click here for more on what For Our Kids is doing during COP15, and how you can be part of the action. 

 

 

published How You Can Make a Difference at COP15 in Our Stories 2022-11-29 13:41:47 -0800

Learn more and take action to protect nature at COP15

Send a letter to COP15 decision-makers!

Envoyez une lettre aux décideurs de la cop15!

COP15, the Biodiversity Conference, is an urgent opportunity for nations to come together to take action on protecting biodiversity -- many have called it the Paris Accord of Biodiversity. 

Since 1970, the number of animals has dropped catastrophically by 69%, due largely to habitat loss, and increasingly due to climate change.

Yet the solutions to biodiversity loss and climate change go hand in hand. Forests and wetlands act as carbon sinks. By protecting them we can significantly reduce climate changing emissions. And protecting and restoring natural and wild spaces provides a buffer against extreme weather. Following the lead of Indigenous peoples in the protection of their lands ensures meaningful, equitable and effective plans will be put in place. 

What you can do to help

Sign our letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and COP Secretary Elizabeth Maruma Mrema (français) calling for decisive action at COP15! We want these decision makers to know that parents and families in Canada and across the world are watching and want to see bold action on biodiversity.

Attend the March for Biodiversity and Human Rights in Montreal, on December 10. More details here. If you are not in Montreal, considering setting up an action of solidarity on the same day (feel free to reach out to us for ideas and connections).

Share widely with your friends, family and networks. It is important that people know that COP15 is happening, that biodiversity is in crisis, that the solutions to climate change and nature loss are tied together, and that their voice matters. On social media, use the hashtags #ForNature, #Biodiversity, #LivingGenerations, #COP15

Learn More

To learn more about Biodiversity and COP15, check out these resources and organizations:

Amnesty International on why 30 by 30 will only work if it's coupled with protections for Indigenous rights and centres Indigenous peoples in stewarding the land 

How can Canada stop the biodiversity crisis? Step back and centre Indigenous peoples article by Stephanie Wood, The Narwhal

What's at stake at COP15, article by Ainslie Cruickshank, The Narwhal

Biodiversity summit offers Canada a chance to step up, by David Suzuki

CPAWS is a national organization with provincial chapters that work in support of Indigenous nations to protect local natural spaces. Sign their pledge to show your support and to get connected with your local provincial chapter (and check out how your province is doing).

Climb aboard the Nature Bus!

World Wildlife Fund

COP15 Conference page

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published Speaking up at School Councils in Our Stories 2022-11-21 13:16:27 -0800

Speaking up at School Councils

This fall, many parents spoke up on climate at their school parent council meetings. 

This fall family action built on the work at schools that many parents have been doing, and was a way to start something new for other parents. 

For many, reaching out to the parent council was intimidating, but it could be surprisingly effective. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shannon ended up joining the board of her parent council, and is pushing for more climate action, and for greener fundraising. One of the steps she's taking is encouraging her school to join the EcoSchools certification programme. 

 

Reaching to the parent council helped bring new perspective to the school community. 

Anita has been reaching out to her parent council for years, and has sometimes felt frustrated by lack of action. This fall she decided to start a subcommittee focused on Sustainability, and has been spreading the word. 

 

The fall parent council action helped build awareness and energy for the good work that's already underway. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Julia reached out, she was able to get an answer to her question, and since then the principal has been including climate news in the school newsletter, including information about an upcoming workshop on youth mental health and climate.

 

Like any kind of climate conversation, it can be hard to bring climate change to your school, where you don't know how people will respond, and where there's often resistance to anything that feels negative or worrying. Speaking up in a big group isn't in line with all our personalities or styles, or the time we have available. For me, I sent an email to the executive asking if we could host a 20minute schoolyard climate conversation at an upcoming meeting. As I wait to hear back, I'm pushing myself to talk climate when I'm at the playground with fellow grade one parents. 

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Parents call for real climate action at COP27

Claire Kraatz of the Calgary For Our Kids team and Jana MacDonald of the Vancouver team joined up to write this op-ed in The National Observer, calling for real climate action from Canada's delegates at COP27 -- commitments that go beyond local political aspirations. 

Read the full article here

published Keep the pressure on at COP27 in Past Actions 2022-11-08 08:55:56 -0800

Keep the pressure on at COP27

COP27 started on Sunday November 6 and will continue until November 18 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. In a stark opening address, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told delegates, "Humanity has a choice: co-operate or perish."

Talks will focus on reducing emissions, helping countries to prepare for and face climate change, and securing technical support and funding for developing countries. Specifically, Loss and damage financing to help developing countries recover from the effects of climate change will be an important focus. 

A number of youth and parent delegates will be attending the conference as well. November 10 is Youth and Future Generations Day, when the focus will be on the impacts of climate change on children and future generations. The reality is though, that globally and especially in the Global South, children are already facing significant impacts from climate change.

For climate parents, this is our focus every day -- but for many others the connection still hasn't been made. Take action during this COP by helping to bring attention to the impacts of climate change on children, in Canada and globally.

  • If you use social media, see the action below organized by Our Kids Climate Global and Parents for Future. Post your photo on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or TikTok with the hashtag #KidsFirst #COP27
  • Talk to your friends and family about COP27 and the opportunities it brings for real action.... and keep the pressure building for real action.
  • Watch and share this powerful video just released by Our Kids Climate and Parents for Future!

This recent article in Today's Parent magazine by For Our Kids Communications intern Rebecca is a simple look at what parents can do, and an easy share.

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All We Really Want is Climate Justice

Moms in the For Our Kids network collaborated on a powerful op-ed in The Province, arguing that what we really want is the well-being of our kids, and that depends on having a livable climate to grow up in. 

Read the full article here

Parents call for electric school buses in B.C.

Electric School Bus Campaigner Ruth Kamnitzer and Pembina Institute analyst Colton Kasteel collaborated to write this powerful op-ed for the Victoria Times Colonist. They make a strong argument for why all new school buses should be electric in B.C. (and hopefully this will provide a model for other provinces too). 

Read the full article here

 

published Parent Council Action 2022-10-03 15:15:32 -0700

Parent Council Action

Thanks for your interest in the fall family action, connecting with your school parent council.

Speaking up at a parent council meeting can be scary. Sometimes it helps to know you're part of a community of people taking this action, and to make a commitment.

Sign up here to commit to attending a parent council meeting (or other gathering of parents/people).

Signing up will also allow us keep track of our impact, and to reach out to you, offer support, and maybe even share your story (if you wish).

Thanks for all your work!

Sign up
published Fall Family Action in Past Actions 2022-09-28 11:14:20 -0700

Fall Family Action: Attend a School Parent Council Meeting

It’s back to school for many families! 

A new school year can feel as exciting and sometimes nerve-wracking for parents as it does for kids. As our children begin to adjust to a new year, Parent Councils are also gearing up. (In some provinces they’re known as Parent Advisory Councils, others as School Councils, and even as the Parent Teacher Association or PTA). Whatever you call it – and however you feel about it – the parent council can offer an exciting opportunity for climate action. Our Fall Family Action is to connect with the parent volunteers at your child’s school, in whatever way works for you. 

A great starting point is to ATTEND A PARENT COUNCIL MEETING

All parents can attend the parent council, even if you’re not up for taking a leadership role. (But if you are, now is the time to join your parent council executive). Here are some ideas:

  • Just listen for a while. Get to know how things run and who your fellow parents are. 
  • Put climate on the agenda: Ask what climate plans the school already has. Ask if other parents are concerned about the impacts of climate change.  
  • Consider starting a Climate or Environment subcommittee if there is enough interest.
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published September 23, 2022 in Our Stories 2022-09-26 09:53:11 -0700

Global Climate Strike September 23, 2022

On Friday September 23, For Our Kids teams across Canada joined in the global youth-led movement for climate justice, organized by the Fridays for Future movement. 

Vancouver and Burnaby For Our Kids teams

Thousands of people came out to events in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria with 41 different events taking place across Canada. We listened to inspiring speakers from all generations, teams connected with each other, made art together, marched. Alongside the youth, we called for climate justice, an end to fossil fuel exploitation, a fair and just transition, and respect for Indigenous rights.

Many speakers reminded us of the urgent need for mitigation and reparations to countries like Pakistan, that are feeling the impacts of climate change right now. Thanks to everyone that took part.

For Our Kids Toronto team

Burnaby For Our Kids

 

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