Update & Request from the Canadian Environmental Network

Note from the Chair:

Somehow it’s always surprising how much activity takes place in the fall. September hits, and suddenly it’s time to dive into new projects and catch up on existing ones.

These have been an exciting couple of months around here. Mike Simpson, an RCEN alumnus and Executive Director of the British Colombia Council for International Co-operation (BCCIC), joined the board in October. Mike has been doing excellent work in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals, and his experience with RCEN’s International Caucus will be incredibly valuable as we reclaim our role as a voice for Canadian ENGOs at home and abroad. He will be replacing Deborah Glaser, also of BCCIC, who joined the RCEN board for a brief period before making the decision to return to the United States with her family. So thank you Deborah, and welcome Mike!

In other news, a group of Ottawa-based RCEN-ers met this month for an in-depth conversation (sure to be the first of many) about where RCEN stands and where we want to go. Although technology expands our ability to communicate across large distances, there’s nothing like a face-to-face meeting to really get things done. We had some frank discussions about our hopes for the Network and the realities that we currently face, and we started to craft a vision of the RCEN we want to create.

One important point that emerged during this meeting was that the federal government has commitments that it will be trying to meet by summer 2019 (see the “Resources” section below for a link to summaries of relevant federal mandates). RCEN and its members have an opportunity to show that we have the expertise to support Canada in achieving those goals.

Although a small, localized approach has practical advantages for the early stages of this process, I want to make sure that your voices are heard at. In particular, I want to hear from you about:

1) how a national network of ENGOs and activists could best serve your organization and fill the existing gaps in Canada’s environmental community;

2) how your work could help advance the government’s environmental goals and mandates; and

3) your “wish list” of the collaboration and support that you’d like to find within the ENGO community.

And as always, if you want to strut your stuff or reach out to your fellow members, please get in touch. We would love to showcase your projects or accomplishments in our newsletter or on social media. This is your network – please use it!

 

Contact: Alex Keenan | RCEN  chair@rcen.ca

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