The David Suzuki Foundation is a science-based environmental organization headquartered in Vancouver , British Columbia , Canada , with offices in Montreal and Toronto. It is a non-profit organization that is incorporated in Canada and the United States , and is funded by close to 30,000 donors. The Foundation describes its goal as:

Work towards balancing human needs with the Earth’s ability to sustain all life. Our goal is to find and communicate ways to achieve that balance.

The mission of the foundation is to „protect the diversity of nature and our quality of life, and for the future“ and their vision is „that within a generation, Canadians act on the understanding that we are interconnected and interdependent with nature“ . [1]

Its origins lie in a 1989 „think-tank“ retreat on Pender Island , British Columbia that was organized by David Suzuki and Tara Cullis . The Foundation of the United States of America and the United States of America, founded the Foundation on September 14, 1990. It is a federally registered Canadian charity supported entirely by the Foundation grants and donations. It does not accept any government funding, except from the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada. [2] It is also a funding body for other organizations. Currently the Foundation employs approximately fifty staff members. [3]The Foundation’s CEO is Peter Robinson, formerly head of Mountain Equipment Co-op and BC Housing .

Programs

The Foundation has four main programs – Ontario and Northern Region, Quebec / Francophone, BC and Western Region, and Science and Policy. Together, they focus on the following areas:

Protecting our climate – ensure that Canada is doing its share to avoid dangerous temperatures.

Transforming the economy – make sure that Canadians can maintain a high quality of life.

Protecting nature – work to protect the diversity of Canada’s marine, freshwater, and terrestrial creatures and ecosystems.

Reconnecting with nature – ensure that Canadians, especially youth, learn about their dependence on a healthy environment through outdoor education.

Building community – engages Canadians to live healthier, more fulfilled and just lives with tips on building Earth-friendly infrastructure, making smart energy choices, using efficient transportation, and being mindful of the products, food and water we use.

As part of its work the Foundation publishes newsletters, scientific studies, research reports, books, information kits, brochures, and news releases. Some major project areas include:

Trottier Energy Futures Project – includes scientific evidence of the full range of energy production and distribution opportunities in Canada.

Healthy oceans and sustainable seafood – includes seafood options based on Green (best choice), Yellow (some concerns) and Red (avoid).

The St. Lawrence: Our Living River – focuses on protecting Canada’s most important waterways.

Natural Capital Evaluation – Evaluates and Discusses Ecosystem Services, and Calculates the Economic Cost.

Habitat Protection and Endangered Species , including grizzly bear and caribou.

Connecting Youth with Nature – toddlers and adults – to spend more time outdoors.

Queen of Green – offers useful tips and methods to reduce your personal environmental impact.

David Suzuki Nature Challenge

As a mechanism to promote public awareness and action with regard to the Foundation’s focus, the Foundation created the Nature Challenge program. In consultation with the Union of Concerned Scientists the Foundation researches the most effective ways to help preserve nature and improve our quality of life, and invites them to embrace them in their daily lives. Their list is:

  • Reduce home energy use by 10%
  • Choose energy-efficient homes & appliances
  • Do not use pesticides
  • Eat meat-free meals one day a week
  • Buy locally grown and produced food
  • Choose a fuel-efficient vehicle
  • Walk , bike , carpool or take transit
  • Choose a home close to work or school
  • Alternative transportation support
  • Learn more and share with others

As of November 2007, over 500,000 individuals had taken David Suzuki’s Nature Challenge. [4] Many famous Canadians have taken David Suzuki’s Nature Challenge, including Nelly Furtado , Sam Roberts , Margaret Atwood , Robert Munsch , Larry Campbell , and David Miller .

Sustainability Within a Generation

„Canada vs. the OECD: An Environmental Comparison“, a 2001 report published by the University of Victoria Environmental Law and Policy Review David R. Boyd, Environmental Lawyer David Suzuki’s Guide to Helping the Planet , [5] examined 25 environmental indicators, ranks Canada 28th out of the 29 OECD nations. The Foundation and Boyd created a separate report, „Sustainability within a Generation“, which addresses Canada’s capabilities to improve sustainability and environmental conservation . The foundation contributes to this success by eliminating waste and pollution, and building sustainable cities.

In February 2004, Suzuki and the Prime Minister of Canada , Paul Martin , presented the Foundation’s report on how to achieve sustainability.

Criticism

Genetically Modified Food

In spite of a strong scientific consensus on the safety of genetically modified foods, or GMOs, the foundation of the GMOs website is one of the „Understanding GMO“ page which claims „the safety of GMO foods is unproven and a growing body of research … “ [6]

List of donors

During an interview on the John Oakley Show in Toronto , Suzuki stated that it is not commonplace. [7]

President of the conservative Canadian Center for Policy Studies Joseph C. Ben-Ami , citing this statement in his article „Global Warming Charlatan“ notes that the foundation’s 2005-2006 annual report [8] lists 52 corporations, including Bell Canada , Toyota , IBM , McGraw-Hill Ryerson , Scotia Capital , Warner Bros. , Canon and the Bank of Montreal , among its 40,000 donors. Many years ago, before the Foundation implemented its Ethical Gift Acceptance Policy, corporate donors included EnCana Corporation , a world leader innatural gas production and oil sands development, and ATCO Gas , Alberta ’s main distributor of natural gas, and OPG which is one of the largest suppliers of fossil fuel-burning generation plants and three nuclear plants. [9]

The David Suzuki Foundation’s financial and donor information is available on the Foundation website. For 2011/12, most funding (59%) came from individual donors. Foundations and businesses provided by another 25% and 13% respectively. More than 95% was from Canadian donors. The David Suzuki Foundation also has an Ethical Gift Acceptance policy .

Three-quarters of the Foundation’s 40,000 supporters donated less than $ 500. [8]

Between 2000 and 2010, the David Suzuki Foundation has received $ 44 Million from tax receipted donations [10]

Political involvement

Columnist Licia Corbella, formerly of The Calgary Sun is a long-standing critic of the David Suzuki Foundation and is known for the existence of human-caused climate change . Writing about Suzuki meeting with the Calgaryelementary school students, states that the speech „That’s what it’s all about.“ [11]

However, Suzuki makes a distinction between what he says as an individual and what the Foundation says. For example, he has called to a global warming a „national embarrassment“ and has said of the government’s energy policy: „It’s not a strategy, it’s a shame.“ He makes it clear that this is his personal opinion and has „nothing to do with [his] foundation.“ [12] And, as Lloyd Alter notes in an article in Treehugger, in Canadian law, charities arepermitted to

Charities have wide latitude to share their resources for politics and politics, and they can not do it. and public opinion on matters related to its charitable purposes. Among the permitted activities, groups can meet with elected officials, hold conferences, workshops, readings and rallies, and mount letter-writing campaigns about issues. “ [12]

Suzuki stepped down from the Board of Directors of the Foundation in April 2012. [13]

See also

  • List of foundations in Canada
  • West Coast Environmental Law
  • Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund

References

  1. Jump up^ [1]. David Suzuki Foundation. Retrieved on: February 12, 2012.
  2. Jump up^ David Suzuki Foundation David Suzuki Foundation. „Frequently Asked Questions“ . Retrieved 2007-10-02 .
  3. Jump up^ David Suzuki Foundation David Suzuki Foundation. „Foundation Team“. Retrieved 2007-10-02 .
  4. Jump up^ ArchivedChallenge 2011-07-27 at theWayback Machine.. David Suzuki’s Nature Challenge. Retrieved on: October 2, 2007.
  5. Jump up^ David Suzuki’s Guide to Helping the Planet at Amazon.com
  6. Jump up^ „Understanding GMO“ .
  7. Jump up^ John Oakley interview with David Suzuki
  8. ^ Jump up to:b David Suzuki Foundation Annual Report 05/06
  9. Jump up^ Global Warming charlatan ArchivedPostComment2007-10-08 at theWayback Machine.
  10. Jump up^ http://fairquestions.typepad.com/rethink_campaigns/28-usa-grants-to-dsf-for-more-than-100-thousand.html
  11. Jump up^ Licia Corbella (February 28, 2007). „This is a Charity?“ The Calgary Sun.
  12. ^ Jump up to:b Lloyd Alter (June 6, 2007). „Revenooers Chasing David Suzuki.“treehugger.com. Retrieved on: October 6, 2007.
  13. Jump up^ Hoekstra, Gordon. „Suzuki steps down from his foundation“ . Vancouver Sun . Retrieved April 15, 2012 . permanent dead link ]