Petition Tag - sustainability

1. Help Protect Against the Removal of Mature Trees on Private Property in the City of Burlington

The City of Burlington currently has no bylaw in place to protect mature healthy trees from being needlessly cut down on private property. The City of Oakville however has an extensive bylaw in place that prohibits residents from taking down any trees on their property without an on-site consultation first, followed by an application for permits to remove. This is to “help us preserve healthy trees and protect our community's urban forest.” Property owners must apply for a permit before removing any tree with a trunk measuring 15cm or larger in diameter. As well, for every tree that is taken down, one tree must be planted for every 10 cm DBH of healthy tree removed. Following the same measures as our neighbouring Oakville would help continue to provide and promote the positive message to residents in sustainability and that our environment is an important cause to support in our communities. Many of Burlington’s trees in the older neighbourhoods are 50+ years and cannot be quickly replaced. Cutting them down harms our environment, takes away natural habitats from our local wildlife and furthermore, removes any kind of natural privacy and sun shelter canopy. Enforcing a bylaw for the protection of our mature trees here in Burlington is one more step towards keeping the charm and maturity of our city intact.

2. Water Filtration for West Apartments

Students residing in the West Apartment buildings at SBU have limited access to filtered water stations. Throughout the nine building complex, there is only one station. In order to reduce consumption of plastic water bottles, there needs to be more accessibility to filtration systems to fill up reusable water bottles or canteens. The University has installed multiple systems in every other residential hall, but has neglected the West Apartment buildings. Please sign this petition to help students receive better access to fresh filtered water and to stop plastic waste in our environment.

3. Waived development contributions for exemplary sustainable houses

We are trying to petition Auckland Council to build on the excellent example set by other NZ Councils, and to in fact take the lead in New Zealand, by waiving the development contributions and consenting fees for exemplary sustainable buildings.

Worldwide enormous precedence has been set by local council and government bodies where by sustainable building is encouraged through waived/reduced planning or consenting fees. In New Zealand the Far North District Council reduced the development contributions for the Green Star rated Ngati Hine Childcare Centre in Kawakawa and in Wellington the City Council on 1 July 2015 became the first major city in New Zealand to reward green building through reduced development contributions. They have implemented a standard remission equating to 50% of the development contributions for commercial or mixed developments of greater than 10 equivalent household units that receive 5 Star Green Star Certified Rating or equivalent or higher is available. We also understand that the Hutt City Council is also looking to implement something similar.

Currently exemplary sustainable projects under Auckland Council actually face higher consenting fees than standard projects. The Living House project was advised by a planner that it would cost a lot more to consent and that they needed to be ready to spend additional thousands if I wanted to proceed with seeking Discharge Consent approval (which was required to allow the Living Building Challenge to be targeted). The Living House project team believes that THIS SHOULD NOT BE THE CASE and that Auckland Council should be . encouraging and promoting sustainable building, especially if the exemplary sustainable houses are proposing to reduce their contribution to the overloaded Auckland Infrastructure. Instead it appears that Auckland Council is trying to make it harder and more expensive for home owners to follow this type of path.

The Living House project team is therefore petitioning Auckland Council to embrace sustainability and encourage the adoption of sustainable design through financial incentives as other local authorities and councils worldwide have done.

Specifically we were advocating for Auckland Council to ‘walk the talk’ and financially support the development of exemplary sustainable homes through:
(i) the waiving of consent fees and development contributions for exemplary sustainable homes (which we suggested should be defined as a Living Building Challenge certified dwelling) and
(ii) a 50% reduction in consent fees and development contributions for high performing sustainable homes (which we suggested should be defined as a 9 or 10 Homestar Built rated dwelling).
(iii) a 25% reduction in consent fees and development contributions for sustainable homes (defined as a 7 or 8 Homestar Built rated dwelling).

4. Stop the plastic “reusable bags" in Hawaii

On July 1 2015, the country applauded Hawaii for being the first state in the country to enforce a plastic bag ban.

The next day, some shoppers in the City and County of Honolulu — where nearly 70 percent of the state’s population lives — were given free “reusable bags,” like the one on picture, at checkout

If it looks like the bag is made of plastic, that’s because it is. And, according to experts, these thicker, “reusable” bags are actually worse for the environment than the flimsy, single-use bags used before the ban.

The City and County of Honolulu’s law allows “reusable bags” as an exception to the ban, defining them as “a bag with handles that is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse” and is made of durable materials, “including plastic that is at least 2.25 mils thick.”

Plastic in general is produced out of the raw material of oil. So if they're producing a thicker material versus a thinner, naturally, it’s going to take more of that resource than it did when they were making the thinner bags.

They were trying to target the most wasteful of all: plastic bags, but we need to redefine the term ‘reusable bag’ [in the ordinance] so that it does not include plastic.

5. Enforce Electric Vehicle Parking on First St. - Greenspot

Urban mobility is changing. Technological advancements are helping us create a more efficient, environmental friendly way to commute. Cars are idle for an average of 95% of the day - it does not make sense!

We are working hard to facilitate the urban mobility revolution by taking measures such as installing electric vehicle charging stations and offering electric car sharing through our partners.

PADNA residents, we are happy that you are active participants in our revolutionary urban mobility pilot program with Jersey City on First St. - with 19 parking spots designated for electric vehicles and electric vehicle car sharing we are encouraging the public to take proactive measures cut carbon emissions and to protect our planet.

Since electric vehicles are still relatively new - we would like to make sure that parking for electric vehicles is enforced on First St.

Please sign this petition if you would like to see full enforcement and towing of non-electric or non-PHEV vehicles.

6. Reclaimed Water in Shoreline

After many weeks of research it has come to my knowledge that the City of Shoreline claims, "The City of Shoreline will exemplify and
encourage sustainable practices in our
operations and in our community by:
• Being stewards of our community’s
natural resources and environmental
assets;
• Promoting development of a green
infrastructure for the Shoreline
community;
• Measurably reducing waste, energy
and resource consumption, carbon
emissions, and the use of toxics in City
operations; and
• Providing tools and leadership to
empower our community to work
towards sustainable goals in their
businesses and households." In addition, they state that their goal is "The City will evaluate and implement strategies to reduce
solid waste. The City will partner with utilities to reduce
water consumption, promote conservation, and investigate
new technologies."

These statements were made in the Shoreline Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2008, and yet it is 9 years later in 2017, and the city still cannot point to a single drop of reclaimed water being used for irrigation. If as a city we truly believe in the concepts outlined above, we need to be doing more thinking about what we are using the water we are using for, and if that water can be sourced in a more sustainable manner.I challenge the city if they truly plan to "partner with utilities to reduce water consumption, promote conservation, and investigate new technologies" to make a full investigation into reclaimed water and how it can be used in the city, in addition to making water conservation more of a priority, because just because we have water today does not guarantee that we will have it tomorrow, We should conserve what we have now not when we are in the middle of a drought.

7. Improve the Recycling Program at The University of Tampa

As a student at The University of Tampa, I believe that the University must improve the state of its recycling program to a level comparable to both the surrounding Tampa Bay community and institutions of higher education nationwide. In its current state, the University’s recycling program barely meets the most basic of needs in that:
• Only one dorm has a full recycling program.
• Students in other dorms are expected to transport recyclables to one of three single-stream recycling locations but are not given recycling bins to do so.
• Recycling in public and academic spaces is extremely limited and poorly marked such that many students are not aware of the existing, though limited, resources.
• High consumption areas such as classrooms and recreational facilities are almost completely lacking in recycling resources.
• Students are currently performing tasks in the University recycling program that are performed by Facilities and Housekeeping staff at other universities.

All of these deficits exist despite the fact that:
• Student interest in recycling and sustainability initiatives is at an all-time high.
• Recycling has become so commonplace in our society that students are shocked when they arrive at UT and find such limited resources.

The University plays an extremely important role in shaping the values and ideals of the student community, as well as the surrounding Tampa Bay community. Given the incredible importance of resource conservation in the modern world, I find it necessary for the University to offer a recycling program that promotes environmental ethics and helps students to conduct their daily lives sustainably.
Sincerely,

8. Protect the community-based, non-profit Earthwise Farm

For almost ten years the not-for-profit Earthwise Farm has been a model for small scale community based farming. Thousands of people of all ages visit us to rediscover their connection with growing food. Our farm based events draw hundreds of people to celebrate and share a new vision for the future of farming.

We are Tsawwassen’s authentic grass roots inspired community farm, and our success has been made possible by our community.

But that could change.

In a few weeks, our certified organic field will be dismantled to accommodate site grading for the Southlands development project, and when the work is completed, we may not be allowed to resume farming in that location.

We ask that the Corporation of Delta:
1) Keep the Earthwise Farm in its current location as the feature of the Market Square, as promised; and,
2) Support Earthwise to continue to deliver its community and farming education programs without interruption during the development process.


Throughout the debate and public presentations leading to the approval of the Southlands development, Century Group (the developer) stated that, “As the working model for the Southlands Community-based Farm, Earthwise Farm and Garden will be the feature of the Market Square” (Imagine Southlands website 2013-2016).

In the Corporation of Delta Bylaw 7271, Attachment E on page 26 includes our farm area as part of the Earthwise Garden Precinct Plan, and notes that it “will be retained in its existing configuration.”

Based on these public assurances of a secure future on the site, Earthwise, its volunteers and community supporters have made a huge investment in program development that is dependent upon continued access to the Earthwise Farm in its current location.

9. Free Food Distribution Center at the Antioch New England Campus

Citizen's Supply is trying to establish a free food distribution center at the Antioch New England Campus so that anyone in Keene and the surrounding area can come to get something to eat.

Food is a right not a privilege! By signing here I state that I am in full support of this mission and would like to see a free food distribution center at Antioch New England!

10. Petition to Deny Maritime Washington National Heritage Area

Maritime Washington National Heritage Act would create a Heritage Area of the entire coastline of Washington State. The unelected National Park Service and an unelected quasi-governmental Private Trust Organization would be in charge of administering and distributing tax-payer and private monies in the Maritime Washington National Heritage Area.

Many of the counties of Washington State are already suffering at the hands of governmental regulation. Many, especially on the Washington Peninsula are extremely cash strapped due to Federal Land Ownership and loss of income from banned, burdened, and curtailed industries.

In these cases, the management of additional land by the National Park Service will entangle the counties in additional lost revenues and associated cuts and for schools, and municipal services. This kind of planning results in social injustice for rural citizens already paying the price economically for federal decision making.

These once proud and industrious citizens are now reduced to watching the former source of their livelihood go up in smoke resultant of forest fires due to the heavily mismanaged park in their midst.

Access and uses are severely limited in many areas of the Olympic National Forest which has meanwhile been designated as a World Heritage Site which encumbers the area further by requiring it to meet the standards of United Nations favor in promoting parks on it's worldwide list of Areas.

This organization promotes buffer zones around these parks, and would most likely result in the entire Olympic Peninsula falling under the control of the National Park Service, the National Park plus buffer zones plus the Maritime Heritage Area would result in little if any private property remaining unencumbered. It is difficult to imagine how this scenario would result in enhancing tourism or local economic growth, considering the restrictive management in evidence today.

Similar impact to private property could be expected throughout the Straight of Juan DeFuca counties. The remaining counties mapped into this Heritage Area can expect an additional layer of regulation and bureaucracy in addition to the many levels of county, city, state, and federal regulations and policies, plans, and projects that are interfering with economies and harming agricultural lands and industry.

The Maritime Washington National Heritage Area purports to enhance economies via tourism dollars, yet if this were the case, the communities effected by the management of National Parks would be swimming in dollars and have no need of further enhancements via the National Park Service laying claim to additional management of private properties, and businesses within the mapped area of the Maritime Washington Heritage Area.

While the tourism industry is to some extent profitable to property owners and counties, it is not and should never be intended to be a main industry capable of sustaining the tax base and economic needs of the thousands of citizens in these Washington Counties.

As is the case in considering the designation of National Heritage Areas in the State of Washington there remain concerns about the possible direct or indirect effects of such designations on local communities and private property, including regulatory or bureaucratic interference with private properties.

11. URGENT: DON'T LET YARRA COUNCIL AXE FUNDING for the Urban Agriculture Facilitator position

Yarra Council has dumped its widely recognised Urban Agriculture program from this years draft budget. The current funding for the Urban Agriculture Officer's position and approx $50,000 for public gardening projects has been cut.

Last year the same cuts were made in the draft budget but following a record number of community submissions and petitions protesting the cuts, the funding was reinstated into the final budget. This years draft budget is now out for community consultation until Wednesday the 13th May. If you oppose these cuts please sign the petition and make a comment about why you feel the role should be maintained.

AS the single most effective way of reducing our environmental footprint, ‘foodmiles’ & foodwaste to landfill (responsible for around 40% of greenhouse emissions) growing & sharing food locally gives our diverse community increased access to healthy activity; fresh, nutritious food, neighbourhood connectivity, skillsharing, social enterprise opportunities and local resilience in a time of rising transported food costs, population densification and climate change.

12. Demand for local food at Hartwick College

We’ve all recently heard people preaching about the many benefits of local food and how we must shift our habits as a society towards more local and less imports. One of these preachers, Michael Shuman, talks about our spending patterns through terms of LOIS and TINA in his article “Going Local: New opportunities for Community Economies”. LOIS stands for Local Ownership and Import Substitution, and the other less favorable alternative (in the eyes of Shuman) is TINA, meaning There Is No Alternative (to a global economy). He describes the circular flow model and multiplier effects, intrinsic parts of LOIS, but nonsensical terms to the average consumer at first.

The circular flow model in economics shows the flow of money in an economy. The economy in question can either be the local economy such as the Otsego economy, the New York economy or even the US economy. When talking about local, we talk in terms of (at most) the state economy. When spending and purchasing is done primarily within the local economy it generates more wealth. Spending money at your local farmers market will generate disposable income for these farmers which they will spend locally creating more income for another producer, and so on. This is called the economic multiplier (Shuman).

Research done by the USDA (Martinez, et al.) suggests that local food is healthier and contains more nutrients than non-local food because of the primarily organic production processes and the less quest-like amount of food miles. Food miles are the distance the food travels from the point it is produced to the point it is consumed. Local food travels less time, and therefore both doesn't need preservative chemicals and wilts less as it travels. It is also harvested at the right, seasonal time, whereas non-local food has to be harvested earlier due to the large distances the food has to cover before reaching the nearby supermarkets. It is better for you, both nutritionally and taste-wise. (Ackerman-Leist).

As part of my project for my First Year Seminar, my colleague Nicholas Ryan and I interviewed a local business owner. Purdy Foods is a processor of local food and supplies to local colleges, fine dining establishments and institutions. They are fulfilling the vision on the “Farm to Fork” initiative and sustainable interests of our community. Purdy himself believes strongly in the local food vision, and states that local foods are healthier and taste better. He thinks that, in ten or so years, we should be calling local food just food (Purdy).

We as students knowing all the numerous benefits of local food must make a difference. We are calling on the student body to take a stand.

13. The G20: Save the Planet

Our National “leaders”, represented by the G20, no longer represent the voice or the will of the majority of their people and the World’s people. They appear to only see short-term economic gains while the global economic system runs on the assumption that nature can continually provide us with infinite resources. Simultaneously, the growing threats to the human future of Nuclear War and Global Climate Change now severely threaten our future and all life on Earth.

In addition:

• Our growing human ‘ecological footprint’ is now in the process of damaging the natural world and much of the biodiversity on the planet.

• Just 1 percent of the World’s population owns and controls the vast majority of the World’s wealth (Oxfam International). In monetary terms, 1 percent of people on Earth are worth $110 trillion while the remaining 99% are worth much less in terms of collective wealth.

• The Health system in many nations is in crisis as Big Pharma is only concerned about profits. In the meantime, the altered environment creates outbreaks of uncontrollable diseases like Ebola. The biggest problems in the world are hunger, health and illiteracy, yet health and education have to be paid for by those who cannot afford to in many countries in the developing world and developed world. Economics is permanently viewed by our “leaders” as more important than human welfare.

• Our value system is adrift and our society is replete with control mechanisms on people such as government surveillance, media and educational “brainwashing” so the population hears what they are told to hear and are taught what is important for the transnational businesses which truly rule the world, especially Big Banks and Big Oil.As a result, the public becomes more and more stressed and chronic illnesses increase as our food is altered by pesticides and genetic modification.

• The People do not want war and do not want to kill each other. The basis of human interaction is the Family which has at its core the values of nurturing and love. Despite our closeness as the Human Family, Humanity as a whole is fractured by economic considerations, belief systems and cultural differences which belie the basis of Community which is based on loving kindness and connectedness.

• We, the People of the World, are essentially brainwashed by the systems which control and manipulate us,and by“leaders”and the compliant mainstream media who continue to lead us to incessant wars and human degradation in the face of rapidly escalating Global Climate Change and other severe threats to our continued survival today.

14. Reinstate Ongoing Urban Agriculture Funding in City of Yarra Now

AS the single most effective way of reducing our environmental footprint, ‘foodmiles’’ & foodwaste to landfill (responsible for around 40% of greenhouse emissions) growing & sharing food locally gives our diverse community increased access to healthy activity; fresh, nutritious food, neighbourhood connectivity, skillsharing, social enterprise opportunities and local resilience in a time of rising transported food costs, population densification and climate change.

15. Help Protect "The Most Important Fish" in the Gulf!

Ever heard of menhaden? Most people haven’t, though they are one of the “Most Important Fish In the Sea.” AND many of us likely come in contact with them every day in some form.

Commonly known in the Gulf as “pogies”, menhaden are caught throughout the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, ground up, and added to: commercial feed for livestock and farmed fish, domestic pet food, and even human dietary supplements. Beyond these uses, and perhaps most importantly, menhaden are vital to the ocean and its wildlife. They are a main food source for larger fish, marine mammals and sea birds, and they help keep the water they live in clean by eating small floating particles.

Despite menhaden's ecological and economic significance, the laws that control how much of this small fish can be caught, and how much remains in the water to have a healthy population are currently out-of-date. This threatens both the natural system in the Gulf to which menhaden are key, and the long-term sustainability of the fish itself. The Gulf fishery in the last five years has averaged extracting over 1 billion pounds of menhaden each year. This equals 490, 860 metric tons, which by weight, would be the same as filling 196 Olympic size swimming pools. To continue taking such large amounts of menhaden from the Gulf every year could have devastating effects on the entire ecosystem. Here’s why:

 Menhaden are the foundation of the Gulf food chain. Fish that we commonly eat like tuna and drum prey on Gulf menhaden. So do dolphins, whales and sharks. Even Louisiana's state bird—the brown pelican—prefers a diet of menhaden over other Gulf fish. Maintaining healthy and sustainable populations of our local wildlife, and the fish we eat, largely depends on keeping healthy levels of menhaden in the Gulf.

 Menhaden’s natural eating habits help keep our waters clean. Menhaden are “filter feeders”, meaning they suck in water and catch all the tiny particles in it for food. The cleaned water then goes back into the Gulf. This natural process can help maintain the right amounts of oxygen and prevent buildup of pollutants that can cause serious problems for the Gulf. The Gulf of Mexico already has a “dead zone”, an area the size of Connecticut, where no life can live. The development of a dead zone in the Gulf has been attributed in part to a diminished menhaden population.

 Other sea creatures often get caught and die in the nets that catch menhaden. Menhaden are schooling fish – when they swim, they often form giant masses that move through the ocean as one unit (even though it is made up of thousands of small fish). Wildlife that eat menhaden – like sharks, dolphins and larger fish – swim around the schools to feed. When the giant nets are set around the schools to catch the menhaden, everything gets scooped up together, and often dies together. The creatures caught unintentionally while fishing are called “bycatch”. An estimate by the Gulf Restoration Network found that 10 million pounds of animal life are likely lost as bycatch in the Gulf menhaden fishery every year. Unlike many other fisheries, menhaden vessels are not required to carry independent observers to monitor how much bycatch is caught and killed.

Help Save the Most Important Fish in the Sea:
Want a healthy Gulf? Then ask the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission to protect Gulf menhaden. By signing below, you can urge the Commission to 1) create an ecosystem based fisheries management plan; 2) recommend that the Gulf states implement a cap on the annual menhaden catch; and 3) develop a system to monitor the amount and type of bycatch caught.

Why the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission?
The Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission is a group made up of appointed representatives and fishery resource management agency directors from each of the Gulf States. It helps coordinate management of fisheries that operate in the state waters of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. To date, the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission has largely ignored the many problems raised about the menhaden fishery.

While Texas has implemented a cap on the catch of menhaden, other states, in particular Louisiana and Mississippi, where most of the menhaden are caught, have not.

16. Review health benefits of underutilized medicinal plants growing invasively across Ontario

Invasive plants have been deemed to negatively impact our environment and food system. They can thrive in unprecedented numbers, threatening crop yields, food security, native plant populations and biodiversity. As a response, biological and chemical controls are often employed, which compromise the health of our soil, our food, and our bodies.

Many of the same invasive plants have important medicinal and nutritional applications. With enough interest, we can help mobilize their usage instead, offering a more eco-friendly strategy for controlling and managing invasive species across Ontario.

17. We want residential mandatory disclosure in Australia

Residential Mandatory Disclosure of energy efficiency of existing homes is critical in our quest to make Australia less reliant on energy.

18. Dare to Be Deep

Dare to be Deep: CPAWS has identified 12 marine areas that are excellent candidates for protection.

These are amazing places that nurture fish stocks and shelter endangered species like Right and Blue whales, tufted puffins and leatherback turtles. This petition is to get 12 marine protected areas (MPAs) by the end of 2012!

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is a non-profit, grassroots-based conservation organization and Canada’s voice for wilderness since 1963.

Our vision is to protect at least 50% of Canada’s wilderness and oceans. Our British Columbia chapter is one of 13 across Canada.

19. Fort St John Permaculture & Aquaponics Eco Farm

Fort St John Permaculture & Aquaponics Eco Farm

Urgently needed! Your sincere interest and support!

For more detailed information visit Facebook

We the undersigned being residents of Fort St. John, surrounding areas and Canadian citizens enthusiastically & whole heartedly support the need and want for a Permaculture & Aquaponics Eco Farm in Fort St. John. The purpose of which is to:

1 Supply affordable, fresh, healthy, tasty, nutritious, locally, produced food year around to the residents of F.S.J. and surrounding areas. Fish, vegetables, fruit, herbs, spices & medicinal plants.

2 Build an ecologically designed, energy efficient, straw bale multiuse facility. Agriculture Research Institute, Extension Services, Demonstration and Educational Center. The facility will house relevant offices, boardroom, library, commercial kitchen, restaurant & coffee shop, walk in cooler and Hall Rental.

3 The Eco Farm will become a permanent year around home for the Farmers Market, Horticulture Group, Community Gardens, Environmental, Ecology, 4H and other relevant or interested groups and organizations. A vermiculture farm will recycle, save 70% of the organic waste from the landfill. As well as produce organic soil amendments, to build healthy soil and organic fertilizers and pesticides for plants (flowers, vegetables & fruit).

4 Fort St. John will become a true resilient energetic city, having increased its resource efficiency, reducing its ecological footprint and empowering its citizens throughout all suburban communities by helping achieve local food security, aiding community health and well being, while helping save trees, energy and the environment.

5 The proposed project will engage the entire community in hands on learning about sustainability issues via Permaculture education. The Eco Farm will contain various food gardens with informative signage, as well as displays of sustainable products, services and community art projects.

6 The Eco Farm will be a venue for providing hands on education in food growing and production via sustainable concepts, for all educational institutions and the wider community. Teachers, students, researchers, tourists and other interested people will have an opportunity to engage in gardens design, creation, maintenance, and food harvesting with their work guided by professionals and volunteers.

7 The Eco building and surrounding property will become home to community events such as conferences, workshops, forums, lectures, symposiums and Annual Permaculture Earth Day Fair.

For more information email: mrecosustainable@gmail.com or Phone Paul Modde: 250-793-1226

20. Feasibility Study for Sydney's 'Hi-Lane'

On the 21st of April 2012 Sydney Morning Herald published a preliminary concept proposal for the conversion of Sydney's monorail line into a public walkway.

In the days following there has been a great deal of public debate online exploring the merits of the proposal. Much of the commentary has been positive and hence we think it is appropriate that the N.S.W. Government and the City of Sydney undertake a feasibility study to explore the potential conversion of the monorail into a walkway.

21. BRING BACK the DAYLINER to HRM 2012

PETITION to BRING BACK the DAYLINER

Commuter rail is a viable and desirable form of transportation in many cities around the world. By signing this petition you confirm your desire to use commuter rail as a public transit option for HRM.

The initial proposal is to continue the feasibility study for the section from Enfield, along the Bedford Highway, to Halifax over existing CN tracks.

Your support will be used to ensure that a commuter rail option is included in all future discussions about transit planning in the HRM. The general results of the petition will be promoted through the local media and a detailed copy will be used in direct discussion with HRM Councillors and staff.

You may choose to show your support for one or more of the following advantages that appeal to you:
- Commuter rail is cheaper than driving. The monthly cost of owning, maintaining, and parking a vehicle used mainly for commuting is considerably higher than the cost of a public transit pass.
- Commuter rail is more efficient for commuting than using the roads. Weather and road conditions, construction, or collisions can significantly impact travel time by car but are mostly negligable by rail.
- Commuter rail is more convenient, less stressful than taking a car. The time spent commuting can almost entirely be productive time, rather than the frustration of navigating a vehicle in peak traffic conditions.
- Commuter rail reduces the number of single-occupancy vehicles on the roads. The number of vehicles (rather than the number of commuters) defines the majority of the cost for road repairs, road widening, fuel prices, parking space, environmental impact. By offering commuter rail, HRM can be pro-active in dealing with the conflict between growth and sustainability. This will keep our city livable for our future and that of our families.
- Commuter rail benefits everyone. Unlike adding more cars, busses, or ferries to the transportation options, commuter rail can reduce peak hour travel time, traffic congestion, stress, collisions, road repairs, parking prices, and carbon emissions associated with commuting. This can benefit all residents of HRM independent of their use of commuter rail.

Thank you for participating in the future of your city!

For more information, contact Susan Tremills: stremills@yahoo.com / 835-3589

22. Stop the Destruction of the Waterloo Moraine

Stop the destruction of agricultural land on the Waterloo moraine.

Taking a look at a zoning map of Waterloo from 2001, I noticed that a lot of the outlying land was zoned for agriculture. Right behind the Columbia Forest Court was a beautiful field that glowed a brilliant gold during the fall season. When I glanced at a more recent map from 2009, this same field was rezoned as land for development. For a decade this field had been owned by IBI, a development company that leased the property to farmers.

Up until the end of 2009, these farmers were growing their crops on their field, but last spring a sign in front of the forest that leads to the field announced City of Waterloo's plans to commence the construction of a trail, lighting and waterworks through the middle of the forest to provide a safe passage from the Columbia Forest Estates to the new “Vista Hills” development to be built on the field.

The field remained dormant until this spring, when bulldozers moved in and started to level it. In addition to IBI destroying the land, they are devastating an entire ecosystem, teeming with flora and fauna. Small animals such as groundhogs are being endangered or extirpated and moved to the nearby forest. This construction has damaged the existing ecosystem of the moraine, and there will be an imbalance of species in the forest, which can cause a lot of damage to the existing plants and animals.

A gaping hole in the forest has been cleared to make way for the new path and waterworks that is going to be constructed. The deforestation of ESPA 19 happened this month, in June, prior to a land bird monitoring report that was to be completed, and it occurred during the migratory bird breeding season.

My family and I would like you to help save the Waterloo Moraine that is being destroyed by developers such as IBI. The reason we are trying to protect this land is because it has a rich natural history: it was formed by glaciers thousands of years ago, and today is a rich supply of water for the residents of Waterloo. If you were dwelling near the construction site, would you want to watch the destruction of a valuable natural resource?

Please assist me in stopping this development by signing my petition, and you will be making a difference in our community for generations to come.

23. Allow gardening and food growing on Brighton Mound

The Mound is a food growing project in the heart of Brighton's North Laine which has attracted a lot of positive attention over the past few months because it has transformed a space derelict for 15 years into a flourishing community garden.

But not all the attention has been positive: despite the fact that the owners of the land do not have the planning permission they need to develop it they are nonetheless forcing the local community gardeners to leave so that it can return to it's previous state of dereliction.

The gardeners want to stay until the owners are ready to start actively developing the site, so we can continue growing food and use the garden as a space where the community can meet and learn about local, sustainable food production and it's increasing importance in a world with it's resources fast running out.

24. Stop Ikea using palm oil

Palm oil is in 1 in 10 productson British shelves. It is grown in tropical countries in South East Asia, Africa and South America. Large tracts of rainforest are cut down to provide plantations to grow palm oil.

It is used since it is cheap to produce but it is very environmentally damaging to rainforest species of plants and animals including big cats and primates. It is often labelled in a deceptive way when in products using scientific names and euphemisms.

Ikea, which claims to have an environmental and sustainability promise use palm oil in their candles. This extremely environmentally destructive behaviour is disappointing in a company that puts itself forward as being ethical in every way.

MASC is a charity set up to educate children and adults in the West about what effects their choices in shopping have on environments far removed and easily forgotten from themselves.

25. Support Serpentine Buxton

The Derbyshire dales are famous as being the area in which the industrial revolution started. The ramifications of this were pretty huge and the costs and benefits make themselves more and more apparent as time passes. We are hoping to mimic the spread and impact of that revolution with one of our own starting in Buxton.

Sadly though, this time Derbyshire is not the origin, for what we are proposing is nothing revolutionary but simply methods which enabled mankind to survive since day one in a huge range of environments so successfully. This technique is ‘common sense’ or, in modern parlance: ‘Permaculture’.

What is ‘Permaculture’?

‘Permaculture’ is simply the utilisation of ones environment to maximum efficiency whilst ensuring long term sustainability and is surprisingly simple. Buxton is a transition town. Pursuing a sustainability agenda and educating the community about environmental concerns is central to this. Any action that can enrich our lives, reduce our burden on the world, improve our environment and increase local levels of education and income should be taken
In Buxton there is currently a site that is unused. During WWII the site was utilised during the ‘dig for victory’ campaign to produce food for the local populace. Since then, the site has been used to grow plants for display at the Pavilion Gardens. The site is now dilapidated, the accompanying beautiful 19th century building – which fronts onto ‘Serpentine Walks’, a grade ii* listed area - condemned purely for the council’s convenience.

From our current interaction with the council, it seems that the site has been surveyed with a view to being developed into housing. Maybe this accounts for the veil of secrecy around the council plans for the site and the buck passing every time we make enquiries.

On September 1st, we offered a proposal to the council for the site. We have talked to local groups, most of whom have expressed their support for our proposal. Still no response has been forthcoming. Recently we have been told that Tony Kemp (High Peak Economic Regeneration Executive) has a house adjoining the site he plans to put on the market and would stand to gain from the site being developed into housing. Whether this is true or not, the stalling by the council, our unease at the possibility of the site being ransacked for profit and the relentless progression of the seasons has forced our hand.

We are working the site. We are starting to carry out our proposal, hoping that with this we will win support from the community and also the attention of the council. We are happy to enter negotiations for working the site including leasing. We can’t allow ourselves to stand by inactive as schemes trudge behind the scenes to make more money out of our town in a manner that does not benefit the community.

26. Investigate and re-launch the Federal government's Green Loans Program

As a result of poor foresight and very significant maladministration, the Australian Federal Government's 'Green Loans Program' is set to end before mid-2010. That is less than one year from its inception.

Initial estimates given to assessors, who are at the core of the program, gave 31 December 2012 as a date for when assessments may no longer be required.

The aim of the program is to assist householders in making their homes more sustainable with the environment. An often quoted definition of sustainability appears in the 1987 United Nations Report 'Our Common Future'. It is also known as the 'Brundtland Report'. The definition is: "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".

Green Loans is an excellent movement towards sustainability. It allows for a trained professional to visit homes in his/her area and engage householders on how their homes can be made more energy efficient. The householder then receives a report of recommendations from the government for implementation. If a recommendation is expensive, they may apply for a green loan of up to $10,000. This is fee free and interest free for four years.

Poor monitoring of the program has resulted in a massive influx of people being registered as assessors. It has been suggested that training organisations over-enrolled students to their classes. A huge rush to complete assessments is occuring to recover training and other costs before the funding for the program is exhausted.

In many cases, householders have had to wait for many months to receive the report of recommendations from the government. This is issued after an assessment has been lodged with the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Until such report is issued, householders are unable to apply for the green loan. Nor can they know what any of the recommendations are.

It has also been revealed in Senate Estimates Hearings that since 14 December 2009 one company, Field Force, has received preferential treatment in being able bypass the call centre in order to book assessments. With under 10% of the assessor workforce, they are booking over 6,000 assessments per week (roughly 30%). In addition, they are passing on only half of the fees receive to their employees. This is to the detriment of thousands of self-employed individuals who made a conscious, life-changing, decision to join the program. They are not able to get through to the central call centre to book assessments, or have to wait inordinate amounts of time to speak to a call centre operator when they do get through. Even then, only five bookings per call can be made.

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Update: Minister Garrett has today, 19 February 2010, announced that an additional 600,000 assessments will be rolled out. Funding will come by scrapping the less popular loans component of the program (this may have been less popular due to extensive delays householders faced in receiving the recommendations report). The number of assessors able to sign a contract with DEWHA will be capped at 5,000. The number of assessments per assessor will be capped at five per week and three per day and the number of total assessments per week will be capped at 15,000. From today, only individual assessors will be able to book jobs. The Green Loans Program will end on December 31, 2010 and Green Start will commence on 1 January 2011. Details on Green Start are promised in coming months.

Reaction has yet to filter through. As author of this petition, I am contactable on this page. The petition wording remains as it was since structural issues associated with the program continue to remain. These include:

* Uniformity in assessor knowledge, training and currency of knowledge;
* A need to investigate processes within DEWHA so that program changes (both present and future) can be incorporated smoothly;
* The establishment of a monitoring system (perhaps random), for both newer and older assessors.
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The quality of the program (and the extent to which it may have thus far been compromised) remains, as always, an important consideration.

The government has promised an upgrade to assessor qualifications (to Certificate IV level). This is to be at no additional financial cost to assessors, although additional time will need to be invested. This upgrade provides a significant opportunity to bring the program back on track.

Author's note (19 February 2010): online petitions carry the advantages of amendability (to a point) and accessibility from diverse physical locations. This is a spirited attempt to connect people to elected representatives. Any other communication activities which occur, in addition to this petition, so that we may sustainably manage resources of the planet is encouraged. They may be individual or group based.

Having said that I will, with the collection of a sufficient number of signatures, print off the petition and personally deliver it to the Prime Minister and perhaps all elected representatives. Feedback on who the most appropriate addressee/s is/are is welcome. Thank you.

27. Enough talk – Time to Back Tuna Trade Ban

Brussels, Belgium/Rome, Italy - France, other European countries and the EU Commission will in the next days confirm their final position regarding a temporary trade ban on Atlantic bluefin tuna, a measure shown by science as offering the best chance to save this overexploited species from extinction.

The 175 member countries of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) next meet on 13-25 March in Doha, Qatar, where Atlantic bluefin tuna will be the headline species. Global fisheries experts at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) already stated in December that evidence clearly shows this endangered species fits requirements for an international trade ban – through a listing on CITES Appendix I.

ICCAT science shows tuna needs protection, but they fail to act

Meanwhile, in October the scientific committee of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) – the management organization still failing to ensure the sustainable management of fishing for Atlantic bluefin tuna – also showed that this fish amply meets the necessary criteria for a CITES Appendix I listing.

Sarkozy declares support for tuna

But the first European leader to openly declare his support for the trade ban was France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy, who at a national maritime event last July said, “France supports listing bluefin tuna on the CITES convention to ban international trade. (...) Ours is the last generation with the ability to take action before it’s too late – we must protect marine resources now, in order to fish better in future. We owe this to fishermen, and we owe it to future generations.”

France, which plays a key role in Atlantic tuna fishing, is central to this debate. WWF calls on President Sarkozy to remain true to his word in championing the tuna trade ban – and also calls on Spain, holder of the rotating European Presidency and another EU country with a strong tuna fishing tradition, to show leadership on this issue of vital importance to both industry and wider marine conservation.

In everyone's interest to act – NOW!

“What is so frustrating now is that ultimately our interests are all the same – fishers, consumers, conservationists, and politicians whose duty it is to ensure future generations have a healthy environment and food to eat,” said Dr Sergi Tudela, Head of Fisheries at WWF Mediterranean. “WWF wants to see the future survival of Atlantic bluefin tuna, which has been fished and eaten in the Mediterranean since time immemorial. It is inconceivable that this pattern of sustainable fishing should be ruined by one, two decades of greed and bad management.”

Outgoing European Commissioners for the environment and fisheries are in disagreement over the issue. Environment commissioner Stavros Dimas is in favour of the trade ban, urging the widespread view that this is shown to have the best chance of ensuring the conservation of Atlantic bluefin. But fisheries commissioner Joe Borg of Malta – a country where tuna is big business – is continuing to take the industry line that the fleets must continue fishing, whatever the long-term cost to this fragile species.

“In a year when the EU kicks off its reform of the highly imperfect EU Common Fisheries Policy, this is a golden opportunity for the European Commission to start how it means to go on – by backing measures in global fisheries management that in the long-term ensure sustainable fishing and seafood consumption, both in EU waters and beyond,” added Tudela.

The next scientific assessment of tuna populations likely to yield fresh data will not be for several years. Atlantic bluefin tuna is a long-lived species so it takes time for any change in its populations to be detectable – a routine assessment is scheduled for September 2010, but this will provide no new insights. The high incidence of illegal fishing – exacerbated by insufficient management measures adopted in recent years – makes population growth extremely unlikely. Postponing action again will only allow one more season of massacrous fishing activity in the Mediterranean Sea.

Half measures will not be enough

Some opponents claim an alternative listing on CITES Appendix II – which requires export permits to be issued but does not outlaw commercial trade – will be sufficient to improve the status of Atlantic bluefin tuna. WWF says this would again be too little too late. Effective implementation of an Appendix II listing would be highly doubtful because decisions on catches and quotas would revert to ICCAT, the very body that has repeatedly failed to sustainably manage the species to date.

“The only measure that can truly have the necessary impact now is to suspend international commercial trade – simple as that,” added WWF’s Sergi Tudela. “There has been enough talk, enough analysis, enough debate – the facts are clear, the science is clear, the imperative is clear – it is time for President Sarkozy and others to step up to this historical challenge, and take the courageous political decision to safeguard an industry and a species that are as strong a part of Mediterranean culture and life as olive oil and sunny afternoons.”

28. Preservation of Bushland at Edith Cowan University

Edith Cowan University management have no plans to maintain the majority of bushland areas on the university grounds. It is likely that these areas will be flattened for future development.

Why is this important?
- ECU campuses are known for their iconic Australian bushland surroundings.
- There are currently no intentions to preserve extensive areas of existing bushland at ECU Joondalup campus.
- Urbanisation is a major contributing factor toward climate change, clearing native bushland areas will promote an environmentally irresponsible image for ECU in this respect.
- The bushland areas support a range of native wildlife.
- The surrounding bushland at ECU provide a positive and relaxing learning environment for students.
- These areas are valued by the community outside of ECU.

Ensure the continued existence of bushland areas at all Edith Cowan University campuses by signing the online petition for protected Edith Cowan University bushland areas.

29. Support the Establishment of a City Farm for Adelaide

Permaculture Education Zone (PEZ) is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to create a sustainability demonstration site, or City Farm, at the Old Adelaide Gaol site in Adelaide’s Park Lands. A City Farm is defined here as a place for educating urban residents about agriculture and promoting sustainable living concepts. The purpose of the City Farm is to engage the entire community, young and old, in hands-on learning about sustainability issues via permaculture education. The City Farm will contain various food gardens with informative signage, as well as displays of sustainability products and services and community art projects.

PEZ is the culmination of a concept which was initially developed during a Permaculture Design Course held in early 2008 at the Food Forest in Gawler. The Old Adelaide Gaol site, which has been identified as the ideal location for a productive food garden and sustainability demonstration site, is managed by the Department for Environment and Heritage (DEH). Contact with DEH led to further development of the initial concept and a meeting with representatives from Planning SA, the Capital City Committee and several members of DEH. Negotiations with DEH continue and PEZ is confident approval to use the proposed land will be given soon.

The City Farm will be a venue for providing hands-on education in food production and sustainability concepts, for schools and the wider community. Students and other visitors to the City Farm will have the opportunity to engage in garden design, creation, maintenance and food harvesting, with their work guided by gardening professionals and volunteers. The City Farm will also host a number of static displays and interactive workshops to demonstrate a wide array of sustainable living concepts. Some of the inspiration behind this project can be attributed to the vision of Adelaide’s first Thinker in Residence, Herbert Girardet, a specialist in making cities sustainable.

The core business of PEZ will be education programs to children and youth. PEZ sees an opportunity to deliver environmental education services to school children throughout metropolitan Adelaide. This will be done primarily through educational programs; comprised of incursions to schools and school excursions to the City Farm. These programs will be styled after an existing education system operating out of Melbourne, at the Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES). The CERES organisation has been in existence for over twenty five years and has proven to be very successful. CERES’ education programs currently turn over approximately seven hundred thousand dollars per annum.

The initial funding required to commence education programs and preliminary on-site works is expected to be in the order of $25,000. Income sources will include the delivery of education programs and courses, business sponsorship via promotional displays of ‘green’ products and services, and produce sales from the City Farm. Funding from grants will be used to facilitate the development of PEZ, particularly the installation of major works at the City Farm, such as rainwater/stormwater harvesting, storage and treatment. As the business becomes operational and the City Farm is seen as a sustainability education hub, then opportunities to expand the educational services of PEZ will grow rapidly.

Objectives
• Provide hands-on education in permaculture principles to children & youth
• Establish a City Farm that attracts both locals & tourists
• Demonstrate practical sustainable living concepts
• Empower people to grow their own food at home
• Produce an abundance of food from the garden for selling locally
• Foster creativity & innovation via art & garden design competitions at the City Farm
• Raise awareness and educate people about critical issues such as Peak Oil and Climate Change, as well as the following sustainability-related themes: Water, Energy, Biodiversity, Waste, Public Health, Transport & Planning

Incentives and Benefits
• Adelaide does not currently have a City Farm – unlike Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth – this project will bring Adelaide in line with a growing national interest in sustainability education and urban agriculture
• Stakeholders in this project will be demonstrating their interest in environmental education and community empowerment as well as supporting ‘green’ businesses
• This project is an opportunity for Adelaide to showcase current ‘green’ products and services as well as facilitate the promotion of emerging sustainable living innovations
• PEZ will complement several of the objectives in SA’s Strategic Plan, including improving wellbeing, attaining sustainability and fostering creativity and innovation
• This project will encourage greater public use of Adelaide’s Parklands, helping to maintain the Parklands as a public space free from development and alienation

What is permaculture?
Permaculture is the conscious design of ecologically sound, long term human settlements that provide for all our resource needs (e.g. food, fibre, water and energy), as well as social and economic stability, without exploiting or polluting the environment.

30. Support the Establishment of a Sustainable Living Demonstration Site

Permaculture Education Zone (PEZ) is a not-for-profit association that educates people about sustainability concepts. PEZ will operate from a garden and sustainable living demonstration site, as well as from school classrooms and other educational venues.

Vision
Adelaide will be a resilient city, having increased its resource efficiency, reduced its ecological footprint and empowered its citizens throughout all suburban communities by achieving local food security.

Mission
To foster community engagement in local food production and sustainable living through permaculture education

Opportunities and Benefits
• Adelaide does not currently have a city farm – unlike Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth – this project will bring Adelaide in line with a growing national interest in sustainability education and urban agriculture
• This project is an opportunity for Adelaide to showcase current ‘green’ products and services as well as facilitate the promotion of emerging sustainable living innovations
• Stakeholders in this project will be supporting ‘green’ businesses and demonstrating their interest in sustainability
• This project will be a mechanism for bringing together the wider community around a common theme – sustainability
• The community spirit generated by this project will help to increase general happiness and liveability in Adelaide
• This project will encourage greater public use of Adelaide’s Parklands, helping to maintain the Parklands as a public space free from development and alienation

Objectives
• Establish a sustainability demonstration site that attracts both locals & tourists
• Foster creativity & innovation via art & garden design competitions
• Demonstrate energy efficiency & water-wise gardening practices
• Provide hands-on education in permaculture principles
• Empower people to grow their own food at home
• Produce an abundance of food from the garden