The New Diplomacy of Natural Resources Young Leaders Forum Kahanoff Centre, Calgary, Alberta 2012 November

United Nations Association in Canada Association canadienne pour les Nations Unies Growing Global Citizens Citoyens du monde à venir The New Diplomacy of Natural Resources Young Leaders Forum Kahanoff
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United Nations Association in Canada Association canadienne pour les Nations Unies Growing Global Citizens Citoyens du monde à venir The New Diplomacy of Natural Resources Young Leaders Forum Kahanoff Centre, Calgary, Alberta 2012 November Report of Proceedings Cooper St, Ottawa, ON K2P 0G5 Tel: (613) Fax: (613) Charitable Registration No RR0001 / N d organisme de charité RR0001 1 United Nations Association in Canada Association canadienne pour les Nations Unies Growing Global Citizens Citoyens du monde à venir Table of Contents Young Leaders Forum Overview 3 Negotiated Statement 4 Op-Eds 5-18 Other Delegates Sponsors Appreciation Delegates to the Inaugural New Diplomacy of Natural Resources Young Leaders Forum 2 United Nations Association in Canada Association canadienne pour les Nations Unies Growing Global Citizens Citoyens du monde à venir Young Leaders Forum Overview On Friday November 23 rd, 2013, thirty talented young Calgarians were selected to engage with subject matter experts in an innovative combination of a graduate business school-type case competition and a model simulation hosted by the United Nations Association in Canada. Drawn from a diverse professional and graduate level educational background including law, business, environment, social work, aboriginal studies and political science, these new diplomats spent the day listening, debating, seeking solutions to one of Canada s greatest on-going challenges and opportunities, our natural resource sector. Drawing on UNA-Canada s expertise in empathybased model simulations, delegates adopted roles representing one of four key stakeholder groups in these discussion: government, the private sector, aboriginal communities, and environmental activists. By approaching deliberations from points of view outside their own, delegates simulated the complexity of challenges surrounding development of Canada s natural resource development. By the end of a very intense day, they successfully negotiated a consensus document providing an immediate framework for innovative and profitable development in the sector. While the focus was domestic the debate was shaped with a global view of these issues. In this Report you will find the Negotiated Statement, in addition to fourteen Op-Eds, submitted by New Diplomat delegates, as part of a competition. These thoughtful and provocative pieces will be judged by a high level panel, in addition we hope, to engaging you persuasively in cogent solution-seeking for Canada by the emerging leadership of Canada s natural resource sector. The Op-Eds address the following question: What is the most significant challenge confronting the management of Canada s natural resources and how can Canada lead in addressing this challenge? I encourage you to take the opportunity to review this important picture of young Canadian Leaders. I trust you will be as impressed with the results as I am. Chris Bourne Education Programme Officer United Nations Association in Canada 3 United Nations Association in Canada Association canadienne pour les Nations Unies Growing Global Citizens Citoyens du monde à venir The New Diplomacy of Natural Resources Young Leaders Forum Negotiated Statement of Principles We the New Diplomats of Natural Resources endeavour: 1. to provide our citizens with a human right to a healthy environment for the sustainable economic and social benefit of all; 2. to be a responsible global leader and partner in natural resource management; 3. to meet the resource needs of current and future generations; 4. to endeavour to economically develop natural resources while being innovative and transparent in our policies, practices, engagements and understandings of all stakeholders; 5. to support a knowledge-based system that fuels ideas and innovation with respect for all. Resolved November 23 rd, 2012 in Calgary, Alberta. 4 Young Leaders Forum Op-Eds Presented in Alphabetical Order Op-Ed: Know your role Kirstin Blair Immigrant Services Calgary The world is changed by examples not by opinions Paulo Coelho The most significant challenge in the management of natural resources in Canada is a disenchanted, disengaged, and sometimes misinformed public. I do not mean this statement to blame the people of Canada but I do intend it to call them to action. This situation brings about a unique opportunity for Canada to lead the world in citizen engagement, and truly democratic policy and decision making. Over the past couple of weeks I have slowly unpacked my ideas about the extraction and exploitation of our country s natural wealth and I keep coming back to the same questions: what quantity of natural resources do I consume, is it more than I need and what is the significance? I am shocked by the absence of these questions in popular media and I think it is timely that people make finding the answers a priority. It will certainly be through our own honest and self-reflective replies that we can help to create natural resource management policies for which we will feel ownership and pride. There are many methods employed to minimize the environmental devastation caused by the extraction of natural resources, but few would argue that the negative impacts can be eliminated altogether. We may find modes of generating energy that have more moderate impacts but even alternative energy sources like electricity generated by wind turbines come at a cost to wildlife, and the sleeping habits of those nearby to say the least. The management of natural resources has externalities and it is essential that these be appreciated. The negative externalities that come with the management and exploitation of Canada s natural resources are widely publicized. However, rather than falling into the habit of pointing fingers at the negligence of some of the companies involved in these operations it ought to give the impetus to reflect on our own consumption and demand for resources. The equation is economics at its best: at an equilibrium price for a given resource, the quantity of resources that are supplied equals the quantity of resources that are demanded. We need to know the role we all play as consumers and that the creation of sustainable policies must come from us taking stock of our own lifestyles and being honest with ourselves about how much of these natural resources that lifestyle requires. In tandem with the personal responsibility of Canadians, I believe that the government and those companies involved in the management of our natural resources have the duty to help the public to understand how much they are consuming and what the options are to decrease that consumption should they choose to do so. There must be a push for basic programs of education for people about the positive and negative externalities of managing natural resources so that they can better understand the true costs. I think that Canada is in a privileged position to take advantage of our democracy and undertake a project of citizen engagement. First people can be educated about the average domestic rate of resource consumption, how it could be decreased and what the average lifestyle might look like at different levels of reduced consumption. People must also receive information about how the economies they participate in benefit from foreign trade and what they would look like if it was eliminated. It is through a thoughtful and self-reflective public that demand the attention of the government that will allow Canada to lead in creating policies around natural resources that put its people first and best represent the values of the Canadian public. 5 Op-Ed: A New Approach to Natural Resource Management Giorilyn Bruno University of Calgary Faculty of Law How can we address increasing demands for natural resources and at the same time protect the health of the environment? Canada relies on natural resources extraction and processing to support much of its economic wealth and this issue is constantly subject to debates. Certainly there are no easy answers or solutions. Win-win situations may not be found and compromises may be necessary. However, it is time to recognize that environmental protection and economic development are not separate challenges. It is time to recognize that we need a new approach to natural resources management able to lead us towards a future that is more prosperous, more just, and more secure for the present and the future generations. Many people in general agree that protecting the environment is important. However, conservation is often seen as expensive and conflicting with other human interests, or as a luxury that has little to do with the well-being of local people. Therefore, the traditional approach to natural resources management is to give nature the left-over after human needs have been satisfied. We are now just beginning to realize that a wise exploitation of natural resources cannot be concerned only with economic development, but must take into account also social and environmental needs. What was previously understood as primarily economic activity has become an issue of the preservation of biodiversity, the maintenance of aesthetic values, the intrinsic value of all living things, and other broad environmental concerns. Furthermore, we now acknowledge that a healthy environment provides many benefits, supports economies and livelihoods around the world, and it is essential for our social, cultural, and economic well-being. But this is not enough. The most significant challenge in natural resources management is to ensure that these new values are more adequately reflected into policies, as well as into the political and economic structures. The environment is rapidly degrading, and the levels of disruptions caused by human influence on earth have reached global proportions and carry irreversible consequences. Little time is available for corrective action and in some cases we may already be close to crossing critical thresholds. In order to achieve meaningful results, first of all it is urgent to move away from the logic of conservation versus development towards a logic of conservation for development. Economic development cannot subsist upon a deteriorating environmental resource base, and the environment cannot be protected when economic growth does not fully take into account the social and economic costs of environmental destruction. Poor countries are forced to overuse natural resources to survive from day to day. However, their prosperity is often precarious, as it has been secured through practices that bring profit and progress only over the short-term. For countries such as Canada that are fortunate enough to have a highly developed economy and advanced technological infrastructure, focusing on long-term visions and goals should be a priority. Managing natural resources in an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible manner does not require the cessation of economic growth, and it is not a matter of one sector triumphing over the other. It is a matter of incorporating balance and perspective into decisions, even if this sometimes requires admitting that there are physical limits beyond which a natural resource may suffer irreversible damage. Furthermore, the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources, is part of the solution to achieve sustainability. Since the different and conflicting uses of finite natural resources are interdependent, they must be managed as a whole. For example, deforestation accelerates soil erosion by increasing run off; high irrigation demands cause less freshwater for drinking or industrial use; if water has to be left in a river to protect fisheries and ecosystems, less can be diverted to grow crops. Unregulated or uncoordinated uses of scarce resources are inherently unsustainable, and the traditional fragmented approach is no longer viable for coping with limited resources and for conflicting demands. Unfortunately, natural resource management within Canadian government structures both at the federal and provincial level is currently still distributed across too many agencies and tends to be dominated by sectorial interests often conflicting among each other. Achieving long-term goals is not easy or straightforward, and coordinated approaches to natural resources management require a substantial change of the organization and systems involved. However, healthy environments are essential to the existence of humans and other species, and we urgently need a new approach to natural resources management in order to stop degradation. 6 Op-Ed: Global Responsibility in Natural Resource Development Matthew Crist Namaka Farms Inc. A discussion of Canada's natural resources is too often focused on micro over the macro issues, the local over the global issues. Local issues such as defending the image of Alberta's oil sands and the distribution of resource wealth evenly across the nation are often discussed by politicians, business leaders and citizens. These are important issues, but are we failing to see the forest for the trees? Albert Einstein summarizes what I believe to be the root of the problem; A human being is part of the whole, called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole [of] nature in its beauty. It's easy to look at the natural resources of Canada and decide that they should be wholly owned by Canadian s and consumed for the benefit of Canadian s. The reality is that things are not that simple and straightforward. Canada's people make up 33 million out of a world population of over 7 billion, less then half of one percent of the world population. In contrast Canada has one of the largest reserves of natural resources of any country in the world. This means that Canada has a significant role in the management of all the planets limited resources. Canadian's do have the right to benefit from our great store of natural resources, but this benefit must also come with an obligation to develop these resources in a responsible manner. Since Canada has more than its share of natural resources, we must manage our resources with a global perspective in mind, rather than just a local perspective. Perhaps the most widespread and damaging consequence of natural resource development today is climate change. Developing the oil sands in particular has a significant contribution to global warming both during development and through usage of the resulting bitumen. Since the environment does not respect national borders, climate change is a global problem and therefore the entire world is impacted by this type of resource development. This shows that managing Canada s natural resources with a focus only upon issues affecting Canadian's means that Canadian s reap the all of the rewards while the entire world pays the environment costs. Does Canada s entitlement to such a large portion of natural resource not also come with a responsibility to manage these resources in a globally responsible manner? Canada s economy does not exist as an isolated entity but a deeply interconnected one and Canada s citizens are also global citizens. The management of Canada s natural resources simply cannot be conducted without the involvement of the rest of the planet. Implementing a local or national management strategy for what is obviously a global issue is a strategy that guarantees conflict if not complete failure. A global problem can only be solved by a global solution else we risk destroying our environment, our economy and our people. A study of past world conflicts reveals that wars are most often if not always fought over resources, more specifically the uneven or perceived uneven distribution of resources. Since this is exactly the situation that Canada finds itself in, with much more natural resources per capital than perhaps any nation in the world, how can we prevent future conflicts over these resources? Solving these global issues will not be easy and will require a new brand of thinking with regards to resource development. In order to be truly successful, future development strategies must consider the entire world as stakeholders, taking into account all global environmental and societal consequences of natural resource development. 7 Op-Ed: Canada s Greatest Challenge Adam Frost University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business It is obvious that Canada faces many challenges regarding the management of its natural resources. We live in a dynamic world, one that is dominated by uncertainty and chance. This makes it exceedingly difficult to truly understand the weight of our decisions and magnitude of our impact. The challenges that Canada faces range from how to manage the task of stakeholder collaboration; hedging against economic uncertainly by reducing trade dependence currently on the United States, to balancing economic competitiveness with environmental sustainability. While this is certainly not an exhaustive list of challenges, one emerges as notably more essential than all others. During the Young Leaders Forum of the New Diplomacy of Natural Resources a notion was presented that all organizations and operations are wholly owned subsidiaries to the environment. While this bold statement was largely spoken in jest, met with chuckles from the audience, a resounding truth could be found in the silence thereafter. Whether it is in the name of preserving a culture, the stability, law and order of a society, or to produce economic growth and success, all stakeholder efforts, in the long run, will be in vain if it comes at the unsustainable expense of the environment. Nothing can exist without an inhabitable environment to exist within. It is for this reason that the development of environmentally sustainable practices, whether it is in the daily routine of the individual or in the industrial extraction of natural resources, is absolutely paramount for the prosperity of future generations. Though it is difficult to measure the extent of which human actives directly impact the environment, only the most obstinate skeptics deny that mankind has any effect upon the global climate at all. In conjunction with the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar, new reports cited a notable rise in sea levels and that carbon emissions remain too high to prevent a global temperature rise of at least 2ºC. With the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere already among the highest known levels in Earth s history, and with levels predicted to continue to rise, this is obviously a great concern. A rise in global temperatures threatens many aspects of human life. Rising sea levels put at risk low lying coastal regions, many of which are the most heavily urbanized and populated regions on Earth. Spreading desertification and increasing drought conditions put at risk many currently productive agricultural regions, which are vital to the worlds food supply. These are symptoms of climate change, climate change in which human industrial activity has acted as a catalyst. Ignorance can no longer be an excuse as extensive research continues to support that our actions indeed have an impact, and places the livelihoods of future generation in jeopardy. How can Canada address these issues? Currently, Canada finds itself in a very privileged position. Being one of the largest and most stable economies, with an extraordinary wealth of natural resources and one of the most highly educated and affluent populations on Earth, Canada is poised to be a leader in gl
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