Saima's environmental work
On April 26, 2015, Saima joined the march by Calgary Climate Action Network that brought the focus back on climate change and climate justice for the May provincial elections and to also send a message to the federal government of Canada to present sound policies in the upcoming climate change world conference in Paris. We started off in City Hall and then we marched to Eau Claire on a beautiful sunny day to save the Earth!
2014 Saima Jamal participated in University of Calgary's Earth Week activities hosted by the Office of Sustainability where she along with many U of C staff and students collected trash from all around campus buildings and parking lots.
2012 How I got my climate conscience (A personal reflection on the Durban climate negotiations): Saima Jamal (CPS) in partnership with Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre and the Initiatives of Change, presented a panel discussion on climate change at the University of Calgary. The discussion arose from the 2011 Durban climate talks that saw nations around the world struggling to agree on how to prevent catastrophic climate changes. In overtime, they ‘agreed to agree’ on a new global agreement to be implemented in 2020. What happens now? Do we accept rising emissions for the next nine years and then scramble thereafter to limit these catastrophic impacts before our time runs out? What can you do to impact climate change and why should you care? Firyal Mohamed, recent UofC graduate, CPS member and official observer at COP17, shared a moving and personal reflection on the climate negotiations and her ideas on how to engage you in our path to sustainability. An interactive dialogue followed with panelists from industry, academia and research. The first panelist was Christa Seaman. She is currently employed by Shell Canada as their Emerging Policy Issue Advisor. Her areas of focus are climate change and hydraulic fracturing. Her presentation centred around sustainable energy development and Shell's approach to the sustainability. Her talk was followed by Damilola Olawuyi who is an incoming Research Fellow in Peace Studies at the Consortium for Peace Studies and a PhD candidate at Oxford University. Damilola talked about the implication of carbon markets and how countering climate change is having a drastic effect on human rights. Lastly Dr. Mishka Lysack who is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Social Work, U of C summarized all the panel member’s perspective as well as added an academic and a spiritual perspective to the discussion. The Very Reverend Dr. Bill Phipps, Executive Member of the Consortium graciously moderated this event. A very lively and compelling discussion followed the whole 2 hours of this event.
2012 “Conceptualizing Peace in a Changing Climate: Perspectives on a Human Rights Based Approach to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation.” Saima (CPS) featured the 2012-2013 Research Fellow at the Consortium for Peace Studies, Damilola Olawuyi, who gave a captivating talk on the above subject. Olawuyi’s talk examined the human cost of current climate change regimes and how they may be reformed to enhance protection for those impacted by attempts to mitigate climate change. Olawuyi emphasized that we must not ignore issues such as the forced displacements of citizens from their homes to allow for climate change mitigation projects, and the lack of participation by citizens in project planning and implementation. Olawuyi addressed how direct effects of climate change such as food insecurity, spread of diseases, acute poverty, water shortages, loss of forests and biodiversity, social and political instability and economic decline, could directly threaten national, regional and global stability and peace. Importantly, all efforts to combat climate change must not be blindsided and overlook the human cost of implementing change.
2011 Oil or the Amazon? An indigenous perspective from Peru. Saima (CPS) hosted an indigenous tribal elder from Peru along with delegates from Amazon Watch to speak about the threatened Amazon at the University of Calgary. Peas Peas Ayui, President of the National Achuar Federation of Peru, travelled from deep in the Amazon to Calgary to speak about how their vision of a healthy habitat for their grandchildren, a rainforest where they can hunt, fish and drink clean, fresh water, is being threatened by the operations of a Calgary-based energy company. Oil explorations intrude on ancestral hunting grounds, as well as a critical watershed. The audience found the topic very stimulating, asking a flurry of questions. CPS was later congratulated for hosting an engaging discussion. The event was a collaborative effort with Next-Up Calgary, ISEEE Students’ Association, Latin American Research Centre, Project Ploughshares, Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre, the Council of Canadians, Development Studies Program, the Arusha Centre and the Calgary Centre for Global Community.
2011 Free Thinking: A freegan's thoughts on D-I-Y culture, consumption choices, and social justice: Saima (CPS) Abram Trosky, the Consortium's Arthur Clark Global Citizenship Research fellow presented a PeaceTalk based on his lifestyle as a Freegan. He talked about his lifestyle where fashion & music are creative outlets that allow authentic interaction with a culture often bereft of meaning, free of the freight of constant class consciousness. He said walking and biking allows one to get to know their community in a manner that cars and even public transport do not allow, providing literal and figurative material for further relationship-building. Alternative, intentional, cooperative living arrangements also compensate for the anomie city living can engender. Reselling and pre-cycling bikes, furniture, electronics/appliances, equipment, clothes, and, especially, food, greatly diminishes the often high urban cost of living, (in conjunction with intelligent use of technology). The talk was a good detour from our regular sessions and was extremely well received.
2011 Peacetalk: Fasting for Courage/ Climate Change: Saima featured Bill Phipps to bring attention on the climate change conference in Durban, South Africa. His talk focused on the 10 day fast and prayer he did to bring hope, encouragement and solidarity for the leaders who gather there.
2011 PeaceTalk & Book launch: A People’s Power: Saima (CPS) in collaboration with the U of C Bookstore presented "A People's Power" by Hugo Bonjean on at the University of Calgary Bookstore (Mac Hall). During this PeaceTalk Bonjean showed how the institutions that drive the economics and politics of our society are the cause of much of the violence in our world and why for the last 4 decades hardly any progress has been made by cause driven citizen organizations.
2011: VANDANA SHIVA "THE FUTURE OF FOOD": Saima Jamal (CPS) organized an exhilarating talk on "The Future of Food" at the River Cafe on Princes Island Park, Calgary. This Meet & Greet reception over food & drinks for passionate Calgarians interested allowed the exchange of ideas with Dr Shiva on food policy, peace activism, international development & environment. During this event Oxfam Canada presented their new campaign called GROW, which focuses on food justice and women’s rights. This event was followed next day with the Dr VANDANA SHIVA receiving 2011 CALGARY PEACE PRIZE & presenting "MAKING PEACE WITH THE EARTH" at the Red & White Club as Alderman Gian-Carlo Carra & Chancellor Emeritus Joanne Cuthbertson present the 2011 Calgary Peace Prize to Dr Vandana Shiva, philosopher, environmental activist, eco feminist and author of several books. Her acceptance speech is titled "Making Peace with the Earth". This included her commitment to social justice, food policy advocacy, empowerment of women in developing countries, her advocacy of the human rights of small farming communities, and her scientific analysis of environmental sustainability.
2011 “An Evening WITHOUT Vandana Shiva” and "Calgary Peace Prize Dinner" : Dr. Vandana Shiva, was scheduled to speak to a sold out audience of 1000 on March 9. Her visit to Calgary was prompted by the awarding of the 2011 Calgary Peace Prize, which was to be presented to her by Mayor Nenshi on the evening of March 10. Unfortunately, due to an oversight on the part of her office, she could not make it to Calgary. Dr. Shiva's visa had expired and she was not allowed to board her flight from Salt Lake City to Calgary. Saima rallied the Calgary Community to support us and we presented a diverse line up of local eco/food/peace celebrities who volunteered to speak at the event at very short notice. Kelly Dowdell (Calgary Centre for Global Community), Kris Vester (Slow Food Calgary), Paul Hughes (Calgary Food Policy Council), Wade Sirios (Forage and Infuse Catering), Chris Turner (author of Geography of Hope: A Guided Tour of the World We Need), Hugo Bonjean (author of Seeds . . of Germination . . . or Termination) and Sarada Eastham (former Navdanya research fellow) addressed the audience followed by a Q and A. Numerous local agencies participated with information booths about local food justice and peace issues. Click here to view a recording of this presentation. Mayor Nenshi spoke to start off Peace Prize Dinner event on March 10.