Generation Restoration

For this year’s World Environment Day, the theme is Generation Restoration. As humanity strives to restore balance and harmony to the earth in a race against the destructive forces of rampant colonialism and an economic system that prioritizes greed, exploitation, and infinite growth over sustainable futures, this day serves as a reminder that we cannot turn back the clock and change the past. But we can and must protect and revive waterways, bring back soil and increase fertility, protect and regrow forests, seed native plants, and ultimately work towards restoring ecological balance to our planet.

At GSA, water is a main focus for us, and we recognize that water connects all life on this planet. Water, however, is under severe threat, as are the 73 remaining Southern Resident orcas, the salmon they feed on, and the ecological balance of the Salish Sea bioregion as a whole. We envision a Salish Sea teeming with life where thriving and just communities live in balance with the environment.

This is why we are going to court to challenge the approval of the $3.5-billion Roberts Bank Terminal 2 expansion on June 24 – 25. Our legal argument is that the federal approval is unlawful, as a project cannot be deemed “justified” under environmental assessment legislation when it is contrary to another statute – in this case, the Species at Risk Act – as the project will have significant adverse impacts on Southern Resident orca and their habitat, along with many, many other species. This is part of environmental justice, but it doesn’t stop there.

On World Environment Day, and every day, we want to highlight the importance of actively supporting Indigenous Nations and peoples who are fighting to save their lands and waters, standing alongside the pursuit of Indigenous sovereignty, governance, justice, and land back efforts. Although Indigenous peoples comprise a very small fraction of the world’s population, they protect and steward 80% of Earth’s biodiversity in the ecosystems that they have lived in since time immemorial. Indigenous-led conservation and restoration has proven, time and time again, to be one of the most effective strategies in staving off the degradation and destruction of this planet.

Specifically, our project partners, the Lulumexun Department at Cowichan Tribes, understand that for thousands of years, prior to colonization, the Quw’utsun Peoples supported large communities through intricate food and trade systems, all while maintaining a minimal impact on the ecosystems they depended upon. Their ongoing habitat enhancement, traditional agriculture restoration, and marine stewardship projects highlight the importance of cooperation and collaboration as we strive for more resilient and just communities.

Let us take inspiration from their wisdom and work together for a sustainable future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *