Four students from Kwantlen were selected to attend an international environmental conference at the United Nations in June 2007.
The four students, Ashley Bangsund, Amber Daniels, Nadine Jarry, and Amy Moizumi, were enrolled in the Environmental Protection Technology program. The University College generously sponsored three participants. The fourth, Amber, was sponsored by Golder Associates, her co-op employer. The selection criteria were field of study, community work, and a written essay.
The three day conference was organized by ATHGO, an environmental NGO, and co-sponsored by the United Nations University. The purpose of the conference was to foster better communication and understanding of the climate change crisis, and identify goals through a common resolution.
Students attended seminars given by scientists, policy makers, industrialists, and UN ambassadors, and participated in workshops on themes such as creating moral incentives, identifying technology, and mobilizing the international community.
This conference gave the students a chance to rub elbows with nearly five hundred colleagues from well known institutions such as Harvard or MIT, as well as many from 80 countries ranging from Britain to Nigeria and India. BC was well represented with students selected from UBC, SFU, U Northern BC, and of course Kwantlen.
EPT students were at times shocked by the lack of scientific literacy among some of their colleagues studying environmental policy. But they also discovered the complexities of international relations, the North-South divide, and the true global extent of the environmental crisis.
There was fierce competition among the participants to win a sponsorship for the next conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Despite some jockeying for position to get noticed by the organizers, the participants drafted a joint resolution towards averting a climate crisis. The resolution contains twenty four recommendations, including strongly urging a commitment towards a "proactive search for solutions to avoid potentially catastrophic consequences of Global Heating, rather than what appears possible using current practices".
From left to right, Ms Moizumi, Jarry, Bangsund, and Daniels, students in Kwantlen's EPT program selected to participate in the ATHGO–UN environmental conference in New York.