Environment pathfinder

EDUCATION

Canada’s Aquatic Environments
http://www.aquatic.uoguelph.ca/

A well-organized, user-friendly site offering general information on all aspects of Canada’s aquatic environments. Intended for use in the classroom but useful for journalists seeking backgrounders on Canada’s aquatic environments. Created by the CyberNatural Software Group, a research team at the University of Guelph.

Eco-Centres at Planetfriendly.net
http://www.planetfriendly.net/learn.html

This site features a comprehensive listing of ecological resource centres, parks, environmental boutiques, environmental education programs and more. Most are located in southern Ontario. The site is maintained by Planetfriendly.net, a “gateway site” for Canadians seeking to get connected to the environmental community.

Canadian Journal of Environmental Education
http://www.uleth.ca/edu/research/ictrd/cjee

This is the home page for Canada’s leading journal of environmental education. You can view recent issues in pdf format. There is no way to search the journal archives for a specific issue or article, but the site contains dozens of excellent articles relating to environmental education.

GLOBAL INITIATIVES

Public Health and Environment at the World Health Organization (WHO)
http://www.who.int/phe/en/

This branch of the WHO deals with environmental issues that affect human health. The site appears a bit skimpy at first, but look to the left and right of the opening page for the best info. On your right, find a list of recently published WHO articles on public health, and below those, a link for media contacts. On your left, find a link called “PHE health topics,” which will take you to a list of excellent links showcasing WHO research on 13 environmental issues, including children’s environmental health, chemical safety and water sanitation.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
http://www.unep.org/

The UNEP is a mammoth United Nations organization with a mission to encourage environmentally sound development. The site is somewhat byzantine, but includes a “resources for journalists” link on the bottom left of the home page, where you’ll find information about UNEP’s most recent projects, as well as a link for media contacts listed by region.

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
http://www.iisd.org/

The IISD is a non-partisan policy research institute. It is Canadian-based, not-for-profit, and works with businesses, government and NGOs to help make policy decisions that benefit the economy, the environment and social causes at the same time. Find Canadian experts on a wide range of topics, from environmental staples like climate change and biodiversity to foreign investment, security and trade.

Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI)
http://www.iclei.org/

This is a global initiative uniting 475 towns, cities and counties in efforts to promote sustainable development. Started in 1990 at a United Nations meeting in New York, the ICLEI is an excellent source for worldwide trends and topics in environment and sustainable development. Find contact information for the World Secretariat, located in Toronto, on this site.

World Conservation Union (WCU)
http://www.iucn.org/

Headquartered in Switzerland, the World Conservation Union is a huge global partnership that counts 82 countries and 800 NGOs among its members. It is essentially a conservation lobby group, active globally. This site offers news on WCU’s recent projects, including several taking place in Canada. The site offers contact information for its Swiss office.

GOVERNMENT

Federal Government

Environment Canada
http://www.ec.gc.ca/

This is a huge, highly searchable and browsable site. It includes a weather map, full-text versions of environmental legislation, a listing of environmental conferences and events, and a catalogue of information on 21 different environmental topics. These topics narrow considerably as you click into them, meaning the site offers a lot of information on a wide array of environmental topics. Certainly not a source for progressive activism or cutting-edge critical perspectives on environmental issues, but a good source of backgrounders. Find the federal government’s approach/stance/perspective on a laundry list of environmental topics.

Statistics Canada: Environment
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/ind01/l2_1762.htm

An excellent source for hard data on pollution, natural resources, waste management, and many other environmental topics.

The Atlas of Canada: Environment
http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/maps/environment

An extremely useful catalogue of environmentally themed maps of Canada. Every map is accompanied by text offering detailed explanations of the chosen environmental theme.

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/index_e.htm

The environmental assessment agency is mandated to help Canadians make decisions that contribute to sustainable development. This site has basic information journalists need to understand Canada’s environmental assessment program, and also features a full-text version of Canada’s Environmental Assessment Act. This agency is responsible for administering the Act, and is a source of expertise on federal environmental assessment. Experts should be available through the Ottawa office number, listed under “Contact Us.”

Auditor General’s Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development
http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/domino/cesd_cedd.nsf/html/menu8_e.html

This is the site of Canada’s environmental auditor. As a kind of in-house watchdog for green policy initiatives, the commissioner ensures that the federal government is using and promoting environmentally friendly policy initiatives. Like the environmental assessment agency site, this page could be useful for journalists seeking informed, critical perspectives on federal environmental policy.

Provincial Governments

Alberta Environment
http://environment.gov.ab.ca/default.aspx

This site is divided into sections on land, air, water, waste and climate change. Find Alberta-specific environmental information and resources, as well as contact listings for the Alberta’s Environment Ministry.

British Columbia Environment
http://www2.gov.bc.ca

The B.C. Ministry of Environment website, though informative and thorough, is very poorly organized. Use the “Subject Index A-Z” link on the right-hand side of the home page for more efficient navigation of the many environmental topics covered on this site.

Manitoba Environment
http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/index.html?index.html

The Manitoba Conservation website is extensive and detailed, but poorly organized. Use the search tool for easier navigation.

New Brunswick Environment
http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/biling/elg.html

On New Brunswick’s Ministry of Environment web page, find news and information about the department, contacts, key subjects (waste, water, etc.) and a grab bag of other resources.

Newfoundland and Labrador Environment
http://www.env.gov.nl.ca/env/

The Department of Environment and Conservation of Newfoundland and Labrador maintains this plain, unembellished site. Offers a great deal of information and resources, mostly in pdf format, on a range of region-specific environmental topics and departmental policy.

Northwest Territories Environment
http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/

The N.W.T. Environment and Natural Resources website features, most impressively, a phone directory of N.W.T. public officials. The site boasts a search option (under “Site Features”), a convenient sitemap and good organization in general. User-friendly.

Nova Scotia Environment
http://www.gov.ns.ca/enla/

Nova Scotia Environment and Labour handles the protection of both the environment and individual citizens. For most effective navigation, either use the search tool or click “Air, Land, Water” on the left-hand side of the screen for details on the province’s environmental policies, programs and approach to environmental issues.

Ontario Environment
http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/

This site is very thorough and highly navigable. Divided into sections on air, land and water, plus a laundry list of links and departmental news. Journalists might wish to note the phone number for the Ministry’s Public Information Centre in the bottom right-hand corner of the page.

Prince Edward Island Environment
http://www.gov.pe.ca/eef/

P.E.I.’s environment department is called Environment, Energy and Forestry. Find contact information, links to the various departmental divisions (Energy and Minerals, Pollution Prevention, etc.), and a laundry list of useful and interesting online resources relating to P.E.I. environment.

Quebec Environment
http://www.mddep.gouv.qc.ca/ministere/inter_en.htm

The English on this site is a little shaky, and many resources are available only in French. Links on the blue bar at the top of the page (Biodiversity, Parks, Pesticides, etc.) might be most useful to journalists. Find contact info, including a full directory of the ministry, under “Contact Us” at the top of the home page.

Saskatchewan Environment
http://www.se.gov.sk.ca/

Find a highly useful “telephone book” of Saskatchewan Environment officials and employees at the top right-hand corner of the home page. A comprehensive site logically organized into ten main topic areas (Corporate, Forestry, Parks, etc.).

Yukon Environment
http://www.env.gov.yk.ca/

The Yukon Environment site offers all the tools a journalist might want, including contact info, a search tool, a list of popular topics, recent publications and information divided by branch of government.

Municipal Governments

Toronto Environment
http://www.toronto.ca/environment/index.htm

Find a wealth of information on Toronto’s environment page, including the city’s “Green Guide,” a convenient summary of the city’s environmental projects, programs and policies. On the left-hand side of the page, find a laundry list of topics on Toronto and the environment. Under “Contact Us” find a directory of all Toronto officials, listed alphabetically—unfortunately, environment-specific contact info is not listed on the site.

Vancouver Environment
http://vancouver.ca/enviro.html

This site features a short list of links to sites dealing with aspects of the Vancouver environment. Most are sites run by the municipal government.

Local Governments for Sustainability
http://www.iclei.org/

This is a global initiative uniting 475 towns, cities and counties in efforts to promote sustainable development. Started in 1990 at a United Nations meeting in New York, the ICLEI is an excellent source for worldwide trends and topics in environment and sustainable development. Find contact information for the World Secretariat, located in Toronto, on this site.

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS (NGOs)

Activist Groups

Sierra Club of Canada
http://www.sierraclub.ca/

With offices in seven cities across Canada and chapters all over the country, the Sierra Club is probably Canada’s leading environmental NGO. It maintains a dynamic lobby at the federal level. The Sierra Club covers a wide range of environmental issues, but devotes significant attention to corporate responsibility and the evolution of a sustainable economy. Find convenient topic headings on the left-hand side of the home page, and a comprehensive listing of contact info under “Contact Us”.

Greenpeace Canada
http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/

The world’s most prominent environmental NGO takes a strong, activist stance on a wide range of environmental issues, and is usually forthcoming with commentary. This site contains a lot of information and resources but is quite navigable. Hit the “Press Centre” link for contact information, recent reports and press releases.

Nature Canada
http://www.naturecanada.ca

Nature Canada is a member-based conservation group operating out of Ottawa. With 40,000 supporters and a history of taking the federal government to court over non-compliance with environmental legislation, this is another excellent source for strong commentary and perspectives on environmental issues and policy in Canada.

Environmental Youth Alliance (EYA)
http://www.eya.ca/index.php?id=54

The EYA is a Vancouver-based NGO that galvanizes youth in volunteer projects and environmental lobbying. Active mostly in BC, but also nationally and abroad. A leader among environmental NGOs, the EYA would be an excellent source for youth activist perspectives on Canadian environmental issues.

Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE)
http://www.cape.ca/

The CAPE is an award-winning professional guild that lobbies for public policy that promotes health and the environment. The notion is that doctors and other health practitioners can bring their expertise to bear in debates on environmental issues. Includes a unique section on green health care.

Research Groups

The Canadian Environmental Network
http://www.cen-rce.org/

The Canadian Environmental Network is one of the best public policy groups for progressive action on environmental issues in Canada. It is funded in part by Environment Canada, making it part-NGO, part government affiliate. A good source for journalists seeking insider perspectives on governmental progress on the environment front. A laundry list of useful phone numbers takes a couple of clicks to find: first “About Us” on the home page, then “Contact Us”.

Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP)
http://www.cielap.org/

This is probably the best source for legal perspectives on environmental issues in Canada. Highly connected in business, academia and government, this Toronto-based study group has been conducting research and informing Canadian public environmental policy decisions for over 35 years. Contact Maureen Carter-Whitney or Anne Mitchell, listed on the site, for comment.

POLITICAL PARTIES

Green Party of Canada
http://www.greenparty.ca/

This site contains any information journalists might want about Canada’s biggest and fastest-growing environmental party, the Green Party of Canada. Includes descriptions of the party platform, party news, an events calendar, and a rather weak contact section with a few e-mail addresses and the phone number for the party’s headquarters in Ottawa.

Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada
http://www.environmentvoters.org/home.html

This is a single-issue party operating in Toronto and initiated in 2005. It was created from two successful non-profits, one called Animal Alliance of Canada and the other Evironment Voters, hence the cumbersome party name. Contact Liz White for critical perspectives on environmental policy in Canada and environmental activism in general.

PUBLICATIONS

Alternatives Journal
http://www.alternativesjournal.ca/

The mandate at Alternatives is to provide a venue for environmental experts to propose solutions to environmental issues and progressive alternatives to environmental public policy. Based at the University of Waterloo, Alternatives is a leading source of Canadian environmental journalism and a registered charity. Find selections from the current issue, as well as back issues, contact information and a history of the journal on this well-designed site.

E/The Environmental Magazine Online
http://www.emagazine.com/

E is a bimonthly publication and a self-described “clearinghouse” of information relating to the environment, which means everything from how to make organic wine to reports on hydrogen fuel cells and the state of conservation in the United States. Based in Connecticut, this is a good source for Canadian journalists seeking American perspectives on the broadest range of environmental issues.

Canadian Journal of Environmental Education
http://www.uleth.ca/edu/research/ictrd/cjee

This is the home page for Canada’s leading journal of environmental education. You can view recent issues in pdf format. There is no way to search the journal archives for a specific issue or article, but the site contains dozens of excellent articles relating to environmental education.

RESOURCES

Legal

Hieros Gamos Worldwide Legal Directories
http://www.hg.org/lawfirms.asp?action=search&subcategory=Environmental&country=Canada

Find a directory of Canadian law firms that deal with environmental law, including Baker & Baker in Vancouver, Lavery de Billy in Montreal and Patterson Palmer in Halifax. This listing is part of the larger Hieros Gamos legal directory.

Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP)
http://www.cielap.org/

This is probably the best source for legal perspectives on environmental issues in Canada. Highly connected in business, academia and government, this Toronto-based legal study group has been conducting research and informing Canadian public environmental policy decisions for over 35 years. Contact Maureen Carter-Whitney or Anne Mitchell, listed on the site, for comment.

News

Environment Globe
http://environmentsection.com/

This is an excellent site: comprehensive, navigable, and impressively broad-ranging. As part of the World News Network, Environment Globe lists environmental news stories from newspapers and wire services all over the English-speaking world. Includes an archive and search tool. Stories are listed by region, by environmental theme or under “breaking news.”

Databases

World Environmental Library
http://nzdl.sadl.uleth.ca/cgi-bin/library?a=p&p=about&c=envl

This database offers access to 400 environmental publications. Search by title, organization or subject. Easy to use, a good online library-style resource for journalists.

The Environment Web Directory
http://www.webdirectory.com/

This is an excellent pathfinder resource listing sites on a comprehensive range of environmental topics. Most sources are American, with a few exceptions, so this database is most useful for Canadian journalists seeking general, not local, information.

Environment and Nature Yahoo! Directory
http://dir.yahoo.com/society_and_culture/environment_and_nature/

A laundry list of environmental topics in the Yahoo! directory. Of similar scope and size as the Environment Web Directory, above.

UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS

The Environmental Education and Programs Directory
http://www.brocku.ca/envi/

This site features a detailed listing of faculty at the Centre for the Environment, under “Faculty and Staff,” including phone numbers and areas of expertise.

Mcgill School of Environment
http://www.mcgill.ca/mse/research_faculty/joint_appointed/

The above link brings journalists directly to a listing of School of Environment faculty, including areas of expertise and contact information.

McMaster Institute of Environment and Health
http://www.mcmaster.ca/mieh/index/contact.htm

This is a listing of staff at McMaster’s Institute of Environment and Health. The listing does not offer descriptions of areas of expertise, but does list several phone numbers of institute researchers.

University of Toronto’s Centre for Environment
http://www.environment.utoronto.ca/

Find a comprehensive listing of faculty at U of T’s Centre for Environment. The directory includes each faculty member’s office location and a detailed description of his or her research interests.

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