THE PEACE WALKS are over for another year. The environment and planetary survival were the common theme shared by peace walks in Vancouver, Victoria, Port Alberni and the Comox Valley as these communities integrated Earth Day into their event.
·Participants and visitors are still trying to assess the impact of Globe 90, held in Vancouver March 19-23. Globe 90 was billed as an "international meeting and marketplace promoting the devetopment of long-term market-oriented solutions to today's environmental challenges." It seems too early to tell if the event fulfilled its aim of bringing together government and business in a sustainable development partnership. Perhaps Globe 92 will demonstrate whether this has been a major breakthrough or merely publicity to enhance the environmental awareness of the 2 segments.
·THE ONE CONFERENCE is being held June 21-24 in Vancouver.
It's aim is to foster greater awareness of the linkage of environmental integrity, social transformation, peace, justice and human rights towards sustainable development. The event will include presentations, speakers, workshops and strategy/action plans.
·Local Vancouver Island groups are excited about the potential for a national economic conversion campaign, of which they have been the catalyst, and which has recently been launched by the Canadian Peace Alliance. This campaign will entail country-wide mini-conferences on the topic of conversion culminating in a national conference to take place around the time of the next federal election. Further details are being worked out by the Promotion Committee-CPA Conversion Campaign. For more information, please contact the committee, do 2591 Island Highway, Nanoose Bay, B.C.
·The U.S. Navy began construction on Nov/89 on the South East Alaska Acoustic Research Facility (SEAFAC) in Behn Canal, 40 Km. northeast of Ketchikan, Alaska. Scheduled to be operational by 1991, the facility is designed to measure and define the acoustic signature of the Trident ballistic-missile submarine and the new Sea Wolf nuclear attack submarine in order to predict their vulnerability to detection. The easiest access to the facility is through Dixon Entrance - an area of border dispute between the U.S. and Canada. There is no agreement for U.S. Navy ships to use Canadian waters in the vicinity of Dixon Entrance.
Deborah Ferens 601/247-8335
AT LEAST 20 COMMUNITIES in Nova Scotia observed Earth day, April 22, with ceremonies and activities ranging from Sunrise Services to beach clean-ups to tree planting. Halifax started the day with an Earth Day flag raising at sunrise performed by Noel Knockwood, Micmac medicine man. "Children of the Earth," a multi-cultural eco festival, was held at Saint Mary's University. The Nova Scotia Museum put on a special program on the marine environment. Pugwash began a project to plant one million trees. Beach cleanups took place in Isle Madame, Rossway on Digby Neck and Margaretsville; and a river clean-up at Bear River. In Wolfville, Biologist Sherman Boates and Geologist Gary Yeo led a nature walk along the dikes. Sydney's Cape Breton Coalition for Environmental Protection hosted a family Eco-Fair, and another was held in Tatamagouche.
Veterans Against Nuclear Arms (VANA) is readying for publication the 1990 White Paper in its annual series "Towards a World Without War." This year's paper is titled "Defense in the Real World." Ray Creery, coordinator of the research and writing, reports that the paper seeks to explore and explain what people mean by the real world, and what interpretations are valid which stop short of Utopia, but enable us to deal constructively with issues of defence and peace.
A draft of the paper went out for critiques to 60 members of VANA. After returns came in, a semi-final draft was presented to the full VANA membership at its annual Convocation in Vancouver June 6-7. Ray hopes to have the final published version by early July, when it will be taken by a VANA delegation to Minister of Defence Bill McKnight.
A VOICE OF WOMEN delegation spent three weeks in Vienna and Geneva in late February and early March, meeting with national delegations attending sessions on Conventional Forces Europe (CFE) and Confidence and Security Building Measures (CSBM).
The VOWs raised questions on three basic issues with the four delegations they met (Canadian, U.S., Norwegian, Federal Republic of Germany): (1) The proposed NATO Tactical Fighter Training Base at Goose Bay; (2) The future of NATO's doctrine of flexible response; and (3) Their attitude towards women's participation in the light of their government's support of the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies.
A key proposal taken by the VOW delegation to their European meetings:
"The time is probably right for formation of a Citizens' Assembly East-West, to nurture all that happens at the grassroots, to monitor the governments of the 35-member nations of the Helsinki Accords, and to articulate the new values and goals of a world that is de-militarizing its relations in favor of economic justice, environmental integrity, human and social right...."