Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Celebrating Earth Day 2012

Friday, April 27th, 2012

In celebration of Earth Day 2012, Cultural Affairs and the Economic, Energy and Environmental Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa teamed up to deliver a series of seven presentations to over eight hundred elementary and intermediate school students in the Ottawa-Carleton area throughout the month of April.

Environmental Officer Nikki Brajevich (3rd from back right) and Cultural Affairs Attaché Crystal Meriwether (4th from back right) with the students of Caldwell Street Public School showing off their new Scholastic world environment book set.

Environmental Officer Nikki Brajevich (3rd from back right) and Cultural Affairs Attaché Crystal Meriwether (4th from back right) with the students of Caldwell Street Public School showing off their new Scholastic world environment book set.

Our team was accompanied by Larry the Lamprey, our preserved specimen of the invasive species—a lamprey eel, who sloshed about in a glass tube inviting a reaction of fascinated disgust wherever he went.

Cultural Affairs Officer Sandra Weedmark takes Larry the Lamprey for a walk at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Carleton Place

The Embassy's Cultural Affairs Associate takes Larry the Lamprey for a walk at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Carleton Place

The presentations were interactive as students had opportunity to ask questions and learn about the impact of people, pollution and industry on the environment. The impact we each have as individuals on the health and vitality of this planet was the focus, as our experts spoke about waste produced through garbage and the energy and water that we can each take the responsibility to minimize use.

Students of Frank Ryan Catholic Senior Elementary School.

Students of Frank Ryan Catholic Senior Elementary School.

Topics included an overview of the history of Earth Day, the devastating impact of invasive species, and continued environmental concerns as well as to improvements to water and wildlife protection. A comparison of how families in China, India, Mali, Japan and the U.S. each impact the earth through their use of materials and goods was eye opening to students as each family was shown photographed amidst a gathering of all their worldly possessions. Finally, students were encouraged to think about how their own schools can become more eco-efficient, and to share stories as to what each of us can do to minimize our own ecological footprint.

At every school visit the U.S. Embassy donated a world environment set of Scholastic books to the school library enabling students the continued opportunity to expand their learning on a vast range of topics on environmental sustainability.

Recognize International World Water Day 2012

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

This March 22 is the 19th annual event marking the importance of freshwater. This year’s theme “Water and Food Security” stresses the fact that freshwater is not availavble to everyone.

US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton has noted that “more than 5,000 people die each day from causes linked to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene, and most of them are children.” The United States is taking action “because the water crisis is a health crisis, it’s a farming crisis, it’s an economic crisis, it’s a climate crisis and, increasingly, it is a political crisis.”

Lack of access to freshwater impacts everyone. This video is an excellent portrayal of the realities of the world’s freshwater supply.

Running Dry

To support promising new approaches in the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) sector, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), with co-funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation implemented WASH for Life. Over four years, the $17 million partnership will use USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) program to identify, test, and help scale evidence-based approaches for cost-effective and sustained services in developing countries. WASH for Life is particularly interested in programs operating in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Kenya, and Nigeria; address issues in the sanitation and hygiene sectors in particular; and target beneficiaries earning under $2 a day.

This International World Water Day, do your part to conserve the World’s freshwater supply by turning off the taps when you are not using them, installing low-flow showerheads and toilets in your home, fixing leaky faucets and adjusting your sprinklers so only your lawn is watered – not the street or the sidewalk.

Read Secretary Clinton’s remarks in Honor of World Water Day 2012.

Additional information and resources:

U.S. Initiative Aims to Improve Water, Sanitation, Hygiene

Runningdry.org…working for access to safe, affordable and sustainable drinking water for all

Upcoming CO.NX Webchat for World Water Day

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Global Water Day: Challenges & Opportunities
WHEN:
Thursday, March 24, 08:30 EDT (12:30 GMT)
WHERE: http://bitly.com/CONXwater

WHO & WHAT: Join Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, Maria Otero, for a live Q&A webchat in follow up to World Water Day. Discuss global water issues with the Under Secretary, ask her questions, and learn how the United States government is partnering with international organizations to improve global water challenges.

Format: This will be a Q&A webchat in English.

Participation Links:
Option 1 – Video Webchat: http://bitly.com/CONXwater

Option 2 – Audio-Only Webchat: http://bitly.com/CONXaudio

Option 3 – Facebook Live Event: http://bitly.com/CONXstream

An Autumn Array: Webchats, a Writers Festival, and Hispanic Heritage Month

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Join America.gov’s series of programs on climate change. All start at 8:00 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT) the day of the program (8:00 a.m. EST, 1300 GM).  Read more!

Next one coming up:
“Can We Slow Down Climate Change?”
Date: Wednesday, October 13
Speaker: Rick Duke, deputy assistant secretary for climate policy, U.S. Department of Energy

 Hey Booklovers!  Will you be in Canada’s National Capital Region this month? Check out the 2010 Ottawa International Writers Festival!  The main events are happening October 20-26, but a few “preface-tival” events are scheduled over the next few weeks.  (Get it? Preface – like in a book… and pre-festival…?) (As mentioned in the previous entry… it’s been a long September.)

Anyway, Saturday, October 23rd at 8:30pm is the Rolling Darkness Review Premiere at the Mayfare Theatre with American Horror novelists Glen Hirshberg and Peter Atkins.  It’s a sure bet to put you into full-on Halloween mode.

The full Writers Festival schedule is available here.

Last but not least, September 15 – October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month!  Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month by celebrating the cultures and contributions of American citizens who came from — or whose ancestors came from — Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.  Brush up on your Spanish and visit these resource links:

White House Proclamation: National Hispanic Heritage Month
“We honor Hispanics for enriching the fabric of America, even as we recognize and rededicate ourselves to addressing the challenges to equality and opportunity that many Hispanics still face,” says the National Hispanic Heritage Month 2010 presidential proclamation.

President Obama also proclaimed National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week. Each year, the president welcomes distinguished Hispanic leaders, educators and artists to the White House.

The Library of Congress offers a Web portal on National Hispanic Heritage Month. It also sponsors StoryCorps Historias, which collects oral histories from Latinos in the United States.

The Smithsonian Institution celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month and also has the Smithsonian Latino Center, which focuses on Latino heritage and culture in the United States.

BY THE WAY, just because we’re in Canada doesn’t mean we only look for English and French speaking candidates for programs and exchanges.  We would love to send more SPANISH-SPEAKING Canadians on Western Hemisphere programs!  If you’re fluent Spanish-speaking mover & shaker (any age)… CONTACT US!

MY SUMMIT: a G(r)8 Success!!

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

If you’ve visited this blog before you’ll know that this past June’s G8 and G20 summits weren’t the only official international meetings going on in Ontario; and that President Obama, Prime Minister Harper and the other world leaders weren’t the only decision makers hard at work . You wouldn’t have seen these other diplomats on television, nor would you have read about them in your morning paper… but delegations of promising youths from the G8 and G20 nations were busy observing, discussing, and negotiating the same international issues of concern at MY SUMMIT 2010 as their heads of state at the “real” Summits.  

 
 
            

MY SUMMIT, co-hosted by the Canadian government and not-for-profit organization Global Vision, was a once in a lifetime learning experience for seven outstanding American university students. It was an intensive five-day program that included cultural events, speaker panels, and challenging work group sessions.  

Ambassador Jacobson, Public Affairs staff, and U.S. Mission staff in Canada would like to thank the Canadian government and Global Vision for extending an invitation to the United States. We are all grateful for the unique opportunity that will hopefully springboard these seven potential future leaders into fulfilling careers. The students left the Summit inspired, and they made us proud.   

By all accounts Danielle Geneux, Lesley Dudden, Jordan Sanderson, Thao Ahn Tran, Garrett Harkins, Patrick Joseph Short and Melissa Greenaway were exceptional ambassadors for the U.S.; their enthusiasm, idealism, and modest confidence put forward a charismatic and diverse portrayal of young America for the delegations from other nations.   

Scroll down to see the students’ remarks and photos.   

The U.S. Delegation meets with Ambassador Jacobson.

Ambassador Jacobson sat down with the U.S. delegation on the final day of the Summit. Despite the whirlwind nature of the G8 and G20, the Ambassador left energized after talking to the group of professional young Americans. Just like the official Summits, the student delegations came together to discuss a variety of issues and put together a summary of their points of agreement. Many of the students told the Ambassador that it was small changes – like the wording of the communiqué – that mattered in the end, and that the informal relationships they developed with the other delegations outside of the workrooms helped them work out issues back at the table. Ambassador Jacobson agreed, sharing from his own experience how the personal relationships that develop through hallway conversation are often where the real diplomacy happens. “When you’re dealing with someone you agree with on 80% of an issue, how do you resolve the other 20% without causing hard feelings?” he asked the young ambassadors. Though each delegation brought its own nation’s point of view to the Summit, the delegates from all countries shared similar outlooks on several key issues such as climate change and food security.   

The G8 and G20 American delegates chose one member of their group to represent their views on Summit Issues with President Obama. That resulted in one really cool perk for the nominees: new profile pics!!!   

President Obama with Lesley Dudden. Photo credit: Government of Canada

President Obama and Jordan Sanderson during a G8 photo-op. Photo credit: Government of Canada.

HEAR IT FROM THEM!

Thao Anh

Thao Anh shakes hands with a member of the U.K. delegation.

Last month I had the unique opportunity to represent the United States at My Summit 2010, the official youth summits of the G-8 and G-20 held in Canada.
As a Youth Delegate at the G-8 Summit, in addition to having the chance to listen to thought-provoking lectures from guest speakers on the four main themes of terrorism and nuclear non-proliferation, food security, maternal and child health, and climate change, I also got to participate in a negotiation session with Youth Delegates from seven other countries. As an aspiring diplomat, the highlight of the G-8 Summit for me was being able to witness and participate in the intense debate during the terrorism and nuclear non-proliferation negotiation session.  

Though I had a great time participating in the negotiation process, the G-8 Summit was not all work! The event was so memorable for me because I got to meet and befriended with extremely accomplished youths from all over the world. From the meeting with Governor General Michaëlle Jean, to the cruise trip on Muskoka Lake to the bus rides to the Muskoka Heritage Place, I was afforded with the opportunity to network with youths who are not only actively involved within their local community, but also shared my passion for international affairs.  

Although My Summit 2010 only lasted for five days, I am very grateful to have had the honor of representing American youths at both the G-8 and G-20 Summits. While there is no guarantee that the leaders will implement any of the recommendations we made in our communiqué, I am confident that through our well-verse knowledge and undisputed passion, we asserted to these leaders that the international youth community has much to contribute to the policymaking process. As a collective group, we spoke loud and clear that we will use a combination of our knowledge, creativity, and networking ability to commit ourselves in solving global challenges.  

Read more from Thao Anh at her blog.  

   

Melissa Greenaway  

Melissa Greenaway (in the gray suit) poses with American delegates.

When I first arrived in Toronto for the G8 and G20 summits, I had no idea what to expect. Yet by the end of the first night, after a wild ride upon wayward buses, shuttles, and planes with two Americans, one German, and the entire Japanese delegation, I knew that, if nothing else, I would make invaluable connections with many amazing individuals. As I spent the first days haggling over language on food security, the true challenges of crafting international agreements arose. Each country had an agenda, and though we agreed on many things, we were forced to compromise on many others. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment after we finalized our communiqué, and even though I did not get to meet personally with President Obama, I felt extremely lucky to be in such close proximity to him during both summits.  

At the G20 summit, we all felt extremely privileged to be so close to the twenty most influential leaders of the global economy. As an economics major, I was particularly intrigued by the decisions made at the summit, and how they came about. Though we did not hear any of the negotiations, we were allowed to sit in on Prime Minister Harper’s last press conference and the leaders’ photo shoot, clearly showing the importance placed on the youth of the world by the G20 leaders. At the end of the summits I felt empowered to do more, to help more, to motivate others to create change in the world and to let their voices be heard. As was said time and time again, we youth delegates are leaders of today, not tomorrow, and the summits allowed us to present our growing talents to a world waiting for us to step up.  

    

Jordan Sanderson    

Jordan and Danielle Geneux appreciating their VIP status.

The highlight of the trip for me was the opportunity to meet with the G8 leaders at the Deerhurst Resort in Muskoka, Ontario. After passing through numerous security barricades, the seven other delegates from the G8 nations and I made our way to the leaders’ press and negotiating rooms. It was incredible to see the actual room where the G8 leaders discuss and negotiate the G8 communiqué, very similar to what the youth delegates accomplished at MY SUMMIT 2010. Soon after, we were shuffled into to a room filled with press, translators, aides, and of course, the G8 leaders. I had the great fortune of being able to speak freely with President Obama about my background, and the importance of MY SUMMIT 2010 and the general mobilization of youth in the United States. We were also able to present our respective leaders with a copy of the youth communiqué, one that was prepared by all of the G8 delegates and thematically resembled the official G8 communiqué (terrorism and non-nuclear proliferation, climate change, food security and maternal and child health). President Obama was particularly impressed, and said he looked forward to reading the delegates viewpoints on the controversial issues. And finally, to conclude the afternoon by sharing a laugh with President Obama, Chancellor Merkel of Germany and Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom, will undoubtedly be one of the most surreal experiences of my life!  

 

Garrett Harkins   

Garrett Harkins, Jordan, and Thao

My experience at the G-8 and G-20 Summit was both defined and made meaningful by the connections I formed with other young professionals from around the globe. The opportunity to engage with so many future decision makers regarding the most pressing issues of our times was a unique experience that has both enhanced my understanding of international diplomacy and my empathy for the perspectives of other citizenries. As a Pickering Foreign Affairs fellow I am currently on track to enter into the United States Foreign Service upon graduation and it was invaluable to both observe and participate in the G-20 dialogue as I continue to prepare for my eventual career. Understanding how politics, state interests, and national identity affect decision makers at the highest level I know that I have gained valuable insights into the mechanics of international policymaking.  

 

Lesley Dudden   

Lesley Dudden and the other chosen delegates wait for Heads of State at the G20.

Wow. It is hard to believe how much time has already passed since My Summit. When I heard about this program I was not necessarily sure what it would entail; when I was selected I was excited, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  

Participating in the negotiations at the My Summit G8 portion was one of the most real things I have ever experienced. In classes and other simulations I have encountered negotiations always centered on presenting the point of view of some other country against a fellow student doing the same. Actually sitting with students from around the world discussing issues directly affecting their countries and them personally really drummed home the reality of issues such as Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Terrorism, Food Security, Maternal Health and Global Warming.  

One of the most exciting parts of My Summit was the opportunity to engage with government officials and other people who work directly with the issues we were discussing during the summit. For the welcoming dinner at the G20 portion I was fortunate enough to get placed at a table with the mayor of Toronto and the President of TD Bank (who was our speaker that night). Listening to them speak and getting to hear them talk even more over dinner was truly inspiring.  

Without a doubt the highlight of my experience, however, was when I got the opportunity to meet with President Obama during the G20 summit. Meeting with the President was truly mind blowing. Even now when people ask me about it I do not quite know how to describe the experience. One second I was standing watching the Saudi King walk into the room and meet his delegate (who was standing next to me) and the next second President Obama was standing in front of me, shaking my hand and addressing me by name. When he heard I had studied abroad in Turkey he quickly moved us down the line and introduced me to the Prime Minister of Turkey (insisting that I practice my Turkish on him). It was really nerve racking. Later he introduced me to Rahm Emmanuel. Before I got my head wrapped around being in the presence of all the leaders we had reached the end of our visit and I was put back on an elevator back up to the rest of the group.  

My Summit was truly a once in a lifetime experience. I developed friendships with young leaders from 20 different countries as well as my own. Canada is truly a beautiful country and its citizens were very cordial and excited to be hosting us and this monumental event.  

  

Patrick Short  

Patrick Short with Mr. Paul Tergat, U.N. World.

My Summit 2010 was created to empower youth to make a difference and express their views. Through this summit, we were connected with other young leaders from across the globe to meet, network, exchange ideas, and forge cross-cultural bonds. Throughout the G8 and G20 Youth Summits, we heard from a variety of experts on many different topics from Climate Change to International Banking to Child and Maternal Health. At the end of each keynote, we were given the opportunity to ask our own questions to the speakers, opening up the floor to an inundation of ideas, critiques, analyses, and discussion. The atmosphere was thick with enthusiasm. Everyone seemed eager to learn, discuss, and attempt to solve such complex issues. My Summit 2010 provided an incredible opportunity to hear from renowned and experienced speakers on such important and ever-evolving topics. 

While there were many different standpoints and views on these complex issues across country lines, the youth shared a particular optimism and spirit of change that often transcended geographical and cultural boundaries. According to one youth delegate from Brazil, he had an unfavorable outlook toward the United States before the summit. Within only a few days at the summit, however, he found himself among friendly and outgoing U.S. Delegates, altering his perceptions forever and forming lasting friendships. Interactions such as these were at the very core of the youth summit. I found myself interacting with Chinese youth leaders, Mexican businessmen, Canadian climate change activists, and English law students in the same conversation. International barriers were erased as delegates from across the world learned together, laughed together, and even watched soccer together. If everyone had the chance to form international relationships such as these, we would find ourselves conflicting less, collaborating more, and ushering in a new international community. 

 

Danielle Geneux  

Danielle Geneux (center), Melissa and Lesley ham it up for the camera.

Being selected as a United States junior delegate to the G8 and G20 Summits was truly a most rewarding experience. The knowledge I gained and ideas I developed will undoubtedly benefit me as I work towards my future goals. Throughout the trip our delegation was responsible for representing the United States and, in particular, the opinions of our country’s youth. We discussed and debated the very same issues the G8 leaders were negotiating, and ultimately supplied them with a communiqué outlining our opinions and suggestions for the themes. During the G20 portion of our trip we had the opportunity to listen to experts discuss financial responsibility and our roles in establishing a stable global economy. While the professional aspects of the trip were as valuable as they come, it was the personal relationships I developed that solidified the entire experience as a success. It is remarkable to see that despite cultural differences the youth of the world share innumerable similarities. 

Global Vision and the Canadian government were extremely gracious throughout the entire trip. While much of our week was consumed with deliberations and lectures, we found time to partake in some leisure activities. Canoe rides in Muskoka, outings in Toronto, and sightseeing bus rides with an impromptu tour guide were among the highlights. In addition to the leisure activities our delegation had the wonderful opportunity to meet with David Jacobson, the United States Ambassador to Canada. We also got to watch the leaders of the G20 countries take their “Family Photo.” I still find it hard to believe that I was in the same room as some of the world’s greatest leaders. I couldn’t have asked for a better trip and feel truly fortunate to have experienced all of this with my fellow US delegates, as well as the other delegates from around the world.

U.S.-Canada Joint Arctic Expedition: All Good Polar Parties Start with an Icebreaker or Two…

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

For the third consecutive year, the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Task Force, chaired by the Department of State, will conduct a joint Arctic mission with the Government of Canada this summer to collect scientific data pertaining to the extended continental shelf and Arctic seafloor. As in the past two years, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy and the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent will participate in the mission. The joint operations will be conducted from August 7 to September 3.

Click on the image to go to the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy Blog

Click on the image to go to the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy Blog

The 2010 continental shelf survey mission will cover regions over the Canada Basin, the Beaufort Shelf, and the Alpha Mendeleev Ridge. This joint collaboration saves millions of dollars for both countries by managing expensive Arctic field operations to maximize data collection while increasing scientific and diplomatic cooperation. The mission will help delineate the outer limits of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean for the U.S. and Canada, and will also include the collection of data in the disputed area where the U.S. and Canada have not agreed to a maritime boundary. Coastal States have sovereign rights over the natural resources of their continental shelves; both the U.S. and Canada will be collecting scientific information to satisfy the criteria for delineating the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles as set forth in the Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The Plan: Continue Mapping Shelf Inside Purple Lines

Image credit: USGS and continentalshelf.gov

Both the USCG Cutter Healy and Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent alternately will break ice for the following ship during the mission. The Healy will map the shape of the seafloor using a multibeam echo sounder while the Louis S. St-Laurent will collect multi-channel seismic reflection and refraction data aimed at determining sediment thickness.

The past two years of cooperation between the U.S. and Canada have proved to be very successful, and the United States looks forward to continuing this effort with Canada as we explore the unknowns of this unique underwater landscape. The two countries plan to continue their Arctic cooperation in 2011.

Additional information on the joint U.S.-Canadian Extended Continental Shelf cruise is available at:

continentalshelf.gov and international.gc.ca/continental

In Similar News….

 Evan Bloom, Director of the Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs in the Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., was at the Embassy last week leading a digital video conference on Arctic Policy issues.  Among the audience were academics, representatives from the Yukon government, and reps from the Yukon Council of First Nations.  Discussion and Q&A following Mr. Bloom’s presentation focused around Arctic Council reform, climate change, research initiatives, and government priority on environmental affairs.

Denver Biennial: Partnering to Celebrate Democracy in the Americas

Monday, July 26th, 2010

The U.S. Department of State partnered with the Denver Biennial of the Americas to celebrate the shared history, values, culture, and interests that link the nations of our hemisphere. The Department was especially honored to support their efforts as Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico celebrate 200 years of independence in 2010, as will most other Latin American nations by 2025. 

Read or watch Secretary Clinton’s remarks here.

The Americas Roundtable series was the Denver Biennial’s primary public dialogue component. Roundtable topics included education, women as drivers of the new economy, poverty reduction, energy and climate change and others. Featured participants included U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela, U.S. Representative to the OAS Ambassador Carmen Lomellin, U.S. Ambassador to Colombia William Brownfield, U.S. Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens and U.S. Ambassador to Argentina Vilma Martinez. Involving citizens from most of the 35 countries in the Western Hemisphere, the Americas Roundtable was designed as a public call to action, seeking to identify common challenges, seek joint opportunities, and promote collaboration.

Assistant Secretary for Western hemisphere Affairs, Arturo Valenzuela, participates in poverty reduction roundtable.

Assistant Secretary for Western hemisphere Affairs, Arturo Valenzuela, participates in poverty reduction roundtable.

The Denver Biennial provided an opportunity to showcase the work of artists from North, South and Central America.  The McNichols Building at Civic Center Park was the central venue where the roundtables took place, but exhibitions were going on at various cultural institutions citywide.

McNichols Building at Civic Centre Park: Where all the action happened.

McNichols Building at Civic Centre Park: Where all the action happened.

Jeronimo Hagerman, “Bed of Smells” - 2005

Jeronimo Hagerman, “Bed of Smells” - 2005

Birds of a Feather Flock Together: Shared North-American Efforts to Conserve our Feathered Friends

Friday, May 14th, 2010

As part of Mission Canada’s Earth Day programming, our Public Affairs colleagues in Vancouver spearheaded a digital video conference on Migratory Birds with American expert Dr. Gary Langham of the California Audubon Society

The program, which focused on the environmental issues impacting the migratory birds of North America,  involved a presentation follwed by Q&A with audiences in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.   

The audience itself was impressive:  members included individuals from the Vancouver Aquarium, the David Suzuki Foundation, Environment Canada, Earth Rangers, and the Royal Ontario Museum.  Vancouver Sun Environment writer Larry Pynn also attended and followed up with a great article!  It was a huge success and is bound to generate future opportunities!

But who knew migratory birds would have been such a hot topic??   It only makes sense when, according to a May 13 article on America.gov, of the 882 landbird species in North America 148 species are in immediate need of conservation attention.  That stat might not seem so shocking, but consider that birds are not only an important part of several North American ecosystems, but they are an indicator species too.  Think about that poor canary in the coal mine and what that meant! 

It certainly is reassuring to know that groups like Partners in Flight are doing their part to get the word out!

A New and Innovative Environment Public Diplomacy Initative

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Environmental awareness is a Public Diplomacy priority at U.S. Missions all over the world. Getting the word out about U.S. initiatives can sometimes prove to be a challenge, but THIS is neat!

Greening of America

This interactive fluidbook was requested by the U.S. Department of Commerce from the Regional Public Diplomacy Hub in Brussels. The intention was to amplify the message of the Department of Commerce’s Green Industry Conference. By creating a narrative filled with embedded videos, Brussels Media Hub produced an online product that would attract more attention and have the possibility of going viral, thereby reaching a broader audience. The viewer has the choice to spend a few minutes getting key points by clicking through the online publication, or spending an hour and viewing the entire product.