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In May 2017, the Ontario Climate Consortium (OCC) co-hosted its 5th Annual Ontario Climate Symposium with York University and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. The symposium is the premier forum for sharing cutting-edge research and initiatives that address climate change in the province.

The aim of the 2017 Ontario Climate Symposium: to facilitate discussions across research disciplines, as well as policy and practice communities, about Ontario’s future as we collectively address climate change through mitigation and adaptation strategies.

speakers at the opening session of the 2017 Ontario Climate Symposium

We are mindful the “future” is usually conceptualized in decades – 2030 or 2050 – or at most as “end of the century” in climate change policy discussions. From many indigenous/aboriginal perspectives, however, the collective responsibility we bear for ensuring the well-being of the Earth and its communities (both human and non-human) applies to at least seven generations into the future.

Inherent to this responsibility is the importance of caring for marginalized and vulnerable communities and sharing fairly the benefits of our transition towards a more sustainable society. This perspective informed the symposium throughout the program.

speaker makes a presentation at the 2017 Ontario Climate Symposium

Given that Canada is celebrating the 150th anniversary of confederation in 2017, we also encouraged discussions of what Ontario could be like in the next 150 years, or in seven generations, when Canada will celebrate the 300th anniversary of Confederation.

Within the overarching themes described above, we organized the program around a set of sub-themes, including energy, climate justice, planning and implementation, eco-health, climate data, and the performing arts.

author Alanna Mitchell makes a presentation at the 2017 Ontario Climate Symposium



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