Ecotrust Canada’s starting premise is that the incredible wealth and ingenuity of mankind can be used to create a far better world than the one we have now. We have the collective capability to eliminate human suffering from hunger and poverty, to restore and protect the ecosystems that sustain us, and to build greater community resilience by fostering systems of mutual respect, support, and care.
But we also believe that existing political, economic, and social institutions, structured for a different set of conditions than those ahead, are not the vehicles that will foster the kind of innovation required to meet our human development and environmental needs in the 21st century. The places to which we are heading demand new ways of thinking, being, and organizing.
In this context, Ecotrust Canada’s purpose is clear. We pull together unusual constellations of people to design new economic approaches. We work by trial and error, taking our cues from the sectors in which we work. We prove that it is possible to achieve triple bottom line results that enhance wellbeing for people and places.
We are committed to working across disciplines, across sectors and across scales. Some examples of our initiatives this year include:
- Creating greater transparency in the seafood value-chain.
- Building visualization tools and models that allow communities to more effectively participate in decision making.
- Expanding the forestlands and businesses certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
- Delivering a cost-effective alternative system for fisheries monitoring and management.
A small sample of our work
An interactive online tool combined with a coding/tracking system allows consumers to discover the story of their seafood purchase. Each fish or fish product is accompanied by a unique code that follows it through the distribution chain from vessel to end user.
The code allows the buyer to use their computer or phone to quickly discover where, when and how their fish was caught and processed, meet and talk with their fisherman, and learn more about the system that lies beneath their purchase. Transparency at every level builds accountability, and education promotes more informed consumer choice.
In consultation with the crab fleet in BC’s north coast, we’ve designed and built an onboard electronic monitoring system that allows fishermen and regulatory agencies to closely monitor vessels at sea.
The team works with users to adapt the system to the needs of each fishery. Ecotrust Canada also offers on board observers and monitoring training programs that create local employment and ensure coastal communities remain connected to the sea.
What could be better than a home from home? As one deliberate response to poor housing, we are working with Nuu-chah-nulth communities on BC’s rural, wet, west coast to design and create culturally appropriate homes that use more local materials.
Recognizing present and future circumstances; using traditional knowledge; connecting local resources and local labour; growing and restoring community skills… It just makes sense.