This November, in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada, UVic will host Victoria Forum delegates in its inaugural offering, Canada@150: Promoting Diversity & Inclusion.

The forum will bring together global and national leaders, policymakers, civil society and academics to discuss diversity and inclusion across six themes: economics of diversity, geopolitics, climate justice, global trade, Indigenous economic development, and philanthropy and inclusive development.

Sybil Seitzinger, executive director of the UVic-led Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and a professor in the School of Environmental Studies, has been actively involved in the planning stages for the forum. She heads up the content planning for the climate justice theme alongside industry partners Peter Robinson, retired chief executive officer of the David Suzuki Foundation, and David Miller, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund Canada.

How does diversity and inclusion intersect with climate change? As climate change impacts the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events across the globe people of all socioeconomic backgrounds will feel the long-lasting effects.

“One key topic at the forum is developing just solutions for communities threatened by less predictable environments,” explains Seitzinger. “I’ll be moderating a session where we talk about how many of our businesses depend on stable climate regimes. Everything from fishing, forestry and agriculture to outdoor recreation and tourism operators are affected by less predictable environments and we need to start devising socially conscious solutions for dealing with these changes.”

The Victoria Forum planning committee isn’t anthropocentric when it comes to discussing our changing environment. Also on the event’s roster is a panel discussion, featuring World Wildlife Fund’s David Miller as one of the speakers, which will explore climate justice for ecosystems. Should humans consider other species when we make decisions about how to mitigate and adapt to future climate regimes? And if we do, how does this shift the debate about climate justice to include all life on the planet?

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