forest with sunlight streaming through trees

Our Vision, Mission & Values

Vision

A just and vibrant world of respect, belonging and ecological resilience.

Mission

The Ecology Action Centre acts as watchdog, convener, mobilizer and incubator. We engage community to create systemic change in the face of urgent, complex environmental issues.

Values

We are creative, resilient, fierce and caring. We value relationships. We act with integrity.
 

EAC's mission, vision, and values written in watercolours with small drawings and paintings of EAC-related images surrounding them

Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan Photo 2017-2021

Commitment to Diversity

Diversity in this context refers to human difference. Each person is unique, yet we are often identified in groups that are perceived to have shared traits. These traits can be defined by gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion, interests and countless others. Just as diverse species make for a healthy ecosystem, diverse humans make for a healthy workplace. At the Ecology Action Centre, we value that diversity tremendously because it makes us a stronger, more effective, more just and more interesting organization.  Read more about our Climate Justice and Diversity Vision and Values below.

 

Climate Justice Statement

Climate Justice Statement

At the Ecology Action Centre, we strive to recognize and incorporate social justice ideals and action into all our efforts. In our work on climate change, we recognize that not all people are affected equally by climate change, that not all contributed equally to creating climate change and that not all benefit equally from the developments that have created climate change. In fact, those people who are already marginalized by society are affected the most, and contributed the least. By working for climate justice, we aim to counter the social justice issues that enabled and are created by climate change, and to mitigate the effects of climate change in ways that also promote and enhance social justice. These efforts are linked to the international climate justice movement, and are consistent with ongoing work for sustainable development here in Nova Scotia and around the world.

What is climate justice?

Our global society distributes wealth and resources unevenly, based on class, gender, ethnicity, race, orientation, identity, religion and geography. As a result of this, certain people’s lives and livelihoods are unjustly valued more highly than others’. At the same time, large fossil fuel companies are often given an unfair level of power and influence in political, economic, and social decision making.

People who are affected by these decisions, however, are often excluded from influencing them. This difference in power is one of the main causes of climate change, and it is also a major barrier to climate solutions. Therefore, at the same time as we are working to address climate change, we must also address the inequality and injustice in our societies. Inequality, injustice, vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, the power to protect yourself, your family or community from its damaging effects and the power to influence policies to mitigate its effects are not separate issues, but deeply connected, and must be addressed together. This is what it means to work for climate justice.

EAC’s Statement on Climate Justice

The impacts of climate change on ecosystems and species around the world are well documented. However, climate change is not just an environmental issue. Climate change is also a human issue. The causes, consequences and solutions of climate change are interwoven with specific geographic, social, economic and political conditions that are relevant locally and globally. These conditions make some populations and social groups more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Indigenous people, people who receive a low income, racialized people, people with different physical abilities, children and elderly people, people of certain religious beliefs, women, people living in socially or geographically vulnerable places, people living subsistence based lifestyles and future generations will be particularly affected by impacts of climate change, such as drought, floods, extreme weather events and reduced food and water security. As these defining features are often overlapping and compounding, certain people and populations can be vulnerable to climate change in different ways.

Social justice is as much a pillar of confronting climate change as are scientific understanding, ecological awareness, Indigenous ways of understanding, behavioural and technological solutions and environmentally sensitive public policy.

The Ecology Action Centre confronts climate change every day with its projects and campaigns. By working for climate justice, we address the need to recognize and incorporate social justice issues and action into all our efforts.  In this way, we aim to counter the social injustices created by climate change and mitigate the effects of climate change in ways that also promote and enhance social justice.

We are committed to working for climate justice by:

  • Actively acknowledging that we work and live on unceded Mi’kmaw territory. Indigenous peoples are disproportionately excluded from decision-making processes that directly affect their communities;
  • Challenging environmental racism, which we define as the disproportionate location of toxic facilities and other environmental hazards near to racialized communities, Indigenous communities and the working poor, the disproportionate impacts of climate change on these communities, and the exclusion of these communities from decision-making processes;
  • Advocating for the concerns and needs of vulnerable populations (e.g. people with disabilities, elderly people, women and children);
  • Actively acknowledging the gendered elements of climate change, wherein women are disproportionately affected, and also play a disproportionately critical role in climate change adaptation and mitigation actions;
  • Building genuine relationships with the people in these communities named above, who are on the front lines of climate injustice, and including their perspectives in our projects and campaigns;
  • Working toward alternatives to the systems of power that despoil the earth and create social and economic inequality;
  • Confronting climate change in ways that also move our economic and social systems in more equitable directions;
  • Affirming that environmental protection and economic prosperity can support each other;
  • Supporting social justice movements in our communities and beyond; and
  • Committing ourselves to constant learning and relearning about climate justice.

Toward respectful allyship

We recognize that many groups in Nova Scotia, especially Indigenous groups and grassroots organizations, are also working for climate justice. Our ongoing relationships with allies in anti-poverty and social justice movements provide many opportunities to learn, share guidance, and establish mutual values.

We are committed to seeking common ground with new and sometimes unlikely allies. We recognize that the Ecology Action Centre is uniquely positioned and privileged within the climate justice movement, and we are committed to using that unique position and privilege to make space for frontline voices that are often marginalized. We realize that as we do this work, points of disagreement and tension may arise between us and those with whom we seek to ally ourselves. The diversity within our communities is a source of strength and depth as we build a united movement for change.

Working for climate justice means implementing the solutions for the most pressing problems facing us as a society. In order to achieve this goal, we must build alliances and relationships across all sectors of society. We invite you to join us.

The spirit and intent of this statement was endorsed by the membership of the Ecology Action Centre at its 45th Annual General Meeting on July 27th, 2016.

Further Reading

Diversity Vision & Values

Definition

Diversity in this context refers to human difference. Each person is unique, yet we are often identified in groups that are perceived to have shared traits. These traits can be defined by gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion, interests and countless others. Just as diverse species make for a healthy ecosystem, diverse humans make for a healthy workplace. At the Ecology Action Centre, we value that diversity tremendously because it makes us a stronger, more effective, more just and more interesting organization.

Introduction

Human diversity is one of EAC’s core values, and links to a healthy and sustainable Nova Scotia. EAC is an independent environmental non-governmental organization that strives to work with partners to:

  • Provide up-to-date environmental information;
  • Pursue researched solutions; and
  • Act as a watch-dog for the Nova Scotia environment.
  • To ensure that this partnership approach is effective, EAC must strive to be inclusive so that we can work with Nova Scotia’s diverse communities. This means that all levels of our staff, volunteers, committees, membership and Board should reflect the community at large.

It is recommended that EAC adopt and publicize widely a Vision of Diversity, to be included in the EAC’s Code of Conduct. This vision statement will clearly state our values with respect to human diversity, as given below. Such a vision statement is needed so that our staff, volunteers, members, board members and the general public understand and take ownership of the fundamental importance EAC places on diversity and equity. For diversity and equity to become a mainstay of EAC’s organizational culture these must become part of the organization’s vision and mission.

EAC’s Vision of Diversity

EAC envisions a Nova Scotia where all people work together to preserve and protect the environment in which we live. Toward this end, EAC staff, volunteers, members, board members and committee members will engage in honest, open, respectful dialogue with all people, including traditionally under-represented groups, to achieve common goals. EAC will recognize the importance and value of diverse sets of values, needs and perspectives.

EAC will strive to recognize and embody the following Diversity Values:

  • Identity is complex and involves a myriad of ways in which human beings categorize themselves, and each other. As an organization we recognize these categories, that they sometimes intersect with one another, and that all people have the right to their own unique, complex identity. We also recognize that some groups of people have been historically excluded, and continue to be excluded, from participation and decision-making, and believe in the need to address historical and current inequities. 
  • EAC believes that culturally diverse organizations perform better, and are more just and more resilient, because of their diversity.
  • EAC values employing diverse staff, board members, and volunteers, and working with diverse members and stakeholders.
  • EAC will welcome all people who are committed to our vision.
  • EAC values a workplace where people are equally empowered, well trained and respected as professionals regardless of their gender identities.
  • EAC values a workplace where people are equally empowered, well trained and respected as professionals regardless of their sexual orientation.
  • EAC will respect people regardless of their region or country of origin, and will celebrate cultural diversity.
  • EAC will respect people of all ages and embrace generational diversity. EAC believes that valuable wisdom, ideas and energy come from people of all ages.
  • EAC will respect religious diversity and will embrace religious differences with respect for humanity, the natural world and the spiritual world.
  • EAC will acknowledge that we all have abilities and disabilities; strengths and weaknesses. In concordance with its anti-harassment policy, EAC will respect people regardless of any physical, mental or emotional impairment, and acknowledge that these things should not prevent a person from participating in society and work. 
  • EAC will respect all forms of family that are based on mutual love and respect.
  • EAC will be a multi-disciplinary organization that respects a diversity of skills, and encourages people with varying skills to work together to achieve more.
  • EAC staff, volunteers and stakeholders will have diverse approaches to, and styles of, working.  EAC admires the abilities of our people and acknowledges the strength in this diversity.
  • EAC will maintain an organizational structure that is based on skills and experience.  We will respect people at all levels of this structure regardless of title, role, rank or salary.