National Youth Dialogue on Water in Canada

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Conclusion In conclusion, we believe rethinking, reframing, and redesigning education around water and water-related conservation issues is essential to ensure a future in water sustainability, because what is taught affects what students know; how it is taught affects how well it is retained and how they connect to it; and what is recognized as important impacts the lengths people are willing to go to make changes for the future of water. Moreover, these new innovations and educational solutions must be flexible - static statements, procedures, and policies cannot address the dynamic nature of environmental change. In fact, we think it might cause more problems for some places where flexibility and adaptability of curriculum is essential to understanding the needs and opportunities for change. In this way, with authentic education around these issues, we can make solutions that account for and benefit everyone. We all need to take responsibility to maintain our water. "We're concerned about our government focusing on economic advancement and ignoring the environment. This could lead to a monetary gain instead of protecting future generations. The present is important, but the future is vital." - Colonel By Secondary School, ON, Tweet Although as individuals we can make conscious choices to protect our waterways, we, the youth of Canada, feel it is important to work with governments at all levels to champion and support environmental stewardship in youth. In our survey of 4000 Canadian youth, 81.6% said that the government needed to do more about water conservation and protection. At the federal level, we believe that the government needs to create an emphasis and priority on the conservation of our waterways. Additionally, the federal government must respect the value of science, to ensure their policies and reforms are grounded in research. Also, at all levels, governments should consistently use their power to implement stronger penalties against water pollution, establish clear laws around environmental protections, and enforce these regulations regardless of corporate pressure. We all have a voice, no matter our age, gender, race, or our origins. We are all Canadians. It is, therefore, crucial that we incorporate the diverse viewpoints as a whole to face regional, national, and global environmental challenges as one, unified voice. [link to results of National survey]

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