m a r t e n   b e r k m a n

the ecology of perception

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While first world industrial economies are amazing in complexity and what we create...so much is left out of the picture when we exchange money for goods and services. And many things, like Paraguayan subsistence farmers being supplanted by soybean agribusiness  to feed our animals in the first world, are just plain WRONG. So I feel a necessity to channel a portion of my income and/or in kind services to educational, humanitarian and conservation work. Here are a few organisations I support. I encourage everyone to jump in and help fulfill the vision of respect, equality and nature that our ancestors had. I find it an essential part of passing on the gift of life which we receive.

Founded in 1971 by the late Honourable Jacques Hébert (1923-2007), Canada World Youth (CWY) is a world leader in developing international educational programs for young people aged 15 to 29. A non-profit organisation, CWY is dedicated to enriching the lives of young people that have a desire to become informed and active global citizens. CWY programs are designed to help youth experience the world for themselves, learn about other cultures and diverse Canadian communities while developing leadership and communication skills.
I can say from first hand experience that what I learned on CWY was transformative, and seemed to be more than what I learned in the previous thirteen years of institutional learning.http://cwy-jcm.com/
CPAWS-Yukon speaks out for the protection and conservation of nature. We know too that our own lives depend on clean waters, wild nature and all of the benefits we receive from the land around us. Our northern spirit, Yukon pride and economic well-being are closely linked to a healthy environment. We believe that the land, free flowing waters, clear air and multitude of wild species in the north have immense intrinsic value.
CPAWS has local and national offices. Often maligned by industry as being ”outside” interests, the local chapters completely staffed by Yukoners and has hundreds of members. Funding is raised locally and nationally, and does not compare to the funding that industry gets...from “outside”. CPAWS Yukon has been fantastic in getting the dialogue above the rhetoric of conserve versus develop, and has been an outlet for voices speaking to the land’s cultural, emotional, spiritual, biological and sustainable economic values.http://www.cpawsyukon.org/
The Yukon Conservation Society (YCS) is a grass roots non-profit organisation that educates, advocates and conducts research on Yukon environmental issues, and has been doing so since 1968. YCS acts as a public watchdog that works to ensure: environmental regulation of mining; forest management that reflects all forest values; energy efficiency and land use planning. The Society plays an important role in ensuring that wild lands representing Yukon’s biodiversity are adequately protected.

YCS was founded by John Lammers in 1968, after mineral staking and exploration indiscriminately destroyed the land around his wilderness lodge, the first ecotourism business in the Yukon. YCS has since continued to be a voice for the plants and animals which do not attend land use planning meetings. A fantastic organisation.http://www.yukonconservation.org/
Ecojustice, formerly Sierra Legal Defence Fund goes to court to defend the right of Canadians to a healthy environment.  As Canada's largest and foremost non-profit environmental law organization our trusted voice in the courts enables citizens to expose lawbreakers and hold governments accountable, all while setting powerful precedents for clean water, natural spaces, healthy communities and for global warming solutions.
How else could the flora and fauna get a lawyer? Essential to the formation, and implementation, of environmental regulation.http://www.ecojustice.ca/
Ceasefire.ca is a project of the Rideau Institute on International Affairs, a public policy research and advocacy group based in Ottawa. Ceasefire.ca is the Institute’s main public outreach and advocacy arm. The Polaris Institute created Ceasefire.ca in 2003 to prevent Canada from joining the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defence program, although the name itself dates back to the earlier campaign to stop the invasion of Iraq. Ceasefire continues to advocate for peace in Canadian politics.
I wholeheartedly support Canada’s peacekeeping role, and tragically that has been eroded, and the safety and lives of Canadians and others threatened as a result. Ceasefire is an essential voice to counter the power and seduction of the military industry and pro-war governments.http://www.ceasefire.ca/
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was established in 1971 by a small group of French doctors who had worked in Biafra. Upon their return, they were determined to find a way to respond rapidly and effectively to public health emergencies, with complete independence from political, economic and religious influences.
Today, we are the world's leading independent international medical relief organisation, with 5 operational centres in Europe and 14 national sections worldwide.
I am in awe of these doctors who risk and sacrifice so much for the sake of those who direly need helphttp://www.msf.ca/