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Over 40 projects across Sask. recognized for sustainable development achievements

Yorkton, Sask. -

On Wednesday, over 40 projects across Saskatchewan were recognized for their efforts of Achievement in Education for Sustainable Development.

The 16th annual event was organized by the Saskatchewan Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development, a provincial initiative who advocates and acknowledges groups whose work achieves one or more of the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

"In many ways, the sustainable development goals are a rallying cry for the planet,” Dr. Roger Petry expressed, professor at Luther College at the University of Regina and co-coordinator of RCE.

“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, they were approved by 193 countries, that's basically everyone. They're a global standard for doing development and it's everyone's responsibility to advance sustainability for future generations."

With close to 100 attendees at the event, various initiatives accepted awards focusing on Sustainable Development Goals like zero hunger, quality education, climate action, affordable and clean energy, and more.

From the 41 projects recognized, four reside within the southeast region - The Yorkton Community Fridge, Yellowhead Nature Society – based in Saltcoats, Suncrest College and Canora Composite School.

In addition, projects conducted through the University of Regina that focused on Ochapowace and Okanese First Nation were also acknowledged.

"The main goal we're trying to meet is to end hunger of course,” explained Martha Gares, volunteer and board member for Yorkton Community Fridge.

“We want to offer another resource for people who are food insecure to be able to access food. We're also trying to encourage sustainability, we really want people to make sure food is used. If it can be donated to the shelter, whether it’s from peoples personal pantries or larger businesses or restaurants, if they want, they can donate to the fridge so it doesn’t go to waste.”

Another local community group, Yellowhead Nature Society, formerly known as Yellowhead Birding Trail Association, was presented an award for their Road Allowance Project.

“The goal of it is to preserve the road allowances that are existing, some of them are driveable, some are only walkable, but all of them are surveyed land that is public land,” said Ron Knudsen of Yellowhead Nature Society.

“We're making it clear that the land is available for public use, for biking, hiking, hunting, walking pets, there’s a variety of uses.”

Knudsen added that the group’s initiative helps promote various goals including Goal 15: Use of Land.

“It’s also valuable to wildlife habitat, for preserving animals, insects, and for people as well,” he told CTV News.

“What we’re doing is we’re posting signs that make it clear this is public land for public use. These road allowances are typically 60 feet, 90 feet wide, they’re significant amount of territory.”

This year’s event took place in Yorkton with close to 100 attendees.

More than 300 awards have been handed out in the event’s history with the purpose of educating, encouraging and engaging others in local action that meet the needs of the 17 sustainable goals.

Following the ceremony, members took part in a tour of the historic Yorkton Brick Mill. Top Stories

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