In a globalized and networked society, sometimes it is necessary first to invest in people, relationships and ideas. Such efforts may produce results far out of proportion to the investment.
After several years of support from a number of sources, including an Innovation Enhancement grant, Dr. Peter Denton participated in civil society consultations through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This enabled him, as well as students and faculty at Red River College, to gain access to global environmental networks and UNEP-related activities.
Denton, who teaches ethics and sustainability at the college, is one of two Major Groups and Stakeholders Regional Representatives for North America to UNEP and is involved in continental and global initiatives on sustainable consumption and production. He was the only official Canadian representative of civil society at the first United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi in June 2014. He was subsequently elected Rapporteur for the Global Intergovernmental and Multi-Stakeholder Consultations on GEO 6, UNEP’s planetary survey, in Berlin in October 2014.
UNEP participation requires a partnership with an organization that can meet UNEP accreditation requirements, especially sustained international work on environmental projects. Since educational institutions do not qualify, Denton’s involvement was made possible by the United Church of Canada, which received full accreditation in May 2014.
Dr. Denton shares information and resources gained from his UNEP work with students and supervises applied research projects in civil engineering technology.