CCSBC Pilot year
In 2019, the FBC Youth Program launched a new pilot initiative called Co-Creating a Sustainable BC to create opportunities for young people to get more deeply involved in core environmental, social, and economic sustainability issues affecting their communities. In the first year, we welcomed a diverse group of youth (ages 16-30) from two regions in British Columbia: the Thompson and the Sea to Sky regions. Youth participants worked alongside each other over eight months to deepen their understanding of leadership within the context of sustainability and climate change, to identify barriers to making meaningful and lasting changes in their communities, and to practice a collaborative approach to identifying potential solutions. During the program, funding from Employment and Social Development Canada through the Canada Service Corps program allowed youth to participate at no cost, with travel and meal expenses reimbursed and ASL interpreters or other accessibility needs, such as childcare, accommodated.
The Co-Creating a Sustainable BC initiative created an opportunity for young people to:
- deepen connections to their communities,
- experience the benefits of being actively engaged civic participants,
- witness the importance of serving and contributing to a community, and
- learn how to embrace leadership roles.
Through a series of dialogue sessions, youth heard from guest speakers who are leading the way as climate and sustainability champions in different sectors, including municipal government, Indigenous communities, industry, and community organizations. Exposure to these different perspectives offered participants well-rounded knowledge about regionally specific sustainability issues and initiatives already underway in their communities. Participating youth also had the opportunity to expand their networks and create valuable connections with leaders in their communities.
Through a systematic process of identifying regional gaps and key areas for action using knowledge acquired through dialogues and skill-building sessions, youth identified and developed plans and got ready to implement sustainability projects that address a gap in the community. In alignment with FBC’s mandate, youth explored community gaps through an environmental, social, or economic sustainability lens to develop projects that address climate change.
In 2019-2020, the Sea-to-Sky youth cohort decided to work on a waste reduction behaviour change campaign called Sea to Sky Composts, focused on better understanding the composting practices of Squamish residents. View their final project presentation here.
The Thompson youth cohort also focused on composting through an infrastructure lens. They partnered with nine regional organizations in Kamloops, Clearwater, and the Shuswap, including schools, Indigenous and community organizations, and local governments, to deliver household compost bins, educational guides, and bear-resistant composters to different community garden facilities. View their final project presentation here.