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Closing the loop on climate change

Julia SanchezBefore returning to Canada to take up my current position at CCIC, I was part of a 15-person international secretariat of what was then called the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA), and more popularly known as the tcktcktck campaign. Prior to that, I  had decided to take time off after 14 amazing years of working with a Canadian international development NGO, alternating between assignments overseas and in Canada. I was exhausted, feeling the need to take several steps back and reflect on what we were accomplishing on the ground, on how it related to national, regional and global dynamics, and how I could in the future better connect what we were learning as a sector at the community level with the macro policies that were shaping the globalized world. When I would go back to work, I thought, I would be ready to do something "really different".

Well, for the next while, and what turned out to be a year and a half leave, I did not do half as much thinking as I had planned. Being a fulltime mom and house wife was a full-time job, I discovered, especially in a place as complex as Delhi! When I finally woke up to the fact that I needed to go back to work (my son told me he thought this might be a good idea...), I remember telling a friend over coffee that I wanted to work on a cutting edge and critical issue.. something different from what I had done before, a critical issue for our times, like climate change. It was early 2009 and the world was gearing up for COP 15 in Copenhagen. In a similar way as we have this year been getting ready for COP 21 in Paris. As luck would have it, the first friend that I told I was ready to go back to work was recruiting for a position in the tcktcktck campaign!

For two intense years I was part of this amazing team of activists, campaigners and scientifically inclined geeks that were out to stop catastrophic climate change. We worked with a coalition of more than 250 groups around the world to create the conditions for a FAB deal in Copenhagen (Fair, Ambitious and Binding) and we, among other things, pulled off the largest climate march seen until then - with approximately 100,000 people taking to the streets in sub-zero temperatures. But we did not get a FAB deal, actually we did not get any deal at all, and the rest is history.

When I "came back" to international development work, I realized my understanding of things had changed for ever. Climate change represented for me, one of the most tangible consequences of the failure of our globe to develop sustainably and equitably. We could not stop climate change without having truly equitable and sustainable development everywhere, and we could not aspire to global sustainable development if we did not stop climate change.

So I am very much at home in the present moment where we are seeing the environment and development streams of UN processes come together, as manifested in the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals. And I have felt very excited by our collective campaign this year, We Can Do Better 2015, which has prioritized issues of inequality and women's rights along side the imperative of addressing climate change and environmental sustainability.

When we began this pivotal year, we identified COP 21 as our last key global moment and we hoped that Canada would transform from laggard to leader as a result of the federal election. And now we are here: the COP will start in Paris this week, despite terrorist attacks just a couple of weeks ago, and Canada is poised to engage in the negotiations in a constructive  and forward looking way with a Prime Minister committed to changing Canada's brand on environmental issues, a whole host of sustainably-minded Ministers, and a delegation of Premiers and Mayors who are taking action to up Canada's game.

In 2009, international NGOs present in Copenhagen awarded Canada "the fossil of the day" on an almost daily basis. Canada was also awarded "Fossil of the Year" towards the end of the Copenhagen Summit. It has received similar recognition in other climate meetings over the past years. The challenge for our new government is huge - we have a long climb to get back on top of the list of countries that are constructively enabling a global agreement towards reducing carbon emissions to stop catastrophic climate change. On Sunday, thousands of Canadians marched in Ottawa and around Canada sending a clear message to our government as it headed to Paris - which I summarize as #DoBetter2015 !

In solidarity,

Twitter: @JSanchezCCIC

Do you have any reactions to this column? I’d like to hear from you! Please send any comments to Julia Sanchez.


New look for Flash!

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Engaging with a new government and new Ministers

Engaging with a new governmentSo a new cabinet has been sworn in and Parliament will reconvene on December 3. CCIC has been engaging with the new government from the early days, sending a welcome letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and to the new Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau. The latter was published in Embassy Newspaper the day the new members of cabinet were unveiled. Welcome letters are also being prepared for Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna. Finally, ahead of the Speech from the Throne, CCIC helped coordinate a letter to the Prime Minister signed by almost 50 major organizations from the development and humanitarian community, signaling top priorities moving forward around implementing and financing the Sustainable Development Goals, on Syria and the region, and on climate change. For the first time, mandate letters sent by PM Trudeau to new ministers were made public, and CCIC was pleased to see, among other things, that implementing the new Global Goals was listed as a top priority in Minister Bibeau’s mandate letter. CCIC is planning to meet with Minister Bibeau soon, as well as with opposition critics for international development.

Roundtable with Christian Paradis and CCIC members

Roundtable with Christian ParadisTo acknowledge the efforts that Minister Paradis had made to rekindle the relationship between the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada and civil society groups working in international development – best demonstrated by the new Partnership Policy for civil society organizations working in international development and humanitarian assistance – CCIC organized an informal debrief with the Minister and his Chief of Staff at the end October. It provided an opportunity for 20 member organizations, many of them Board members, to have a candid exchange with outgoing Minister Paradis on what worked in our relationship with him and DFATD during his tenure, what could have worked differently or better, and how he thought we might best work with the Conservative party as the official opposition to promote our collective interests. Perhaps one of the most novel ideas was that outgoing Ministers meet with incoming Ministers – regardless of their political stripes – to help smooth the transition between governments. The roundtable was followed by a reception attended a cross-section of representatives from the community.

Former CCIC Head Tim Broadhead honoured by McGill University

Tim BroadheadCCIC and the Canadian international development community congratulates Tim Broadhead, a former CCIC Executive Director for five years, for receiving an honorary degree from McGill University. Mr. Broadhead has had a long career and strong engagement in international development, working as a volunteer in Africa and contributing to the creation of a few Canadian and international NGOs. In his convocation address, he spoke about climate change and new technology -that will result in the disappearance of whole categories of employment- as new challenges that new grads will face. More details and his full address can be found here.

APG Members Gather in Ottawa

APG members gather in OttawaMembers of the Americas Policy Group (APG) met in late November to discuss joint priorities and strategies within the changing policy environment. APG members had the honour of being joined by Francisco Ramirez, a Colombian human rights activist and labour union lawyer, who detailed the negative impacts of Canadian corporate activity in that country’s extractive sector. Members also had the chance to meet with high-level staff at Global Affairs Canada, sharing APG priorities in the region. Finally, the APG had the pleasure of welcoming three new members: Handicap International; the Latin American and Caribbean Studies program at Carleton University; and Projet Accompagnement Québec-Guatemala.

Paris en décembre

Paris en decembreWhy should Canadians care about the outcome of the Paris talks on climate change? This was the topic of a High Level Event held on November 19, ten days before the 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris to potentially adopt a legally binding and universal agreement on climate change. A sold-out audience at the National Arts Centre first heard from the Ambassador of France, the High Commissioner of Barbados, and Minister Counsellors from Peru and Ethiopia, on the impacts of climate change in their countries and what they are hoping for from Paris. The Second Panel – facilitated by Aurore Fauret and Clayton Thomas-Muller, two activists from – quickly shifted the discussion to frank and honest exchange about what needs to happen more concretely in Canada to turn things around – from indigenous activist Eriel Derange, President of the Ontario Farmers Association Don McCabe, Labour researcher Andrea Peart, Ottawa City Councillor David Chernushenko, and Energy expert Michael Cleland. Neither a Liberal nor Conservative MP was able to attend the concluding section. However, both NDP Environment Critic, Nathan Cullen, and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, talked about the importance of targets – even when aspirational – and of Canadians getting down to action.

Closure of Jamaican Self-Help

Jamaican Self-HelpIt is with deep regret that CCIC learned of the upcoming closure of Jamaican Self-Help. Jamaican Self-Help has been a longstanding and important member of CCIC. Over the years, JSH has actively engaged with CCIC through working groups, events, policy discussions and on the board of directors. Jamaican Self-Help has brought a valuable expertise and perspective to CCIC. JSH’s dedicated work, unique mandate and collaboration with the sector will be deeply missed. Please read CCIC’s full letter to JSH here.

Changes to the Code of Conduct for Lobbyists

The Lobby Commission of Canada has announced that the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct (2015) will come into force on December 1, 2015. The publication of the Code comes following a consultation in the fall of 2014 during which the Commissioner engaged stakeholders across Canada. The result is a new code of conduct that improves upon the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct (1997). Key changes include:

  • The Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct (2015) focuses on the relationship between lobbyists and public office holders, which is consistent with the scope of the Lobbying Act.
  • A principle was added to require lobbyists to act in a manner that demonstrates respect for democratic institutions, including the duty of public office holders to serve the public interest.
  • Rules on conflict of interest were clarified and are consistent with the 2009 Federal Court of Appeal decision in Democracy Watch v. Barry Campbell.

If you or your organization is registered with the Lobby Commission, make sure that you are familiar with the changes, most of them implemented for clarification purposes.

Preparation has started for the Montréal World Social Forum 2016

World Social Forum 2016For the first time since its creation in 2001, the next edition of the World Social Forum (WSF) will be held in a country from the "Global North": Canada! From August 9 to 14, 2016, we are expecting more than 50,000 people and 5,000 civil society organizations (CSOs) from Quebec, Canada and around the world will converge in Montreal to participate in discussions and take concerted actions to make another world - a better world - possible. You can get involved in the process by participating in the different working groups, or simply visit the WSF 2016 website for more information. CSOs who would like to organize their own activities, or collaborate with others to organize joint activities linked to international cooperation during the WSF 2016, can also contact Denis Côté at AQOCI.


CCIC is thrilled to welcome back Cuso International as its newest member!

CUSO International

Cuso International is an international development agency working to improve the lives of people living with poverty and inequality around the globe. Each year it mobilizes hundreds of volunteer professionals who work with local partners to create positive, lasting change.

MEMBER PROFILE: Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace

Development and Peace's David Leduc
Credit : Juan-Manuel Lobaton. 
Partner CEPROSI. Harvesting quinoa grains in the outskirts of La Paz, Bolivia

This month CCIC met with David Leduc, the Executive Director of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace to discuss their longstanding humanitarian response work, the ‘Create a Climate of Change’ campaign, the reason international development CSOs need to be part of the climate change movement and much more!

For over 40 years the Canada Catholic Organization for Development and Peace has been delivering community development programs and emergency relief. Based on your experience, where would you like to see the new Canadian government and Canadian CSOs focus more attention? What is the most pressing gap?

It is civil society actors that have the tools to work towards the establishment of inclusive, autonomous communities, each free to express religious, cultural and national aspirations. Over the last decade the Canadian government has significantly reduced its support of civil society-driven organisations, and in so doing, affected our collective ability as CSOs to respond and contribute to both local and global issues of critical concern. I have always believed that Civil society must work in parallel and in support of local, national and international government efforts, but also with the investment and support of these same governments to help civil society organisations and affected citizens reach deep into communities not only to undertake needs assessments, but much more importantly, to undertake skills assessments.  It is the skills of local people that will lead to creative grass-roots solutions and to participatory processes that are required to bring about lasting change in our societies.

The Liberal government’s intention to initiate a greater process of consultation with CSOs as part of a reframing process for Canada’s International Development priorities is very welcomed and it will be our collective responsibility to ensure that such consultation not only takes place but also is reflected in policy.  Our response to humanitarian aid, as a nation and as CSOs more generally must to be driven by a methodology that places affected communities and individuals as central actors in defining their needs and as active participants in the elaboration of strategies.

      Read More


Letters by CCIC members to PM Trudeau

Letters by CCIC members to PM TrudeauMany CCIC members, including Amnesty International, AQOCI and the Provincial and Regional Councils via the Inter-Council Network (ICN), wrote letters to PM Trudeau asking the new government for more and better aid, an engagement and action plan to implement the SDGs in Canada and abroad, and stronger leadership on human rights issues, among other things.

International CECI/WUSC Forum:
Inclusive Economies, Inclusive Societies

CECI WUSC International ForumThe fifth annual International Forum will be held in Ottawa, from January 22 to 23, 2016.  The International Forum is a unique initiative of WUSC – World University Service of Canada – and CECI – the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation, which brings together youth and other key stakeholders in the sector to discuss cutting-edge issues in international development. The 2016 International Forum will `explore how markets are being reinvented at the local and global levels to better respond to the needs, potentials and aspirations of youth and women. Registration is open!

Special supplement on the Journées québécoises de la solidarité internationale

Cahier special des journees quebecoises de la solidarity internationaleOn Saturday November 7th, the newspaper Le Devoir  published a special supplement on the Journées québécoises de la solidarité internationale (JQSI) organized by the Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI). The supplement focuses on the theme of women mobilization and includes an article in which CCIC is referenced.

Canadian aid agencies call for a "New Deal" for Syria's refugees

Canadian aid agencies call for a "New Deal" for Syria's refugeesSeven aid agencies, including many CCIC members (Oxfam, Care, Save the Children, World Vision) have recently launched a report “Right to a Future: Empowering refugees from Syria and host governments to face a long-term crisis”. The report calls for a new approach to the refugee crisis by the international community, including Syria’s neighbours; one which offers hope, safety and dignity to the millions of refugees, and gives them a chance to contribute to the societies and economies of their hosts countries.

AKFC's International Youth Fellowship Program

In the last 25 years, over 400 young Canadians have participated in AKFC’s International Youth Fellowship Program – a great opportunity to become a leader in global development. This prestigious Fellowship is a launching pad for diverse careers in the government, non-profit, media and finance sectors. It offers a training program and an eight-month overseas placement to recent university graduates and young professionals under 30. The deadline to submit an application is February 1st, 2016.

#EyeOnParis climate campaign by Oxfam

EyeOnParisOxfam is calling for a climate deal that meets the needs of the world’s poorest people – in particular rural women, many of whom are already going hungry because of climate change. Oxfam wants the talks in Paris, which take place from November 30 - December 11, to result in cuts to emissions, and more funds to help those most vulnerable adapt to the effects of climate change. Oxfam endorsed the Leap Manifesto in September, and has been standing with grassroots climate activists organizing in Canada and around the world.

Sustainable Harvests: How Investing in Agriculture Can Help Farmers Address Environmental Challenges

Sustainable HarvestsAs part of their Good Soil Campaign, Canadian Foodgrains Bank have just published a paper demonstrating how investment in smallholder agriculture in developing countries can address numerous environmental problems. The paper was timed to come out just before the Paris Conference of Parties meeting and makes strong links between sustainable agriculture and climate change adaptation. In addition, the paper deals with soil health, water management and biodiversity.


More from the Series on Global Goals in Development Unplugged

Development UnplluggedThe new sustainable development goals were adopted on September 25 at the United Nations. To promote, explain and unpack the goals, CCIC is publishing a special series in Development Unplugged, from late September to mid-November. Contributors include the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Oxfam Canada, the Canadian Bar Association, academics and many others. Each article makes concrete suggestions on how Canada can focus its efforts both internationally and domestically to address each of the 17 goals. A book featuring all the articles and a few more will also be made available online before the end of the year.

Two videos of our DFATD panel now online!

Two videos of our DFATD panels

Have you missed our panel “Navigating the new amalgamated DFATD: Who, where and what?” as part of the International Cooperation Days 2015? You may now watch it on YouTube, along with other videos from our annual conference.


McLeod Group Development Policy Briefs

McLoad Group

In the lead-up to the 2015 federal election, the McLeod Group produced a series of policy briefs on international development issues that confront Canada and Canadians, with recommendations for the new government. A summary is now available, with links to the papers in question.


New Publication by CIPS Working Group on International Development

New publication by CIPSThe Centre for International Policy Studies, University of Ottawa, has convened a number of working groups to explore specific issues and make policy recommendations for Canada's foreign policy. One of these is the Working Group on International Development, which CCIC's President-CEO is a member of. The Working Group made public on November 16 a report entitled Towards 2030: Building Canada’s Engagement with Global Sustainable Development. The working group, comprised of leading academics, civil society leaders and former senior officials, argues that “global sustainable development” is central to Canada’s prosperity, security, environment and global influence. They conclude, however, that Canadian society has not kept pace with the evolving global context and offer eight recommendations to kick start a generational shift – spanning academia, business, think tanks, philanthropy, civil society and all levels of government.

What does the 2015 Federal election mean for Canadian charities?

What does the 2015 Federal elections mean for Canadian CharitiesMark Blumberg recently published an article about what we can expect for Canadian charities with the new Liberal government. The article argues that the Liberals have an ambitious general agenda and non-profits and charities are not likely to be their most pressing concern.

Under Siege Peaceful Resistance to Tahoe Resources and Militarization in Guatemala

Under siege peaceful resistance to Tahoe ResourcesA new report reveals the dramatic extent of the militarized security strategy that Canadian-US mining company Tahoe Resources developed to quash community opposition to its Escobal project in southeastern Guatemala. In Under Siege: Peaceful Resistance to Tahoe Resources and Militarization in Guatemala’, Guatemalan investigative journalist Luis Solano untangles the web of relationships and tactics that led to the militarization of farming communities in the area of the company’s operations. This investigation was commissioned by the International Platform Against Impunity in Central America and MiningWatch Canada.

Oxfam Media Briefing on Paris Climate Deal

There is likely to be a climate deal in Paris. The emission pledges that more than 150 governments have put on the table this year show that global climate ambition is increasing. But much more is needed, as it’s a deal that could still lead to around 3°C of warming. In this media briefing Oxfam looks at potential game-changers on finance and mitigation ambition that could avert these costs for the world’s poorest people. These are the issues that will determine whether the Paris deal reflects the power of the biggest fossil fuel emitters and elites, or is a turning point which starts to address the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable.

Financial Reform and Financing Development

Financial Reform and Financing Development




The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has released its annual report, focused on how to make the international financial architecture work for development.





Relevant OECD analysis, tools and approaches about the SDGs

Relevant OECD analysis


The OECD published a summary document describing how it will support the new UN Sustainable Development Goals, including: improving policy coherence, promoting investment in sustainable development, supporting inclusive growth and well-being, ensuring the planet’s sustainability, promoting partnerships, strengthening data availability and capacity and facilitating follow up and review.




New World Bank Report: Ending Extreme Poverty and Sharing Prosperity

New World Bank Report: Ending Extreme Poverty and Sharing Prosperity


To guide its work toward a “world free of poverty,” the World Bank Group established in 2013 two clear goals: end extreme poverty by 2030 and promote shared prosperity. This Policy Research Note updates the assessment of progress toward these goals and examines the policy actions and institutional interventions needed to accelerate progress toward meeting these objectives. According to the report, less than 10 % of the world's population will be living in extreme poverty by the end of 2015.


New World Bank Report on Climate Change

New World Bank Report on Climate Change


Climate change is already preventing people from escaping poverty, and without rapid, inclusive and climate-smart development, coupled with emissions-reductions efforts that protect the poor, there could be more than 100 million more people living in poverty by 2030, according to a new World Bank Group report Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty, released before the international climate conference in Paris. There is also an infographic that can be consulted and shared.


Global Nutrition Report 2015

Global Nutrition Report 2015


The Global Nutrition Report is the first comprehensive summary and scorecard on both global and country level progress on all forms of nutrition for 193 countries. The 2015 edition builds and reflects on new opportunities, actions, progress, accountability, and data for nutrition, with the aim of building greater commitment to improved nutrition in all countries. It includes an infographic to present a snapshot of the scale of malnutrition across the globe.



Ending Rural Hunger

Ending Rural Hunger Report


The Ending Rural Hunger Report assesses each developing country’s underlying needs, policies and resources for rural food and nutrition security (FNS) and their efforts in tackling the relevant challenges – both in terms of their domestic agriculture market distortions and their aid towards FNS. The report provides a useful reference point for evidence-based SDG policy discussions in Canada and all other countries. In addition to the report, all the data is available online with interactive tools.


New documentary on Canadian International Aid

Nouveau documentaire sur l'aide internationale canadienne



The documentary Charité bien ordonnée (available in French only) of Ève Caroline Pomerleau looks at the ways in which Canadian foreign has changed, and focuses amongst other things on how the role of the private sector has increased at the expense of NGOs. Julia Sanchez, President-CEO of CCIC, is one of the people interviewed in this documentary.




Inclusive social development: poverty and inequality in Latin America

Inclusive social development


The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) recently published a backgrounder on the next generation of policies for overcoming poverty and reducing inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean and making progress toward sustainable development, in line with the recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.



Launch of New Free Trade 101 Video

Launch of New Free Trade 101 Video

This introductory video produced by Common Frontiers highlights the risks associated with free trade deals such as the Trans Pacific Partnership, including increasing corporate power, eroding state sovereignty and weakening democratic authority.


Will Trudeau boost Mennonite causes?
Canadian Mennonite | November 18, 2015

Vers l’égalité et l’autonomie pour les femmes et les filles
Le Devoir | November 7, 2015

The crushing of a charity
The Peterborough Examiner | November 6, 2015

An open letter to the new minister of international development
Embassy | November 4, 2015

Is Canada “Fit for Purpose” in the face of a new global agenda?
CIPS Blog | November 3, 2015



2016 CCIC Annual Conference
May 11-12, 2016
Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health
Save the date!

Launch: “Whose Rights Are We Protecting Anyways? Investment Treaties and Human Rights”
Ottawa, Ontario
December 14, 2015



Together: An Exhibition on Global Development - Aga Khan Foundation Canada
Across Canada
Fall 2015

Inter Pares Film Nights
Ottawa, Ontario
Fall 2015

WUSC / CECI International Forum: Inclusive Economies. Inclusive Societies
Ottawa, Ontario
Januray 22-23, 2016

Save the date! 2016 Ottawa Forum – CIPS / Canada 2020
Ottawa, Ontario
Januray 28-29, 2016

CIVICUS International Civil Society Week: Active Citizens, Accountable Actions
Bogotá, Colombia
April 25-28, 2016

CALACS 2016 Conference: Hybrid Communities, Societies, Spaces, and Subjectivities
Calgary, Alberta
June 1-3, 2016

Save the date! Canadian Humanitarian Conference 2016: Canada’s role as a humanitarian actor on the global stage
Ottawa, Ontario
October 6-7, 2016

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