News

Below are news items from the UBC IRES community.


The UN just recognized access to a healthy environment is a universal human right. It’s time for Canada to take action

Institute For Resources, Environment and Sustainability, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, school of public policy and global affairs, and mechanical engineering researchers Dr. David Boyd, Dr. Kai Chan, Dr. Amanda Giang and Dr. Navin Ramankutty wrote about the need for Canada to take action to ensure that all Canadians have the right to live in a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. Dr. Boyd is also the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment.

Canada ranks high for mammal movement between protected areas

Research associate Dr. Angela Brennan (Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability) discussed her research on how mapping animal movement could help protect biodiversity across the world.

Canadians could soon have the legal right to a healthy environment. But can it be enforced?

Dr. David R. Boyd (Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability; school of public policy and global affairs) explained the importance of adopting the UN resolution on the right to a healthy environment.

UK has ‘moral duty’ to improve air pollution

David Boyd talks about how the UK has a moral duty to improve air pollution

Could lab-grown meat ever be Indigenized?

Atlanta Grant, an Indigenous master's student at UBC, was quoted in an article exploring the implications of lab-grown meat.

Reducing your waste

Psychology professor Dr. Jiaying Zhao (Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability) discussed one way to reduce clothing waste.

IRES welcomes new Director Dr. Navin Ramankutty

IRES is welcoming Dr. Navin Ramankutty as our new Director on July 1, 2022, for a four-year term. We are delighted that Navin has agreed to become the next Director of IRES! Navin is jointly appointed in the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) in the Faculty of Arts and IRES in the […]

Carbon budgeting is just one tool in the climate change tool box. Here’s how it works

Dr. Simon Donner (department of geography; Institute for the Resources, Environment and Sustainability) explained how carbon budgeting works.

Campaign to curb clothing waste reaches Metro Vancouver residents, review shows, but recycling will get harder

Psychology professor Dr. Jiaying Zhao gave comments on reducing clothing waste.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Decision Analysis and the Environmental Impacts of Shipping | Deadline: Jun 30, 2022

If interested, please submit the following in a single PDF file to Prof. Amanda Giang at amanda.giang@ubc.ca, using “APPLICATION: Environmental Impacts of Shipping and Decision Analysis – YOUR NAME” in the subject line: cover letter describing your relevant experience, research interests, and preferred start date; curriculum vitae; names and emails for two references. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled; the priority deadline is June 30th, 2022. The position will be appointed for one year, with possible extension for an additional two years, based on performance.

How have Environmentally Friendly Activities Changed over the Past 10 Years?

Dr. Jiaying Zhao (Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability; department of psychology) discussed how activities that benefit the environment have evolved.

How Images of Turtles and Dolphins Helped One Vancouver Office Building Reduce Plastic Waste

A UBC psychology experiment found that pictures of marine animals helped one office building in Downtown Vancouver reduce plastic waste by 17 per cent. Psychology professor and the experiment's senior author Dr. Jiaying Zhao was quoted.

A Guaranteed Basic Income Could End Poverty, so Why Isn’t it Happening?

Psychology professor Dr. Jiaying Zhao and physics professor Dr. Lorne Whitehead discussed the need for guaranteed basic income in order to end poverty.

Climate Solutions Could be Key in Dealing with Poverty, Human Suffering

Dr. Jiaying Zhao (Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability; department of psychology) was quoted in a story about a new report on climate change impacts. Dr. Zhao said we'll see significant human suffering and casualties from climate change in low-income communities.

What We Know About the Women Who Vote for Republicans and the Men Who Do Not

A New York Times opinion piece mentioned research co-authored by Dr. Terre Satterfield (Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability), which found that white men’s risk perception ratings were lower than those of white women, minority-group women and minority-group men.

What’s going on in Antarctica? (And in the Arctic, too?)

Dr. Simon Donner, a UBC geography professor of climate science and policy, discussed what record-breaking temperatures in the Arctic and the Antarctic tell us about climate change.

Farmers Can Profit By Setting Aside Marginal Lands As Habitat

Dr. Claire Kremen, a professor at UBC's department of zoology and Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, discussed what can be done to render agriculture less hostile to biodiversity and the climate.

New Sustainability Hub at UBC to address Climate Change

A team led by Dr. Kai Chan, a UBC professor at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries and the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, has launched CoSphere, a new social media hub where people can connect to take action for a sustainable future.

North Americans have already used up their share of the Planet’s Resources for the Year. It’s Clear that Climate Action Needs a Reboot

Dr. Kai Chan, a UBC professor at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries and the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, wrote about system change to reduce our environmental footprints.

Environmental ‘Sacrifice Zones’ Require Ambitious Action: UN Expert

Unveiling a new report on the devastating impacts of pollution, United Nations expert, Dr. David Boyd, on Thursday called for "urgent and ambitious action" to ensure that everyone on the planet experiences "a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment."

Millions Suffering in Deadly Pollution ‘Sacrifice Zones’, warns UN expert

UN expert, Dr. David Boyd, has warned of the creation of pollution “sacrifice zones” across the world, where tens of millions of people are suffering strokes, cancers, respiratory problems and heart disease as a result of toxic contamination of the environment.

UN Environment Expert: The World’s Toxic Wastelands have Millions of Residents

Six months after the UN recognised the human right to a healthy environment, a report by the UN expert on the environment, Dr. David Boyd, shows that this is far from being the reality for some of the world’s most vulnerable.

Call for Applications – Director, Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability

Dr. Milind Kandlikar will finish his term as Director of the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) on June 30, 2022. A search committee has been formed to conduct a search for the next Director of IRES. 

Canada’s Oil, Gas Emissions cap may wait until 2023, Leaving Climate Plan Hole

Dr. Simon Donner, a UBC geography professor of climate science and policy, said if we don't do something to address oil and gas emissions, Canada will be unable to meet its 2030 emissions targets.

Climate Report Warns of Small ‘Window’ for Action: UBC Professor Simon Donner

Dr. Simon Donner, a professor of climate science and policy at UBC, said the key message of climate reports is that every action counts, and the more we reduce emissions, the less the planet warms, and the less people suffer.

IPCC Report: Half the World is facing Water Scarcity, Floods and Dirty Water — Large Investments are Needed for Effective Solutions

Balsher Singh Sidhu, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability, wrote about the impact of climate change on global water security and how we must work to adapt to climate change in order to mitigate the effects immediately.

University Partnership Exploring ‘Rock Solid’ Solution to Climate Change

UBC institute for resources, environment and sustainability professor Dr. Terre Satterfield discussed her research that analyzes the “human dynamics” component of a project to store carbon dioxide under the ocean floor.

Bringing Out the Best in Wild Birds on Farms

Feb 23, 2022 | Natural Habitat Maximizes the Benefits of Birds for Farmers, Food Safety and Conservation | Dr. Claire Kremen and colleagues published a new study in the Journal of Applied Ecology, which was conducted at 21 strawberry fields along California’s Central Coast. | http://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.14124

Alberto Campos and Kai Chan: Rewilding can Restore Ecosystems and Biodiversity in B.C.

Dr. Kai Chan, a UBC professor at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries and the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, co-wrote about rewilding, a method which could help alleviate the planet’s current climate and extinction crises, including in B.C.

Pollution Causing More Deaths than COVID, Action Needed, says U.N. Expert

Dr. David Boyd, a UBC Professor at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability and U.N. Special Rapporteur talks of how "Current approaches to managing the risks posed by pollution and toxic substances are clearly failing, resulting in widespread violations of the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment,"

The Climate Crisis Demands Courage Not Optimism

IRES Professor Simon Donner says climate change is here, and it’s time to move past seeking reassurance from others, to instead ask ourselves what we, as citizens, are going to do about it

U.S. Corn Production is Booming—But Not For the Reasons Scientists Hoped

Dr. Claire Kremen, a professor in UBC's department of zoology and the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, gave comments about increasing crop yields to tackle the challenge of feeding a growing population.

International land use scientists urge policymakers to adopt new approaches to addressing climate change, biodiversity and other global crises

February 7, 2022 | A new study, co-authored by Dr. Navin Ramankutty, IDs “10 Facts” about global land use and details opportunities for a more sustainable and equitable approach

Milk without the cow: Cellular agriculture could be the future of farming, but dairy farmers need help

January 12, 2022: Sarah-Louise Ruder, IRES PhD Student, and IRES alum Dr. Evan Bowness draw attention to the social impacts of cellular agriculture for the dairy sector in BC, advocating for food system transitions that prioritize sustainability and justice.