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Social Justice 12 Learns About the Ancient Forest Alliance

GNSGNS photo
On January 7, the Social Justice 12 class had an insightful presentation from members of the Ancient Forest Alliance.

The students heard from the non-profit organization about the importance of old-growth forests, specifically on Vancouver Island. The Alliance is responsible for convincing the government to save notable areas of forest such as the “Avatar Grove” near Port Renfrew.

“It was interesting, it’s a very pressing issue that needs to be addressed,” said Eliza Bains ’20. “I didn’t realize how endangered the old-growth forests are, and it’s incredible to think that it’s deteriorating at such a rate. So, we need to do something about it. Also, with everything that is happening in Australia in ties in.”

The presentation was able to tie into theend of year Action Plans that students are working on, specifically those who are focusing on environmental issues.

Bains has already implemented her Action Plan at GNS. She is creating eco-bricks to build chairs for the Young Round Square Conference that GNS is hosting from April 31 to May 6. She got the idea to do something with eco-bricks after she visited Sri Lanka in December 2018 for a Round Square Big Build Trip.

“This girl from South Africa who was in my group talked about eco-bricks and what she was doing at her school,” Eliza explained. “So, I thought what a great way to do that [here]. It’s simple and effective, and you can put your soft plastics to good use. So, I came back and implemented it at GNS.”

To make eco-bricks, a two-litre pop bottle is packed with soft plastics and foil-lined recycling (clean and dry). The filled bottle is then pushed down to a certain density and can be used to build various objects like tables, stools and can even used for buildings.

Kaya Wende ’20 and Ellie Bird ’20 are partners on their Action Plan, where they are looking into the government’s plan to cull hundreds of wolves to try and save caribou numbers. The provincial government proposed a predator cull that would kill 80 per cent of the wolf population in parts of central British Columbia.

“It’s not a very sustainable plan,” said Kaya. “Our goal is to try and make a different plan, and hopefully the government can change [their plan] and not kill off 80 per cent of wolves.”

The presentation from the Ancient Forest Alliance was an excellent way for the duo to get an idea of what to do for their Action Plan, including implementing a petition.

“It’s a similar idea and outline,” said Ellie. “We will be doing a presentation and a petition, so it’s a similar structure.”

The Social Justice 12 class aims to raise students’ awareness of the issues surrounding social injustice. This includes locally and globally, past and present. A major component of the class is the Action Project, where the students apply what they have learned to a current social justice issue.