Posted by Patrick Morris
RI Conference – Environmental Sustainability and Peace
John Anderson is from the Tsawwassen Rotary Club, now the largest in District 5040 (which is western mainland BC). John is also District Governor (of D5040) and is originally from Melbourne, Australia.
John’s first message, through a variety of quotes, was that it is not enough to hope for peace, rather one must live it and work for it. He drew the relationship between peace in ourselves, in our clubs and in the world. RI President H.S. Riseley said: “The time is long past when environmental sustainability can be discussed as not Rotary’s concern. It is and must be everyone’s concern.”
RI has made plans for six events in 2018, the first being on February 10th in Vancouver (environmental sustainability) followed by:
  • Beirut (water & sanitation) - February 17
  • Coventry, England (disease prevention & treatment) - February 24th
  • Sidney, Australia (economic & community development) - March 17th
  • Taranto, Italy (maternal & child health) - April 28th
  • and ending in June in Chicago (basic education & literacy) - June 2nd.
John talked about the speaker lineup. He noted that the array of possibilities had the organizers creating a four-day program, when they have only one day. Speakers include David Suzuki, Jonathan Patz (an MD speaking on the Zika virus as an environmental concern), Jess Housty (speaking on oil spills and ocean impacts), Will Plowright (a Rotary peace scholar who now works with Doctors Without Borders), Dervan Moss (a peace fellow now working for the UN), and Doug Justica (a botanist speaking on the significance of trees).
The event takes place February 10th at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver. Early-bird registration is $225 and the organizers are hoping for 800 – 1000 attendees. The website is