Society for Conservation Biology to hold sustainability seminar with United Nations

Attendees to receive sustainability training certificate from UN Foundation for Environmental Stewardship

The United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Supplied by United Nations

The Society for Conservation Biology Kingston Chapter will join forces with the United Nations Foundation for Environmental Stewardship (FES) on Nov. 16 to provide students with valuable skills in sustainability leadership.

The Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) is an organization of Queen’s students and faculty members with the collective aim to preserve biodiversity. With a local focus, the group’s advocacy is implemented largely through educational programs and interactive events focused on environmental conservation. 

According to the event description, the Foundation for Environmental Stewardship (FES) is an accredited “youth-led, youth-serving sustainable development” UN organization, which aims to “create a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable future by empowering youth.”

Called the Queen’s University United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Youth Training Seminar, the Nov. 16 event will welcome over 200 secondary and post-secondary students from Queen’s and Kingston to Ellis Hall for sustainability training.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Youth Training program was devised as a part of Canada 150 celebrations. The program’s stop at Queen’s is one of 50 training sessions being held in colleges and universities across the country this year.

According to SCB Co-President Ashley Concessio, the SDGs Youth Training Seminar will “mobilize youth and teach them the skills they need to become the leaders of a sustainable tomorrow.” 

During the seminar, a United Nations speaker will address students on how best to influence policy, practice advocacy and promote sustainability developments.

“This youth training seminar not only provides youth with a certificate in sustainability but also supports local clubs like our own in implementing our own projects that will benefit the Queen’s and Kingston community,” Concessio wrote in an email to The Journal.

Not only will this event offer attendees the opportunity to connect with UN officials and policymakers, but they also have the chance to meet with public policy activists who have been on the forefront of the sustainable development movement around the globe. 

According to SCB Vice-President Zoe Walters, the development goals are designed to essentially be a “catch-all for turning the world.”

“The UN has these in place, basically, to save the world,” Walters told The Journal. “[The seminar] is meant to be engaging and meant to feel worthwhile. We want people to come out of it really feeling like they [are] trained.”

For participating in the seminar, attendees will receive a certificate in sustainability training from the Foundation of Environmental Stewardship. 

Walters said the training will encourage students to support SCB’s local sustainability efforts, which will in turn have a direct and immediate impact on the Kingston and Queen’s community.

“Queen’s has so many clubs that hold so much value, but a lot of the work is done far away,” she said. “We want to instill a feeling of value for the environment they want to conserve, because as we know, half of conservation is conserving it in your own backyard.”

While tickets were originally priced at $250, many partners and sponsors of the FES made contributions to subsidize the tickets. Students can now purchase tickets online for only $25.


The article said the Queen’s University United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Youth Training Seminar was going to be held at the Isabel Bader Centre. The article has been updated to reflect it will be hosted in Ellis Hall. 

The Journal regrets the error.

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