We wish to acknowledge this land on which the University of Toronto operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land. We seek to further align our efforts with Indigenous causes and movements, using a framework of integrity and honesty.
Who we are
The Munk Students' Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a student-led organization that aims to raise the profile of environment, sustainability, and climate-related issues at the Munk School, while providing a platform for students to explore the intersections of sustainability, environmental policy, and climate change as they relate to other pillars of public policy and global affairs. EWG is a platform for students to research and build knowledge on emerging topics in the climate sphere, collaborate with like-minded peers, and learn about careers in climate and sustainability while networking with alumni and industry professionals.
Safeguarding human rights and respecting international humanitarian law are paramount in addressing the ongoing crisis. We grieve for all civilian deaths and hostages taken, as we extend our sympathy and heartbreak to the families of all who have lost loved ones, including the loss of more than a thousand Israelis at the hands of Hamas. We draw attention to the Israeli state’s disproportionate use of force, which has led to thousands of civilian and innocent casualties, including the tragic targeting of civilians, hospitals, schools, and journalists.
The Munk Student’s EWG explicitly and proudly commits to environmental justice and sustainability. We recognize that the violent ramifications of settler-colonialism are indivisible from capitalist resource interests, environmental degradation, violation of indigenous rights, and other foundational cruxes of holistic sustainability. The military-industrial complex is additionally responsible for significant GHG emissions and ecological destruction resulting from military activity. Ultimately, the physical destruction and societal fissures caused by warfare erode all progress made towards sustainable development and environmental justice.
In service of our mandate and the global consensus on the rights of civilians and occupied peoples, we call for a permanent ceasefire to defend fundamental human rights and set the foundations for an equitable way forward. As we call for a ceasefire, we recognize the history of settler colonialism, displacement and dispossession that began 75 years ago, oppressing the Palestinian people through occupation and apartheid. The exploitative power structures established by colonialism continue to drive inequality in the treatment of people and the distribution of resources. Decolonization is imperative to achieving equity and justice.
Justice is a vital precursor to lasting peace, safety, and sustainable development. This truth informs our position to stand against all forms of imperialism and oppression as we seek to advance principles of indigenous sovereignty, self-determination, and decolonization on Turtle Island and across the world.