Posted on Jan 19, 2018
Abbotsford, B.C.
For Immediate Release January 19, 2018
Road to Peace through Environmental Sustainability
First of Six Peacebuilding Conferences Worldwide
VANCOUVER, BC (January, 2018) Having played a key role in founding of the United Nations and led the 30-year global campaign to rid the world of polio, from 350,000 cases in 120 countries to 21 over the past year in three countries, Rotary International is highlighting opportunities to address the massive, complex challenge of peacebuilding through a series of six international conferences, the first to be held in Vancouver on February 10, 2018. The theme of this first conference is peacebuilding through environmental sustainability.
Conflict and violence displace millions of people each year. Half of those killed in conflict are children, and 90 percent are civilians. Often conflict starts and continues over long periods in competition for dwindling resources and as environmental changes force people to migrate.
The conference will examine sustainable global and local environmental practices, and their contributions to peacebuilding and peacemaking. Participants will discuss the impact of environmental issues on health, fresh air, clean water, vegetation, and food production - and how improved environmental conditions are a fundamental condition of building peace within communities. The conference will bring together global and local community leaders, youth, and representatives from the public, private, and government sectors.
This Rotary Presidential Peacebuilding Conference in Vancouver is the first in a series of six in 2018 to be held on different aspects of peacebuilding, with others scheduled for Beirut, Lebanon, Coventry, United Kingdom, Sydney, Australia, Taranto, Italy and Chicago, United States.
“The six peacebuilding conferences are designed to help us better understand the connections between Rotary’s six areas of focus – disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economy and community development – and our commitment to building peace.” says Ian Riseley, President of Rotary International. “Environmental issues have a significant and lasting impact on every one of Rotary’s six areas of focus. By addressing challenges with the environment, we can make a difference in all of those areas.”
Conference chair John Anderson says: “For over 110 years Rotary has been serving communities here at home and around the world where there is a need for support. It is an honour for Vancouver and Canada to host the first of six Rotary Presidential Peacebuilding conferences also to be held in the Middle East, Europe, Australia as well as North America. Canada, British Columbia and Vancouver are known for their leadership not only in peacekeeping, but environmental issues, so it is fitting that the theme of this first conference is peacebuilding as it relates to environmental sustainability. In the end, through this conference, we can re-focus on another way of viewing peacebuilding through the lens of protecting our environment and reducing conflict over increasing competition for dwindling resources. It’s a huge challenge, but Rotary is up to it, as we have demonstrated in pursuing other global causes of making the world a better place.”
The 1.2 million business and professional leaders as members of 35,000 Rotary clubs around the world are engaged in meeting needs of their own local communities and the shared world community, bringing together leaders who exchange ideas and take action to create positive change on priorities such as: • promoting peace • fighting disease • providing clean water • saving mothers and children • supporting education and • growing local economies.
Ian Riseley, Rotary International President 2017-18, Rotary Club of Sandringham, Victoria, Australia
For further information, please contact:
John Anderson, Chair                                                             Peter Roaf
Rotary Presidential Peacebuilding Conference                                  PR Chair, Rotary District 5040
Vancouver February 10, 2018                                                                                                          604-839-1465             
Environmental Sustainability and Peace
Volatile rainfall and temperature trends in many parts of the world have exerted significant pressure on available land, water and food resources leading to diminishing food stocks, inadequate water supply, mass migration and desertification, according to the United States Institute of Peace
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects that rapidly changing variables in the atmosphere could expose an additional 250 million people to increased water stress in Africa by 2020, with yields from rain-fed agriculture dropping by 50%. The likelihood of flooding in Asia could rise from 10 to 40%, affecting lives and livelihood of millions. The loss of biodiversity in Latin America would have global ramifications and could precipitate mass displacement.
By 2050, water resources in Caribbean and Pacific Islands are expected to be insufficient to meet demand. Subsequently, millions will be pushed from subsistence to desperation and heightened competition for scarce resources would create flash points that could trigger violence.  These developments have dire implications for peace and sustainable economic development. 
Environmental peacebuilding examines and advocates environmental protection and cooperation as a factor in peaceful relations. Those engaged in peacebuilding aim to identify the conditions that lead beyond a temporary cessation of violence to sustainable processes of conflict management and mutual cooperation between those who have previously been adversaries.
Advocates of environmental peacebuilding examine the role of environmental factors in moving towards a sustainable peace. For instance, warfare devastates ecosystems and the livelihoods of those who depend on natural resources, and the anarchy of conflict situations leads to the uncontrolled, destructive exploitation of natural resources.
Preventing these impacts allows for an easier movement to a sustainable peace. From a more positive perspective, environmental cooperation can be one of the places where hostile parties can sustain a dialogue, and sustainable development is a prerequisite for a sustainable peace.
Rotary’s areas of focus summary next page
Rotary’s global commitment
Rotary is dedicated to six areas of focus to build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world to support our peace efforts and end polio forever. All six areas of focus form one integrated system for a more peaceful, collaborative world all co-habitating a shared sustainable environment. In promoting peace, Rotary sponsors every year 100 peace fellowships – 50 Master’s degree and 50 certificate programs -- at Rotary Peace Centers at universities around the world, with over 1,000 graduates from the program.
Promoting peace
Rotary encourages conversations to foster understanding within and across cultures. We train adults and young leaders to prevent and mediate conflict and help refugees who have fled dangerous areas.
Fighting disease
We educate and equip communities to stop the spread of life-threatening diseases like polio, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. We improve and expand access to low-cost and free health care in developing areas.
Providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene
We support local solutions to bring clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to more people every day. We don’t just build wells and walk away. We share our expertise with community leaders and educators to make sure our projects succeed long-term.
Saving mothers and children
Nearly 6 million children under the age of five die each year because of malnutrition, poor health care, and inadequate sanitation. We expand access to quality care, so mothers and their children can live and grow stronger.
Supporting education
More than 775 million people over the age of 15 are illiterate. Our goal is to strengthen the capacity of communities to support basic education and literacy, reduce gender disparity in education, and increase adult literacy.
Growing local economies
We carry out service projects that enhance economic and community development and create opportunities for decent and productive work for young and old. We also strengthen local entrepreneurs and community leaders, particularly women, in impoverished communities.
Ending polio forever Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for over 30 years, and our goal of ridding the earth of this disease is in sight. We started in 1979 with vaccinations for 6 million children in the Philippines. Today, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan are the only countries where polio remains endemic.
Road to Peace through Environmental Sustainability 2018-01-19 08:00:00Z 0
Christmas Comes Early for Starfish Pack Program 2017-12-19 08:00:00Z 0
Posted on Nov 02, 2017
Rotary Club of Abbotsford President Stacey Irwin welcomed District Governor Lindagene Coyle to the club’s meeting. District Governor Coyle’s concise but inspirational message focused on the strategic goals of Rotary and District 5050 which included: service to community; club collaboration; membership renewal and engagement, and the power of Rotary to make a difference. “Think of your involvement in Rotary and donations made to the Rotary Foundation as investing in a better world.” This was the District Governor’s salient challenge to a room filled with Rotarians, community partners, business leaders, and friends of Rotary. Following this two cheque presentations were made to the Abbotsford Food Bank for the Abbotsford Starfish Pack Program.
Ron Kelly, Partner of Baker Newby Lawyers and fellow Abbotsford Rotarian shared this before presenting his cheque. “To honour Baker Newby’s 80th anniversary of providing legal services to the communities of Abbotsford and Chilliwack, our partners decided to make a significant contribution back to those communities in a way that would benefit those in need and who is more in need of assistance than hungry children.  As a result we decided to donate $80,000 this year to the Starfish Backpack program - $40,000 to the Abbotsford program and $40,000 to the Chilliwack program. So, today’s donation by the Rotary Club of Abbotsford of $7,450 is being matched by an equal amount from Baker Newby. As this was a matching grant program that has been going on for several months now, I am pleased to announce that other donors in Abbotsford have collectively donated over $40,000 to the Abbotsford Starfish Backpack program, and as such, Baker Newby is pleased to present matching funds to the Abbotsford Starfish Pack Program with a cheque totaling $40,000.”
Rotary Club of Abbotsford, President Stacey Irwin, a passionate and caring community champion was very pleased as she recognized the community partners and Rotarians who had helped to make Rotary’s cheque presentation possible. “This represents a combination of funds that were raised this year through our clubs participation in Foam Fest, the Big Truck Event at FraserGlen’s Driving Range Grand Re-Opening, sponsorships made by Berryhill Foods and FraserGlen Golf Course, other community members, and the Abbotsford-Sumas Rotary Club.  Wow, what a convergence of goodwill for such an amazing cause. It is days like this that I am so very proud to be part of this community and a local network of Rotarians who are making a difference!”
Upon receiving the cheques Rod Santiago, Executive Director of Abbotsford Community Services was all smiles as he realized that the combined efforts and donations of many, meant that many more needy school children would have backpacks filled with nutritional foods each weekend to take home and they wouldn’t go hungry! Reflecting on this Santiago expressed, “A huge, heartfelt thank you to my fellow Rotarians and for today’s boundless generosity that helps children come back to school every Monday and be better able to learn, grow and succeed.”
Photo 1 (L-R): District 5050 Governor Lindagene Coyle, Assistant Governor Mike Adkins, Rotary Club of Abbotsford President Stacey Irwin, Neil Stark from Abbotsford Community Services, and from Berryhill Foods Heidi Avery and Tim Phillips

Photo 2 (L-R): Ron Kelly – Partner of Baker Newby Lawyers, Neil Stark, and Rod Santiago of  Abbotsford Community Services representing the Abbotsford Food Bank – Starfish Pack Program.
Rotary Club of Abbotsford and District Governor Lindagene Coyle “Investing In a Better World” Cheque Presentations totaling over $47 K to the Abbotsford Food Bank Starfish Pack Program 2017-11-02 07:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club of Abbotsford Hosts 'The Big Truck Golf Event' at Fraserglen Golf Course 2017-08-22 07:00:00Z 0
2017 Rotary Million Dollar Hole in One Regretfully Cancelled Stacey Irwin 2017-05-18 07:00:00Z 0
Swinging into Spring...Serving Youth, Seniors, and Community! Stacey Irwin 2017-04-05 07:00:00Z 0
The Rotary Clubs of Abbotsford Presents Don Funk Memorial Award Stacey Irwin 2016-11-23 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club of Abbotsford Presents 5 Community Charities with Funding Stacey Irwin 2016-11-10 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club of Abbotsford - Presidents Night 2016 is Goin International  Stacey Irwin 2016-08-23 00:00:00Z 0
New President for the Rotary Club of Abbotsford 2016 2016-06-29 00:00:00Z 0
Prestigious Paul Harris Fellowships Awarded 2016-05-19 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club of Abbotsford - Grant Applications Now Being Accepted Until April 30, 2016 Stacey Irwin 2016-03-29 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Million Dollar Hole in One - Starfish Support - One Golf Ball at a Time Stacey Irwin 2016-03-03 00:00:00Z 0
Unitex Sales Keep on Supporting Abbotsford's Starfish BackPack Program 2016-01-22 00:00:00Z 0
The Rotary Clubs of Abbotsford Presents Don Funk Memorial Award Stacey Irwin 2015-11-26 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Donates Over $33,000 to the Starfish Packs Stacey Irwin 2015-11-17 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club of Abbotsford Presents $29,000 to Abbotsford Hospice Stacey Irwin 2015-09-22 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Engagement Survey 2015 - Please Participate 2015-04-27 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club of Abbotsford Celebrates 65 Years of Service Above Self Stacey Irwin 2015-04-13 00:00:00Z 0
Prospera Gives $10,500 to Starfish Pack Program Stacey Irwin 2014-11-05 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Stacey Irwin on Oct 20, 2014

(Abbotsford, BC) - Unitex Sales Ltd., an Abbotsford based provider of corporate marketing materials and uniforms, has announced a major donation to the Abbotsford Food Bank and the Rotary Club of Abbotsford in support of the Starfish Pack Program.

Unitex Sales Makes Major Donation to Starfish Packs Stacey Irwin 2014-10-20 13:51:22Z 0
Posted by Stacey Irwin on Sep 22, 2014
(Abbotsford, BC) - The Rotary Club of Abbotsford presented two community charities with funding to help support their local programs. The Cyrus Centre in Abbotsford received $2500 to assist with upgrades and Abby Dads received $1500 for floor hockey equipment to help support their father involvement program.
Two More Community Charities Receive Funding from the Rotary Club of Abbotsford Stacey Irwin 2014-09-23 00:00:00Z 0
Emergency Support Services Team and Rotary Club President Visit the Mobile Reception Centre Stacey Irwin 2014-09-22 18:20:33Z 0
Posted by Stacey Irwin on Jul 14, 2014

(Abbotsford, BC) – The Rotary Club of Abbotsford presented today three community charities with funding to help support their local programs. As a result of the Rotary Club’s very successful Million Dollar Hole-in-One event held this past June the first group of charities will receive proceeds from this event. The event raised $85,000 over eight days with the thanks to many sponsors, donors, volunteers and participants.

Rotary Club of Abbotsford Presents Three Community Charities with Funding Stacey Irwin 2014-07-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Stacey Irwin on Jun 29, 2014
(Abbotsford, BC) – The Rotary Club of Abbotsford is pleased to announce the installation of Thomas Hugh Ellis as President of the Rotary Club of Abbotsford, effective July 1, 2014.  Hugh has been a member of the Rotary Club of Abbotsford since 2011 and has served on the Board as Fundraising Director and President-Elect.

New President for the Rotary Club of Abbotsford Stacey Irwin 2014-06-30 00:00:00Z 0
Newest Paul Harris Fellowship Award Recipients Stacey Irwin 2014-03-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Stacey Irwin on Dec 18, 2013
(Abbotsford, BC) - The Rotary Club of Abbotsford awarded four prestigious Paul Harris Fellowships at their Christmas luncheon on December 17th. Fellowships were given to George Peary, Dave Murray, Andrew Franklin, and Caroline Mostertman. The club also proudly presented a cheque for $35,000 to the Abbotsford Food Bank for the 'Blessings in a Backpack' program. To learn more about the Blessings in a Backpack program click here. 
Cheque Presented to the Abbotsford Food Bank and Four Paul Harris Fellowships Awarded Stacey Irwin 2013-12-19 00:00:00Z 0
Prestigious Paul Harris Fellowships Awarded to Seven Community Minded Individuals Stacey Irwin 2013-11-22 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Stacey Irwin on Nov 12, 2013
(Abbotsford, BC) – The Annual Don Funk Memorial Award was presented on November 12th to three outstanding and exemplary Rotarians. For the first time, all three Rotary Clubs in Abbotsford gave the award to multiple recipients as they celebrated at an interclub luncheon at the Sandman Inn in Abbotsford. The recipients were Cors DeLint from the Rotary Club of Abbotsford, Tom McMillan from the Rotary Club Abbotsford-Sumas, and Matt Robinson from the Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Matsqui.
Don Funk Memorial Award Given to Three Outstanding Rotarians Stacey Irwin 2013-11-13 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Stacey Irwin on Oct 06, 2013

(Abbotsford, BC) – Ten exceptional and deserving students at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) received Leadership Awards of $1000 each from the Rotary Club of Abbotsford. The recipients were: Nathan Abrahams, Tony Chae, Kevin Janz, Sanjit Makkar, Kamal Moghrabi, Evgenia Pyzhyanova, Jacqueline Riller, Sophie Smit, Marnie Titus, and Danika Snook.

Rotary Leadership Awards and Friendship Exchange Stacey Irwin 2013-10-07 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Stacey Irwin on Sep 17, 2013
(Abbotsford, BC) – The Rotary Club of Abbotsford celebrated today many community commitments as a result of their very successful Million Dollar Hole-in-One event held this past June. The event raised $60,000 over eight days with the thanks to many sponsors, donors, volunteers and participants.
Abbotsford Rotary Celebrates Community Commitments and Thanks Sponsors Stacey Irwin 2013-09-18 00:00:00Z 0
Posted on Jul 21, 2013
With a special thank you to the Rotary Club of Abbotsford for funding the project, The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford has produced The Reach History Minutes. Staff and volunteers worked with students from Abbotsford who created, scripted and performed six one-minute vignettes based on the popular Historical Heritage Minutes.

The Reach History Minutes 2013-07-22 00:00:00Z 0