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Trio of Vancouver Island schools partner on new climate action leadership program

Royal Roads, Vancouver Island University team up with Pearson College for project
Deborah Saucier, president of Vancouver Island University; Craig Davis, president and head of college for Pearson College and Philip Steenkamp, president and vice-chancellor of Royal Roads University stand in front of Hatley Castle after signing off on the creation of a new Climate Action Leadership Diploma program. (Photo courtesy of Royal Roads University)

A trio of Vancouver Island educational institutions are marking Earth Day by partnering to create a new Climate Action Leadership Diploma (CALD) program for students aged 16 to 19.

Pearson College, Vancouver Island University and Royal Roads University have signed a pair of memorandums of understanding to create the new two-year program at Pearson’s Metchosin campus.

The program will provide students access to university-level courses and bespoke programming in leading climate action, incorporation of Indigenous knowledge and environmental stewardship, student-directed micocredentials and a summer field school. Through these, students will develop leadership competencies linked to the climate action competency framework developed by RRU.

“The climate crisis is the most critical global threat facing humanity today. Around the world post-secondary institutions are creating and implementing climate change and climate adaptation curricula to seize the urgency of the moment,” Craig Davis, Pearson’s president and head of college, said in a release.

“CALD is the first-of-its-kind program for pre-university students with a passion for global climate action leadership and represents an innovative approach between aligned educational institutions committed to mitigating climate change.”

Royal Roads president and vice-chancellor Phillip Steenkamp said the collaborative and partnership-driven approach is an essential component of amplifying climate action leadership, and allows the program to draw from the best of each institution. RRU is also aiming to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and incorporate climate change and climate solutions wherever possible.

“Today’s students are tomorrow’s climate action leaders and the experience and credit they will get in this program will equip them with the courage and confidence to meet these challenges head on,” VIU president Deborah Saucier added.

READ MORE: Royal Roads University unveils new food garden to support community needs

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