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McGill Reporter
May 12, 2005 - Volume 37 Number 16
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Around campus

Reaching out as a world citizen

People in a desert.

The numbers say it all: 365 days, four UN resolutions, 200,000 deaths. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to know that the ongoing conflict in Sudan is a human catastrophe that should be front and centre on world leaders' agendas.

David Sinclair, a neurosurgeon with the Montreal Neurological Institute, is taking what opportunities he can to help. Sinclair will be giving a talk and slide-show presentation of his marine and botanical experiences garnered from his world travels.

Proceeds from the event will go toward Doctors Without Borders/Médecins sans Frontières, a humanitarian organization that believes every human being has a right to basic medical care, which is very active in Sudan. A representative from the organization will speak about some of the difficulties and hardships for the peoples of Sudan and how our efforts can help DWB/MSF's very valuable work.

Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre Montreal Neurological Hospital Institute, Thursday, May 12. Refreshments at 6:30 p.m. Slide Show at 7:00 p.m. Admission: $10. Contact: Rina Gandhi 398-8542, Email.

Digesting the city landscape

Caption follows

Fruit-bearing trees in a barrio in Natal, Brazil (cashew bush in front, papaya tree in back).
Courtesy Vikram Bhatt

The Minimum Cost Housing Group and Canada's International Development Research Centre are proud to be hosting the Making the Edible Landscape conference in the School of Architecture, May 18 - May 24. Joining McGill will be partners from Sri Lanka, Argentina and Uganda who are working with students and staff from architecture and urban planning on a global initiative to upgrade slum settlements by integrating agriculture into the urban fabric.

Speaking of edibles, the public is invited to join the group at the event's kick-off wine and cheese, which will take place in the School of Architecture on Wednesday, May 18, from 4:30 pm to 6 pm. Everyone is welcome to come and learn how people from around the world are integrating gardens into their everyday lives.

For more info on the event, go to the Minimum Cost Housing Group's website at or contact Vikram Bhatt, Shannon Pirie or Rune Kongshaug at 398-1619 or 398-6723.

Our ecosystem, our selves

Better enjoy that salmon steak you grill on the barbeque this summer. The rate of decline of global fish stocks means that within our lifetime, eating fish may become a rare and expensive treat. This realization, among others, is brought home to us with disturbing clarity in The Biodiversity Synthesis, a report prepared by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) for the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Eco image.
Jack Ruttan

The McGill School of Environment and the United Nations group will meet May 19 to mark the International Day of Biological Diversity (three days later) to launch and discuss the report's findings.

In the morning, CBD Executive Secretary Ham-dallah Zedan will talk about the importance of protecting biodiversity as life insurance for our changing world. Representatives of the City of Montreal, Quebec and Canada will speak of our role in slowing the erosion of biodiversity by engaging in sustainable development practices.

The afternoon will see UN and McGill scholars talk of the impact of the MA on policy, practice and research. The first panel, Ecosystems, Sustainable Development and Resilience, starts at 1:30 pm and the second is at 3:15 pm, called The MA and Biodiversity Research — future directions. Speakers include MA secretariat Walter Reid and McGill anthropologist Colin Chapman, biologists Brian Leung, Catherine Potvin, Andy Gonzalez and geographer Olivier Coomes.

Biodiversity: Life Insurance For Our Changing World conference, May 19, Faculty Club, 3450 McTavish Street. 10:30 am - noon, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm. Afternoon seminars open to all. If you wish to attend the morning synthesis and announcements, RSVP by email. To see the full schedule, go to

Spring cleaning

There's no time like spring for cleaning, and this month, Rethink McGill's Clean and Green Campaign makes this possible in an environmentally friendly fashion. Rethink McGill (McGill's environmental campaign) offers all libraries, as well as academic and administrative service units, an easy way to get rid of unwanted items such as refrigeration units, obsolete electronic equipment and documents (for storage or destruction). For further details and to find out your building's scheduled date, visit or call 398-6247.

Recycle image.
Jack Ruttan

And in case you hadn't yet heard, used batteries can be disposed of safely at one of the 22 red collection boxes located in main areas of major buildings on both of McGill's campuses, including residences. Rechargeable batteries can also be dropped off at one of seven sites around campus.

Visit for a list of locations, and help make a difference to your university environment!

— Catherine Paquette

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