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Working with a Nunavut island community to build a sustainable 'blue economy' – WWF.CA – WWF-Canada Blog

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An Inuit community on a remote island chain in the southeastern corner of Hudson Bay is once again looking to the sea to provide for the community, as it has for centuries.

Nestled among the two-billion-year-old folds of sedimentary rock, basalt and iron known as the Belcher Islands, Sanikiluaq is a partner in WWF-Canada’s community-based fisheries program.

WWF-Canada has been worked with Nunavut communities towards building a sustainable “blue economy” — which is an ocean-based economy incorporating not only financial prosperity but also positive impacts for communities and ecosystems — through development of small-scale commercial fisheries.

Two Inuit fisherman smiling in the sunshine while conducting research samplessamples for
Sanikiluaq residents Sala Iqaluq and Sali Paau Kuki conducting harvest sampling near Belcher Islands, NU on Oct 16, 2021 © Doug Chiasson

As with many Inuit communities, Sanikiluaq residents harvest much of their food from the sea, including seal, walrus, beluga and Arctic char. Sanikiluarmiut also look deeper when it comes to seafood, and it isn’t uncommon for mussels, scallops, sea stars, sea urchins or sea cucumbers to be on the dinner table or over the cooking fire.

Working with communities like Sanikiluaq to develop sustainable economic activities like small-scale fisheries is especially important because there are few other economic options. There are some carvers, weavers and people who make winter clothing stuffed with eiderdown. There are also existing mining leases for iron on the Islands, but the community has strongly opposed development of a mine.

But a small-scale commercial fishery will allow local harvesters to make the community more food secure, not only by harvesting shellfish but by providing income which can be put towards costs that come with harvesting other country food like fuel, ammunition, boats and ATVs.

Starting in 2019, WWF-Canada and our research partners at the Université de Quebec a Rimouski and Memorial University in Newfoundland have been working to better understand the scallop, sea urchin and sea cucumber populations around the Belcher Islands.

Mussels, sea cucumbers and other fishery harvest samples
Harvest samples around the Belcher Islands, NU © Doug Chiasson

This includes doing biological sampling and doing underwater video surveys of potentially abundant areas for these species. We have also sampled mussels, sea cucumbers and urchins from areas that are important to the community’s subsistence harvest to also contribute to their understanding of those areas.

After our first harvesting surveys in 2019, planning began in earnest for the 2020 open-water season. But as with every other facet of our lives, it was disrupted by the pandemic. This was especially true for Sanikiluaq, which was the site of Nunavut’s first confirmed COVID cases. Thankfully, by coordinating with partners at the local Hunter and Trappers Association, samples for 2020 were still able to be collected.

Fast forward to 2021 and travel restrictions were loosened, allowing our staff and partners from southern Canada to travel once again to Sanikiluaq. This trip was an opportunity to meet with our partners at the local Hunter and Trappers Association board and hold an open meeting for all members of the community as well as doing more harvest sampling.

Hearing from community members, Elders and hunters about where our target species can be found is essential to our research. Helping our researchers understand the currents, flows and how ice forms in particular areas help us understand the locations with the most ideal conditions for shellfish habitat.

Establishing a sustainable small-scale fishery in Sanikiluaq that draws on fisheries research expertise from academic partners and the collective knowledge of local hunters and harvesters is an essential demonstration of the potential for a blue economy in Nunavut.

By working together, this research can underpin decades of sustainable economic activity in Sanikiluaq while reinforcing traditional subsistence harvesting.

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Ocean Economy: The Next Wave of Sustainable Innovation – Visual Capitalist

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Exploring the Digital Asset Ecosystem

The digital asset sector has undergone a rapid expansion over the past couple of years, growing in value and functionality.

Beyond the price growth of popular cryptocurrencies, digital assets are powering innovative applications that enable value transfer beyond just payments. From tokens that grant dividend-like revenue to holders, to tokens backed by other digital and physical assets, the digital asset ecosystem is redefining asset and financial structures before our very eyes.

This framework created by Arca explores and defines the state of the digital asset ecosystem, looking at how traditional assets might one day be integrated into this new taxonomy.

The Functions and Types of Digital Assets

Digital assets can be broken down into three different types of assets that fulfill three primary functions. The first two functions of digital assets, store of value and medium of exchange, are well established functions of digital and traditional assets.

However, a third functionality of being able to pass through values to holders has emerged, with benefits like discounted application fees, governance voting rights, and monetary rewards passed onto token holders.

These functions are fulfilled by three main types of digital assets:

  • Currency: tokens that are a unit of account and medium of exchange
  • Asset-backed tokens: tokens backed by hard assets like equity, debt, or physical assets
  • Pass through tokens: tokens that grant revenues, rewards, and network benefits to holders

Many know of Bitcoin, the founding cryptocurrency that functions as a digital currency today. Along with this, tokens whose value is backed by other assets like Arca Lab’s ArCoin (Ticker: RCOIN) are also straightforward in nature and functionality.

Pass through tokens are where digital assets explore innovative concepts and structures unique to the blockchain networks that underpin the assets.

For example, cryptocurrency exchange FTX issued an exchange token (FTT) at launch, which provides holders with reduced trading fees on the platform. FTT holders can also stake, or lock up, their tokens to receive increased referral rebates, more votes in FTX polls, and more airdrop rewards (tokens exclusively given out to holders or stakers of another token).

Classifying Governance and Decentralization

Along with token types and their functionality, it’s important to understand the governing bodies and governance structures behind digital assets.

The governing body is the entity that issues and controls the function of a digital asset, ultimately defining the purpose and proposed value of a digital asset. These range from centralized governments and organizations, like the government of the Bahamas (issuer of the CBDC, the Bahamian Sand Dollar) to Decentralized Autonomous Organizations and blockchain protocols like Ethereum (ETH) and Solana (SOL).

Governing Body Governance Structure
Government Centralized
Organizations Centralized
Individuals Centralized
Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) Decentralized
Protocols, Platforms, and Dapps Typically decentralized

Governance structures define the framework and procedures which decide and implement changes for a digital asset. These changes can be about anything, like the digital asset’s tokenomics, pass through values, or future development goals.

While some governing bodies like governments and organizations have centralized governance structures, centralization and decentralization isn’t all or nothing and can be seen as more of a spectrum.

Certain DAOs or protocols might have a core team of developers that propose certain features, which are then voted on and ultimately decided by the holders of the digital asset.

The Future of Traditional Assets in a Digital Framework

With an established taxonomy of digital assets, we can start to map out how traditional assets fit into this framework.

From tokenizing real estate and commodities for easier digital exchange and settlement to equity-like tokens issued by companies that provide holders with voting rights or non-financial rewards, digital assets will reshape the traditional asset structures of today.

By providing unbound and transparent asset structures, digital assets are providing people around the world with more freedom in storing, transferring, and accruing value.

Go to Ar.ca to learn more about digital assets today.

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'Miracle on Saint-Laurent Street': Quebec economy sees country's strongest post-pandemic rebound – The Globe and Mail

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Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard holds a copy of his financial update at a news conference on Nov. 25 in Quebec City.Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

Quebec’s economy is poised to outperform every other Canadian jurisdiction this year in a remarkable rebound from the pandemic that has put the province on track to record its highest annual GDP growth on record.

The provincial government will spend some of its windfall on cost-of-living bonuses and training programs to help fight the labour shortage and inflation that plagues the province, Finance Minister Eric Girard said during a press conference announcing his fall fiscal update on Thursday.

But the surprisingly strong revenues will also allow Quebec to continue reducing its deficit and debt burden as it continues to close the persistent wealth gap with Ontario that Premier François Legault has made a fixation.

After economic activity declined by 5.5 per cent in 2020, it is expected to bounce back by 6.5 per cent this year, leaving the province richer than before the pandemic, according to government projections. That is much faster growth than the 4.2 per cent expected and slashes $5.4-billion from the projected provincial deficit.

“The economic performance of Quebec in 2021 was exceptional,” Mr. Girard said.

Analysts largely agree with the Finance Minister’s rosy assessment. In a recent research paper titled Miracle on Saint-Laurent Street, Bank of Nova Scotia economist Marc Desormeaux observed that growth of 6.5 per cent would be an “all-time record” for Quebec. It would also outpace Ontario and Canada as a whole, a rare distinction for a province that has traditionally lagged the rest of the country in GDP growth.

Quebec’s rocketing fortunes were fuelled in part by the timing of public-health measures, which the Legault government rapidly eased in the summer of 2020 after the pandemic’s first wave that led to a “staggering” 80-per-cent rise in household consumption in the third quarter of that year, Mr. Desormeaux said. Generous federal and provincial aid also injected life into the economy.

But Quebec’s boom times precede the recent recovery, the bank report points out, with large increases in full-time jobs and wages between 2017 and 2019, along with a household saving rate before the pandemic that was significantly higher than in the rest of Canada. Those strong fundamentals have helped the province emerge from the COVID-19 crisis in good shape, Mr. Desormeaux said.

“There’s a whole lot of momentum in Quebec’s economy.”

In his fall update, Mr. Girard acknowledged anxieties about the twin afflictions of inflation and labour shortages facing much of the Canadian economy. To help Quebeckers with a rising cost of living, he announced single lump-sum payments for low- and middle-income households, amounting to $400 for couples and $275 for people who live alone.

The province will also spend $2.9-billion over five years “to combat the labour shortage” by paying for the training, requalification and recruitment of as many as 170,000 workers, with a focus on the health, education, and engineering and IT sectors.

Despite new spending, strong economic growth allowed Quebec to revise its deficit and debt projections downward. This year’s budget deficit is now pegged at $6.8-billion, fully $5.4-billion less than expected. The province will also be able to reduce its gross debt level faster than anticipated, from 46.8 per cent of GDP in March of this year to an expected 44.3 per cent next March. The acceleration “can be explained by the strength of the economic recovery,” according to the economic and fiscal summary.

The raft of good news has allowed Quebec to play catch-up in its quest to close the wealth gap with Ontario, a goal the Legault government has repeatedly emphasized in its three years in power. Between 2017 and this year, the gap shrunk from 16.4 to 12.9 per cent. On Thursday, the government stated its ambition of eliminating Ontario’s wealth advantage altogether by 2036.

Asked whether that was an excessively long timeline, Mr. Girard pointed out how persistently Quebec has trailed its richer neighbour. “Fifteen years to close a wealth gap that’s been there for almost 100 years, I think that’s realistic,” he said.

Despite the province’s strong showing, some critics charge that it is misspending its unexpected revenue bump. The Conseil du patronat du Québec, a business group, said the work force measures don’t go far enough and that it was surprised by the lack of immediate help finding employees, calling this the “most serious labour shortage in [Quebec’s] recent history.”

While praising the government for continuing on its path to cutting the deficit, Maria Lily Shaw, an economist with the conservative Montreal Economic Institute, said she would have preferred the government to balance the budget sooner.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

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Economy

How world’s major economies are dealing with spectre of inflation – The Guardian

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How world’s major economies are dealing with spectre of inflation  The Guardian



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