Black Environmental Initiative Receives Environmental Offsets from the Ecological Society of America

When over 3,200 individuals from across the United States, Canada and around the globe convene for a scientific conference such as the Ecological Society of America’s (ESA) meeting in Montreal, Quebec it takes an environmental toll: the energy required to power the planes, trains and automobiles people use to travel to and from the meeting.

As one way to offset these environmental costs, ESA contributes $5 for each meeting registrant, which the Society then donates to a local project or organization in the city in which it meets. For this year’s Annual Meeting in Montreal, ESA will donate $15,000 to the Black Environmental Initiative.

Black Environmental Initiative (BE Initiative)’s mission is to promote the environmental engagement and protection of Black, Brown and low-income communities in Canada and around the world.

BE Initiative helps engage black communities in environmental action through the “I can Breathe” program, an intervention model that relies on three main pillars:

  1. Engaging children and families through outdoor activities that promote both a passion for nature and a good appreciation of the value of cultural diversity and antiracism
  2. Engaging students in environmentalism through in-class training and local environmental justice chapters in schools
  3. Engaging community members in environmental action through a citizen research project that get them to become familiar with the use of air monitoring devices to better understand the reality of their local environmental issues and to start community conversations and action on the quality of their environment.

The BE Initiative is one of the very few environmental organizations in Canada to see black and brown communities not as secondary beneficiaries but as the main priority and the main targets of their action.

BE Initiative is committed to applying an anti-colonial lens to their work and they also strongly value innovation, research, science and creativity.



2022 Annual Meeting in Montreal, Quebec
August 14-19, 2022

Ecologists from around the world will converge on Montreal, Quebec, this August for the 107th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Thousands of attendees are expected to gather for scientific presentations on breaking research and new ecological concepts at the Palais des congrès de Montréal on August 14th through 19th, 2022.

ESA invites press and institutional public information officers to attend for free. On-site press registrants will be able to attend all scientific sessions at the conference and will have access to a press room where they can enjoy refreshments, internet access, a printer and an interview area.

A virtual registration option is also available; virtual media resources will include an online newsroom with press releases and tip sheets of potentially newsworthy presentations, as well as complimentary access to the full program schedule and abstracts. Virtual content will be limited for this year’s meeting and will include recordings of plenary sessions, a selection of presentation slides and audio and a Q&A platform to allow for on-demand interaction with presenters. Presentation slides will be available starting after the corresponding in-person presentation is delivered.

To apply, please contact ESA Public Information Manager Heidi Swanson at