Women for Nature: New report says more action required on biodiversity conservation
Ottawa, ON (February 25, 2019) — How can Canadians be better motivated to take more action on biodiversity?
A group of 20 prominent Canadian women in science and conservation are answering that question in a new report being released this week that calls for action by all Canadians to reverse critical species loss.
While many Canadians see cultural diversity as a cornerstone of our country, our values for natural diversity are lagging far behind, according to the report.
“The latest evidence on biodiversity loss worldwide makes it clear that we must act now to avoid unimaginable natural poverty,” said Women for Nature co-chair Ann Dale. “There is no second chance from extinction. Can you imagine Canada without polar bears or loons? This action agenda is our chance to make a difference,” she said.
Biodiversity Conservation: A Call for Action for Canadian Decision-Makers argues that a loss of species is hard to notice if you can’t name the different plants or animals in your own backyard.
During the discussions, one research scientist recalled showing some Vancouver school children some seashells and being asked, “Are they real?” Another recalled a student being shocked to learn how many types of maples existed in just one area of forest.
The bilingual report suggests new strategies for teaching Canadians about nature: designing cities with natural connections and using new technology and the arts to talk about protecting our lands, waters and wildlife. It also includes bold asks for policy makers, like the creation of new protected areas, more partnerships with Indigenous peoples and enforcement of species at risk legislation.
“The report is a great example of the kind of conversations that happen when we bring together people who are passionate, knowledgeable and want to make a difference. I’m very proud to be a part of that discussion. Canadians need nature, and nature needs us,” added Senator Diane Griffin.
“All Canadians need to embrace this action agenda and it should be endorsed by all political parties—a critical first step to acting now on stopping rampant biodiversity loss,” said Member of Parliament Elizabeth May.
“There is no greater imperative facing humanity than addressing biodiversity loss. The Biodiversity Call for Action offers concrete steps towards reversing current trends”, says Meg Beckel, CEO, Canadian Museum of Nature.
The bilingual report can be downloaded here.
Our thanks to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and RBC Royal Bank for sponsoring our reception event at Parliament Hill on Feb. 25.
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Nature Canada was founded in 1939 because of the passion and initiative of Mabel Frances Whittemore, a teacher and nature lover whose main goal in life was to share her passion for nature with others. Today, Nature Canada represents a network comprised of 95,000 supporters and more than 750 nature organizations across the country. For nearly 80 years, Nature Canada has helped protect more than 63 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species that depend on this habitat as well as engage hundreds of thousands of Canadians especially children in nature through its activities. naturecanada.ca