Save Alberta's Grizzlies!
Hopes for a new global deal to conserve life on earth received a much-needed boost today with the announcement of $2bn (£1.2bn) in funds from Japan and signs that negotiators are narrowing their differences at the United Nations conference on biodiversity in Nagoya.
Delegates said 15 of the 20 conservation targets in a draft strategic plan to ease the loss of habitat and species have been agreed, up from eight just 24 hours before. The moves mark a considerable acceleration after the grindingly slow progress of the past 10 days.
Britain added to the momentum by earmarking £100m for forest protection, but delegates tempered their optimism with warnings that the biggest political hurdles have yet to be crossed and there are only two full days left until the end of the meeting.
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A growing number of creatures could disappear from the earth, with one-fifth of all vertebrates and as many as a third of all sharks and rays now facing the threat of extinction, according to a new survey assessing nearly 26,000 species across the globe.
In addition, forces such as habitat destruction, over-exploitation and invasive competitors move 52 species a category closer to extinction each year, according to the research, published online Tuesday by the journal Science. At the same time, the findings demonstrate that these losses would be at least 20 percent higher without conservation efforts now underway.
"We know what we need to do," said Andrew Rosenberg, senior vice president for science and knowledge at the advocacy group Conservation International and one of the paper's co-authors.... Read more »
Jim Prentice, federal Minister of the Environment, and Fred Green, the President and CEO of Canadian Pacific (CP), just announced a new joint venture to protect against railway-related grizzly bear mortality in Banff National Park.
This five year action plan between CP and Parks Canada is a positive effort towards the protection of grizzly bear populations in the province. Grizzly bear mortality near railways stems from a number of causes such as spilled grain on the tracks.
In a news release posted today, Mr. Green is quoted saying of the initiative, “CP is pleased to take the next logical step and provide $1 million to launch an empirically-based joint program to build on existing knowledge and further explore grizzly behaviour and potential mitigating technologies and practices, especially those related to railway applications.”
For more information please see:... Read more »
Two Calgarians and one Ontario aboriginal will help decide the economic future of coastal B.C. They've been appointed to assess one of the most controversial energy projects in the province's history.
Their recommendations could determine whether federal policymakers approve plans by Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. to build a pipeline from Alberta's oil sands to the west coast, and then ship fossil fuels on supertankers to Asia. The proposal carries huge environmental risks. It also revives a fiery economic debate.
How do you develop a pristine eco-system? Or do you develop it at all?... Read more »
Can a bunch of green snappers save the Great Bear?
The International League of Conservation Photographers hopes so.
For a few weeks now, its snappers have been deploying themselves across Canada's Great Bear Rainforest, documenting its wild nature and the people who live in, and sometimes off, the forest.
I had the privilege of visiting the Great Bear, on the coast of British Columbia, about four years ago, for a radio series on sustainable forestry.
It is vast, still, full of understated life; simply, one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. "Privilege"? Absolutely.
The League's members clearly feel the same way; but they have a purpose in saying so.... Read more »