Summer 2020

Newsletter Archive


Definition of 'Biodiversity Conservation' Webinar

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Do we really know what biodiversity conservation means? Do we need to? Our webinar panel weighed in.

What does biodiversity conservation means? We can define biodiversity, and we can catalogue the conservation mechanisms (parks, laws, education, research, advocacy, etc.), but how do we assess if specific activity will conserve biodiversity. On June 8, 2020, we hosted a webinar on this topic, and convened an expert panel:

  • Brendan Hemens, Government of Alberta
  • Bryanne Aylward, Nature Conservancy of Canada
  • Chris Manderson, City of Calgary
  • Danah Duke, Miistakis Institute
  • Dave Poulton, Alberta Land Institute
  • Jason Unger, Environmental Law Centre
  • Guy Greenaway (presenter & moderator), Miistakis Institute

We created more questions than answers. Some said yes, some said no. The discussion (and Q&A) circled around working landscapes, urban landscapes, cultural considerations, how to catalyze action, concerns around unintended barriers, and public understanding of biodiversity.

At the end, we asked the participants - do we need a description of biodiversity conservation? The answers were: Yes - 55%; No - 3%; Maybe - 42%

Guy realized he framed it too much as if the 'definition' was unchangeable, and as if this was the only need as opposed to a critical gap-filling need. As usual, more thinking needed!

You can read the proposed description this discussion is based on here, and watch the webinar here.