the purpose of this newsletter is to communicate, educate, raise public awareness and inspire action for biodiversity and

the convention on biological diversity

Volume 1, Issue 1 | December 2010

Biodiversity is life Biodiversity is Our life

Action Now for Life on Earth
From the desk of P.O.W.E.R. Excited and hopeful - is how Protect Our Water and Environmental Resources (P.O.W.E.R.) feels about our Mainstreaming BioDiversity work and this unique newsletter. The goal of Mainstream BioDiversity is to help understand, engage and take action for BioDiversity – from globally to locally. To P.O.W.E.R. this means not only exploring BioDiversity, but also the Convention on Biological Diversity. Each issue of Mainstream BioDiversity will have a focal area or theme that will be explored and considered from the international to the local and individual level. Using this nested approach, our goal is to consider how each level is relevant and necessary to sustain BioDiversity. Mainstream BioDiversity will strive to present an integrated view that supports communication, education and public awareness to foster Action Now for Life on Earth. We believe that the power IS in our hands. In this first issue, we will explore how all levels are relevant and interact to influence and impact our BioDiversity. You will also find a contribution from Youth and the Executive Secretary for the Convention on Biological Diversity. Both will be regular features in Mainstream BioDiversity!
1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Action Now For Life on Earth Why BioDiversity Matters Nagoya Biodiversity Summit Oh Canada Ontario – Yours to Discover Watershed Moments Ecosystem Services
Act Local-Contribute Global

P.O.W.E.R. With A Purpose

It’s All About Action
Thanks to Environment Canada EcoAction Community Funding Program for their action to support of this newsletter.

Why BioDiversity Matters
Voices for the Future | Jesse Paragamian (P.O.W.E.R. Youth Caucus)
Many may think that youth don’t care about BioDiversity or the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), nor does either have anything to do with youth as it does not really have any impact on them. I believe that this statement could not be farther from the truth. What many youth, in fact many people, need to remember is that our entire lives and our future is tied to BioDiversity. Everything we have depends on BioDiversity, and our actions are causing a shift that is leaving an unsecure future for generations that will call our planet home. Youth, in fact all of us, ultimately have a role and responsibility to stop the loss of genetics, species and ecosystems and their functions. The youth I know and work with are taking this to heart and are working to make a difference for BioDiversity. We can do this and I believe that the CBD, if given more recognition, can act as a global vehicle to help youth, and all of us, stop BioDiversity loss – that is why mainstreaming BioDiversity, and learning more about the CBD, is so important. The CBD can be a means to network youth around the globe. I had the fortune to participate in the Conference of the Parties to the CBD in Japan in October, 2010. I witnessed, first hand, how an organized, respectful and committed youth voice can help move our global BioDiversity away from the slope of continued degradation. (More on page 2).

Page 2
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is an international multilateral environmental agreement or treaty. This means that countries who have ratified it agree to work to a set of common objectives (see box below). Created at the 1992 Earth Summit, it is one of three of the Rio Conventions. The other two included: Convention to Combat Desertification and the Convention on Climate Change. A large part of the work P.O.W.E.R. is committed to doing through this newsletter is to help demystify and mainstream the CBD.

Mainstream BioDiversity December 2010

The Nagoya Biodiversity Summit & Beyond
A Convention Perspective | Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf Executive Secretary During this 2010 International Year of Biodiversity, Global Biodiversity Outlook 3 confirmed that humans continue to drive species extinct at up to 1,000 times the natural background rate. Based on 120 national reports from Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity as well as the scientific literature, the report warns that massive further loss of biodiversity is projected to occur before the end of this century and that ecosystem are approaching tipping points beyond which irreversible degradation will take place, with dire consequences for human wellbeing. This warning did not go unheeded. At the Nagoya Biodiversity Summit in October, some 18,000 participants representing our 193 Parties and their partners adopted the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan of the Convention, or the “Aichi Target”. Parties agreed inter alia to at least halve and where feasible stop the rate of loss of natural habitats including forests; protect 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10 per cent of marine and coastal areas; and restore at least 15 percent of degraded areas. Parties also adopted the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing. The Protocol establishes a new North-South relationship through a genuine partnership between the owners and users of genetic resources, making it an indispensible tool in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Importantly, the Protocol and the Aichi Target were adopted with the participation of all stakeholders, including youth, indigenous authorities, city mayors, development cooperation agencies, parliamentarians, the private sector, and ministers and heads of state. The overall challenge we now face is to make sure the Aichi Target will produce concrete action over the years to come. To this end, it will be the overarching framework on biodiversity for the entire United Nations system. Moreover, Parties agreed turn the Aichi Target into national biodiversity strategies and action plans within two years. Now more than ever, all sectors of society and government need to be actively involved in the fight to save life on Earth.

Objectives of the CBD
-the conservation of the biological diversity. -the sustainable use of the components of biological diversity. -the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. Find Out More visit:

Why BioDiversity Matters – Continued from Page 1 Youth, as a group, although we were maybe 75 out of thousands, organized and asked the CBD to give Youth a focal point at the CBD Secretariat. This is important to youth because it gives us a place where anyone anywhere can reach out to the CBD and have someone who can help. Youth are organizing to take action for BioDiversity - groups are cropping up all over the world – it is beginning to happen. We need our governments, at all levels, to support us and listen to us as they did in Japan. Youth must speak up and speak out and be ambassadors for BioDiversity, becoming a positive driver for stopping BioDiversity loss. Our future and those who will come after us depend on it.

Biodiversity IS… the shortened form for “Biological Diversity”.
It encompasses: -Genetic variability within and between species -All species, including people -Ecosystems and the services provided by them

Page 3

Mainstream BioDiversity December 2010

Oh Canada …
BioDiversity and the CBD in Canada | Leslie Adams (P.O.W.E.R.) Our home and native land, from a geopolitical lens, is one of the largest globally. The vastness of our land-base leads to a very biologically diverse country. The number of known native species in Canada is some 70,000, with the potential for many more that have yet to be discovered. Of these species, over 7,000 represent mammals (of which we are just one species), birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and plants. Canada has 15 terrestrial (land based), and five marine Ecological Zones. These Ecological Zones provide us our lives and livelihoods, and also contribute to the global system of life for planet and species. Each unique characteristic of BioDiversity is important and plays a role in the web of life of which we are a part. It is the BioDiversity of our country that has not only shaped who we are as Canadian’s, it is also what has given us our quality of life. From our rich and fertile soils, vast tracks of forests, clean and abundant water and places to which we can still experience the splendour of our natural world, Canada’s identity swirls around its’ BioDiversity - as we stand on guard for roughly 24% of the remaining wetlands on the planet, 20% of the world’s wild spaces and freshwater, and up to 10% of the planet’s forests. Canada was one of the first countries to sign and ratify the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992. Montreal, Quebec has been the host for the Secretariat for the CBD since it was established. National work includes: - A BioDiversity Strategy - Species at Risk legislation - A Canadian Clearing House Mechanism - The Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010 So why is the National level important in mainstreaming BioDiversity? Well, nationally, the Federal Government is responsible for many legal aspects that affect BioDiversity both at home and abroad, including Species At Risk, Migratory Species, Trade in Endangered Species, Climate Change and Wetlands, to name just a few. Exploring the role we play as a Country to ‘steward’ BioDiversity at home and abroad can lead to collective action that protects BioDiversity for future generations.

The vastness of our land-base leads to a very biologically diverse country.

BioDiversity Threats
The root causes for continued losses to BioDiversity are:  Habitat loss and degradation  Non Native Invasive Species  Population (ours)  Pollution  Over consumption of BioDiversity  Plus Climate Change Impacts Addressing these drivers WILL help reverse the losses. Stopping these drivers will, ultimately, stop the loss.

What steps will you take ?

Ontario - Yours to Discover
BioDiversity & the Convention on Biological Diversity in Ontario | Leslie Adams (P.O.W.E.R.) Ontario has a total area of 107.6 million hectares and is the second largest Province in Canada with more people living in Ontario than any other Province (more than 12.9 million in 2008). We share the province with some 30,000 known species. Of these species more than 3,800 represent plants, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and birds. (continued page 4)

Page 4

Mainstream BioDiversity December 2010

Ontario – Yours to Discover – Continued from Page3
Ontario has four distinct Ecological Zones, which are founded on the bedrock of the area. It is the bedrock and the long term climate patterns that influence the ecosystems, their services and species make up in an Ecological Zone. The Ecological Zones found in Ontario are the: 1. Hudson Bay Lowlands 2. Ontario Shield 3. Mixedwood Plains 4. Great Lakes Work on BioDiversity in Ontario is led by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), but all ministries have a role in securing Ontario’s rich tapestry of BioDiversity. MNR work includes Species at Risk, BioDiversity Status and Trends reporting (summary) (full report ), the Ontario Biodiversity Strategy, Natural Heritage Information Centre and the Biodiversity Council of Ontario. So… why is it important to think about BioDiversity at the Provincial level? The relevance of policy at the Provincial level has a huge impact for the way in which we think about and regard our BioDiversity. Mainstreaming BioDiversity in Ontario will lead to a better educated populous shifting towards the common goal of protecting and restoring our BioDiversity for now and the future.

Watershed Moments
BioDiversity at the Watershed Level| Leslie Adams (P.O.W.E.R.) A watershed is an area that is based on the natural flows of water and drains all the precipitation as runoff or base flow (which is groundwater) into a river or set of rivers. A watershed is the natural boundary between rivers and is not restricted by geo political lines. Acting like a basin, a watershed is a landform that is defined by high points, which is generally where headwaters are found, and flows downwards to lower elevations and river and stream valleys. A watershed is made up of more than water. It is the expression on the landscape of forests, wetlands, rivers, lakes, groundwater, wildlife and natural areas – all connected by the water cycle. Like the connected approach to BioDiversity that we are aiming for in this newsletter, a watershed joins with others as they flow onwards to the oceans – their parts contributing to the overall state of BioDiversity. Exploring our local watershed is where we get to know our local BioDiversity in a more ‘personal’ way – the sight of a bird in flight, the sound of frogs calling, the touch of the breeze, the taste of the water, the smell of the forest, and knowing that our (Continued on Page 6)

I In Halton Hills, home of this newsletter, we are part of the following watersheds: •Grand River •Credit Valley •Halton


Page 5

Mainstream BioDiversity December 2010

Ecosystem services
Mike Puddister | Credit Valley Conservation A study released by Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) has found that forests within the Credit River Watershed store approximately 6.5 million tonnes of carbon, and are capturing an additional 13,326 tonnes of carbon every year. Conservation of these ecosystems retains the carbon stored in them and planting trees captures carbon from the atmosphere, helping to reduce greenhouse gases which are affecting our climate. Since 1960, CVC, with a number of partners, has planted 2,534 hectares of new forests throughout the watershed. Future plans aim to increase reforestation efforts over the next 20 years. Altogether, these plantations will capture an average of 5,459 tonnes of carbon per year, equivalent to the annual emissions of 1,300 watershed residents. “This study underscores that we need to step up our efforts to plant more trees every year; but more importantly, we need to be aggressive about protecting the forests and trees we already have,” stated Mike Puddister, Director of Restoration and Stewardship at CVC. The capture and storage of carbon by forests helps to defend against climate change by reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Globally, it is estimated that deforestation contributes to as much as one-fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions. The study also revealed that forests in the Credit River Watershed are under threat, with as much as 25 to 50 hectares of often mature forest lost to development each year, which causes the carbon to be released into the atmosphere. Even with aggressive reforestation efforts, plantings of young trees cannot counter the effects of development. For more information about the study, An Analysis of Present and Future Carbon Storage in the Forests of the Credit River Watershed, please visit CVC’s website at: Credit Valley River Watershed

Grand River Watershed

CVC Offers Tree Planting Service for Private Landowners
To help in the fight against Climate Change, CVC is working with partners to plant trees on private property This partnership is designed to increase new tree planting projects within the Credit River Watershed. To qualify, residents must own at least two acres of land in the watershed. The trees are grown for their naturalization qualities and are available in a variety of sizes, ranging from seedlings through to bare root tall stock. Through subsidies, private landowners can save 75 per cent of the cost of CVC tree planting services. Since 1954, CVC has been working with residents helping them achieve their environmental goals and make their property more attractive by planting trees. Staff can develop a planting plan for a landowner’s property and provide appropriate trees from the correct seed zone. Experienced CVC staff can help to ensure trees are properly stored, handled and planted. For more information about CVC’s tree planting programs or to arrange a site visit contact CVC Forester Zoltan Kovacs at 905-702-5201.

Halton 16 Mile Creek River Watershed

Page 6

Mainstream BioDiversity December 2010

Act Local – Contribute global
Leslie Adams (P.O.W.E.R.) Protect Our Water and Environmental Resources (P.O.W.E.R.) is at home in Halton Hills (map). Halton Hills is one of four municipalities that make up Halton Region (map), which is part of the Greater Golden Horseshoe (map) and is implicated in the Province’s Places to Grow legislation (map see pg 45). It is not always apparent, but it is at this local level that gains (or losses) for BioDiversity actions are very evident. Local levels of government are responsible for making decisions that often have the greatest immediate impact on our day to day lives and the landscape – those decisions have impacts on our local BioDiversity that is distinctive of the local level and plays a role in the losses or gains for BioDiversity at all levels. Our home in Halton Hills includes headwater, forest, urban and agriculture areas, as well as thousands of species including the Jefferson Salamander, Red Shouldered Hawk and Butternut Tree, and also contains part of the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve.

It is also where our individual actions, as well as the actions of our families, friends, neighbourhoods, streets and communities come together. For P.O.W.E.R., the local level is where we work to make change happen at the landscape level in real time – where we work in a truly hands on and physical way. From building bird boxes to understanding policy to outdoor education to hosting local events to enabling actions to occur, we will work with anyone and everyone in the community to foster awareness, appreciation and understanding of BioDiversity and all it entails.

Watershed Moments continued from page 4
watershed’s BioDiversity supplies us, and all life in our area, with the ecosystem services upon which we depend. At the watershed level, community activities, policy and legislation play a role in the health and security of our BioDiversity at a local level that is very tangible. In considering the relevance of the Convention on Biological Diversity at the watershed level, understanding, working towards, and contributing to the ‘global’ directions helps mainstream BioDiversity in a synergistic and physical way.

P .O.W.E.R. with a Purpose
In 1986, Protect Our Water and Environmental Resources (P.O.W.E.R.) was formed by concerned citizens when a plan was brought forward to use the Acton quarry as a waste dump. The dump was stopped (and increased protection for the Niagara Escarpment was gained) but the work to protect our water and environmental resources remains as important now as it when we started – maybe even more important. Our goal with our Mainstreaming BioDiversity Project and the Mainstream BioDiversity newsletter is to create a community where we are aware of, and taking actions to support our BioDiversity and to bring awareness and understanding to the Convention on Biological Diversity. P.O.W.E.R. has been working at the International level since 1992, and strives to understand how the multiple levels and multiple themes comingle to create the current conditions for our BioDiversity, at all scales.

Page 7

Mainstream BioDiversity December 2010

On the Horizon
Tell us how we did and what you would like to see in Mainstream BioDiversity better and we could be sending you the Birds Fandex. Let us know by January 15 2011!

Biodiversity is life Biodiversity is Our life

The future of our BioDiversity is not secure. As the dominant species on this planet, we seem to have gone astray from understanding that we are a part of, not apart from, the web of life. We need to find ways back to this insight – P.O.W.E.R.’s goal is to help forward this. This newsletter is a way for us to reach out to as many people as we can, to help shift towards a more sustainable future for all species and the planet. The power IS in our hands. The topics that could be covered in Mainstream BioDiversity is as vast as BioDiversity itself. Themes we are working on for the next few issues include the Decade of BioDiversity, 10-Year Plan of Work, the International Year of Forests, Ecosystem Services and Species Focuses. If you are interested in contributing an article on these or any other topic, please send it along. We hope that this inspires you to create your own Mainstream BioDiversity Newsletter. If we can help you do this in anyway – let us know.

Our supporters & Partners
P.O.W.E.R. is grateful for the support from the following partners and supporters that came together to make the BioDiversity Matters Project happen. If you would like to support this work please get in touch.
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better” Albert Einstein

This Project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the Department of the Environment.

The Town of Halton Hills
Remembering Barbara
This issue is dedicated to Barbara Halsall a founding member of P.O.W.E.R. 905 873 1820 P.O. Box 192 Georgetown ON L7G 4T1 Barbara passed away in December 2010. Barbara will always be an inspiration for this newsletter. It is in Barbara’s spirit that we begin this work.

Oh Canada Species in Canada Overview of Eco Zones Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystems Status and Trends 2010

Yours To Discover (Ontario) Species in Ontario Species in ON Ecological Zones Species at Risk BioDiversity Status and Trends reporting Full Report Summary Report Ontario Biodiversity Strategy nr_e000066.pdf Natural Heritage Information Centre Biodiversity Council of Ontario Watershed Moment What is a watershed? Grand River Credit Valley Halton

Local Learn More… Halton Hills Halton Region Headwaters Forests Urban Agriculture Jefferson Salamander Red Shouldered Hawk Butternut Niagara Escarpment

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful