of Government in biodiversity protection
A government can be viewed
as the steward of common property reserves managed in the public interest.
Therefore, governments play a critical role in biodiversity
conservation objectives, through conservation, protection, sustainable
use and education measures.
the Canadian and Quebec governments have drafted biodiversity
conservation strategies based on the framework of the Convention
on Biological Diversity. This section of the website will summarize
the government strategies and the initiatives that have been undertaken
to meet the goals of biodiversity conservation.
Thompson, pers. Comm.)
While governments have
a stewardship responsibility toward public lands, conservation
efforts require the cooperation of many parties, including the
public, industry and non-governmental organizations.
For example, primary extraction
and manufacturing industries spent over 1.2 billion dollars on pollution
control and abatement in 1989 to minimize the detrimental impact of
their waste discharges on natural ecosystems. (Statistics
Convention on Biological Diversity
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
was the site of the 1992 Earth Summit. It was here that the Convention
on Biological Diversity (CBD) was signed by over 90% of United
Nation member countries, Canada included. On December 29, 1993
the Convention officially came into force. This date is now celebrated
as International Biodiversity Day.
What are the objectives
of the CBD?
- conservation of
- sustainable use
of biological resources; and
- fair and equitable
sharing of benefits from the use of genetic resources.
The Convention on Biological
Diversity set the stage for individual countries to assess the adequacy
of current efforts to conserve biodiversity and sustainably use their
biological resources and to determine how any protection gaps will be
Biodiversity Science Assessment
In 1994, Environment
Canada commissioned the Biodiversity Science Assessment to guide
national effort to implement the Convention. The Science Assessment,
published in 1994, analyzed the state of scientific knowledge
of human impacts on biodiversity in Canada, the adequacy of Canada's
system of protected areas and the state of socioeconomic evaluation
The Assessment recommendations
included: the establishment of more ecologically-sound forestry practices,
the protection of non-crop habitat on farmland and the drafting of codes
of practice for genetically-modified organisms. These findings helped
direct the focus of the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy. (CBIN
website, Biodiversity Science Assessment
Canadian Biodiversity Strategy
Canada released the
Canadian Biodiversity Strategy in 1995 as a guide to the implementation
of the Biodiversity Convention in Canada. The Strategy was drafted
by a working group of federal, provincial and territorial ministers
in consultation with academia, industry and non-governmental organisations
(NGOs). All provincial and territorial governments signed the
Statement of Commitment to the Strategy. (Canadian
Biodiversity Information Network)
The Strategy recognizes existing
resposibilities, both constitutional and legislative, for biodiversity
in Canada. It stresses the importance of cooperation between all levels
of government to carry out necessary research and create sound conservation
and management programs. And the Strategy emphasizes the need for cooperation
between governments, stakeholders and the public to implement the directions
of the Strategy.
In addition to these
goals is a commitment that governments and indigenous communities
will work together to develop an interpretation of the Convention
that relates to specific needs of native people.
The five main
goals of the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy are:
To conserve biodiversity and use biological resources sustainably;
To improve understanding of ecosystems and increase our resource management
To promote education and awareness of the need to conserve biodiversity
and use biological resources in a sustainable manner;
To maintain or develop legislation and incentives to support conservation
of biodiversity and sustainable resource use;
To work with other countries to conserve biodiversity and share equitably
benefits incurred from use of genetic resources.
Biodiversity Information Network)