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Part 4
Biodiversity Conservation in Canada - Page 3


Goal #2: Improve knowledge of ecosystems and resource management

Monitoring of biodiversity

Biological monitoring is used to gain an understanding of what is changing in the ecosystems and why. By integrating long-term studies of species trends with the abiotic data and land-use change information from the same area, a more complete profile of an ecosystem can be prepared, and evidence of change and/or condition documented. This integrated information should be useful for policy making with respect to natural resource management and the conservation of biodiversity in Canada. (Roberts-Pichette, 1994)

As a crucial step to protecting its native biodiversity, Canada needs to improve basic inventory data at both species and ecosystem levels. Only approximately 50 percent of the species that are thought to exist in the country have been identified.

The importance of biodiversity monitoring is addressed in the Convention on Biological Diversity, within the context of the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy, and at length in the Biodiversity Science Assessment.

(Roberts-Pichette, 1994)

Monitoring networks

The Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network (EMAN), set up in 1994, is a network of over 100 EMAN-logoresearch and monitoring sites in Canada where long-term multidisciplinary research is being carried out to determine how ecosystems are changing and why. The network of sites is built upon already existing research sites and is grouped by ecozone. EMAN arose out of a need for Environment Canada to collaborate with other members of the environmental science community in order to gather the kind of data required to protect Canada's ecosystems.

One of the major goals of EMAN is to coordinate development of inventories and long-term biodiversity monitoring at many locations across the country. A second major goal is to develop Canadian standardized biodiversity monitoring protocols for terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. These protocols are based on existing Canadian and international methods. A description of the historical context and rationale for development of these protocols is given in EMAN's document: A Framework for Monitoring Biodiversity Change within the EMAN in Canada (Roberts-Pichette, 1994).


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