Innovating Canada’s approach to the conservation of fish, wildlife and biodiversity
November 28 to December 1, 2017
We acknowledge the summit takes place on the traditional territory of the Stoney Nation.
This territory is covered by Treaty 7.
Canada’s 150th anniversary provides a moment to step back and evaluate the major challenges and opportunities around fish, wildlife, and biodiversity conservation and chart a path forward for innovative actions to ensure abundant wildlife and habitat for future generations.
Highlights from the Event
The world of conservation has changed dramatically over the 50 years since Canada’s centennial in 1967. Government capacity has been significantly reduced over this time period while new responsibilities have been added, presenting a critical challenge to provincial and federal conservation program delivery. Indigenous Peoples are taking increased responsibilities for wildlife management and biodiversity conservation within their traditional areas. Non-government organizations have grown in capacity, taken on roles governments used to play, and are seeking new and broader partnerships for conservation. Finally, industry is finding new ways of collaborating with the conservation sector to reduce or mitigate impacts and contribute to biodiversity conservation.
Through all these changes, what has remained constant is that conservation is about innovating and improving how we manage, conserve and use landscapes, wildlife and biodiversity in ways that maintain abundant wildlife populations and natural habitat while still allowing us to derive benefits such as food, resources, and recreation.
Several of the challenges from the 1960s remain today, such as how to balance agricultural production or forestry with conservation objectives. At the same time, new challenges have arisen and the scale of activity on the landscape and seascape has increased, as has the pace and extent of cumulative impacts on the ecology and resilience of Canada’s ecosystems. In addition, the impacts of climate change have become far more apparent and widespread and the need to support wildlife’s capacity to adapt and respond is urgent.
The Canadian Wildlife Federation believes that substantial changes in both the scale of the conservation challenge and the roles of different sectors in society calls for new thinking on biodiversity conservation. The National Conservation Summit was one step in responding to these challenges.