Canada Signs Biodiversity Pledge

By Ben Hamill - September 30 2020
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Canada Signs Biodiversity Pledge

Earlier this week, Canada and Britain week pledged to protect a third of their land and seas by the year 2030. The 30 per cent protection pledge was made alongside the European Union and with the focus on curbing an anticipated biodiversity loss of catastrophic proportions and scope.

In view of this year’s United Nations Summit on Biodiversity, leaders of several European countries are working hard at trying to make headway with the combatting of climate change and the accelerated loss of earth’s wildlife. The idea behind the making of the headway is to rally support for the broader biodiversity agreement.

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British PM’s Call For Action

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has in the meantime expressed his country’s support of the combined cause by urging government leaders to act now, saying that biodiversity is happening at such an alarming rate that if not attended to right now, will mean dire and irreversible consequences for everyone. Extinction is unfortunate since it’s forever, said the English leader, and as such, requires an immediate and targeting response.

The pledge undertaken by Canada and Britain did not contain any specific details about those actions countries are expected to undertake as part of the commitment to the protection of earth’s biodiversity. However, pledges of this kind – and specifically those undertaking to ensure the ongoing and long-term conservation of nature and of earth’s resources – typically focus on the stemming or even the outright banning of certain commercial activities, of which the extraction of natural resources forms a significant portion.

No Use Without Funding

According to Canada’s Environment Minister, Jonathan Wilkinson, the pledge resembles not only a responsibility towards the preservation of natural unspoilt areas and resources, but also a special opportunity. Canada spans the second largest mass of land in the world, as well as at least a fifth earth’s freshwater reserves, said Wilkinson. All of these combined are critical within the context of humanity’s war on climate change, he explained.

But Wilkinson and the British Prime Minister’s urgent calls aside, a lack of funding remains a grave concern to those working in the biodiversity sciences. A man particularly concerned about the urgency of the matter is University of Oxford professor of biodiversity E.J. Milner-Gulland.

Even though pledging to protect at least 30 per cent of the country’s natural resources is a formidable commitment, this will not prove sufficiently transformative, said the biodiversity expert, and especially so in the event that no funding is made available to the cause.

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