Globally, scientists have been sounding the alarm on the loss of biodiversity. A recent global report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) found that between 1970 and 2016, populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish have declined 68 per cent on average.
A new study published in partnership with WWF suggests that we can ‘bend the curve’ to stop biodiversity loss. It talks about the outcomes of different conservation actions and found that with dedication, it is possible to slow down and even reverse biodiversity declines.
This report gives us hope. Bending the curve and conserving biodiversity is not out of reach, if we focus on these critical actions:
- Increase habitat protection and restoration
- Strategic landscape-level conservation planning
- Sustainable production, with more sustainable agriculture, trade and goods
- Sustainable consumption, including reducing food waste
COVID-19 has taught us the value of working together to flatten the curve. We follow public health warnings, wash our hands, wear masks, and practice physical distancing. Even though we cannot always see the direct effects of these actions, they make a difference.
It can also be difficult to see how our individual efforts matter with environmental action. The modelling in the Bending the Curve report shows us that with action from individuals, governments, businesses, and non-profits working together, we can make a difference.
Many of our programs address the critical actions needed to bend the curve for biodiversity. We protect and manage land through our network of conservation areas and work to restore key areas of habitat, such as along the lakeshore. We work with our partner municipalities to implement strategic landscape conservation planning through the Natural Heritage System Strategy.
As an individual, there are ways you can get involved to help bend the curve:
- Protect – A key action is to conserve more land globally. Supporting the CVC Foundation will help to purchase conservation lands and protect them for future generations.
- Restore – Do you own land in the Credit River Watershed? We have programs to help landowners in the city, country and on farms carry out stewardship projects that support biodiversity. Check out our landowner programs for more information.
- Learn – Our knowledge of population trends in biodiversity is limited to species that have been historically well studied, like birds and fish. To better understand what’s going on with other species groups we need more data – and you can help! Join citizen science programs, like our Butterfly Blitz. You can help contribute meaningful data.
- Volunteer– Donate your time. Help us achieve our goal to protect, connect, and sustain the Credit River Watershed. This may mean tree planting to increase forest cover, removing invasive species to improve habitats, or taking part in outreach and education events.
- Speak up – Use your voice to let elected officials and public servants know that biodiversity conservation is important. Keep an eye on CVC’s events page and social media to participate in public consultation on upcoming strategies and plans.
By CVC’s Laura Timms, Senior Specialist, Natural Heritage and Yvette Roy Senior Specialist, Landscape Science