Faces of Climate Change — Introduction from Darcy Dugan on Vimeo.
This is the first of three compelling short videos showcasing the dramatic changes in Alaska’s marine ecosystems through interviews with scientists and Alaska Natives. This introduction to the impacts of climate change in Alaska includes interviews with Alaska Natives, commentary by scientists, and footage from Alaska’s Arctic.
These videos were produced by the Alaska Sea Grant program, the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, COSEE Alaska, and the Alaska Ocean Observing System. (more…)
An idea whose time has come
By Dr. Keith Martin, P.C., M.P.
South Vancouver Island in British Columbia is an extraordinarily beautiful part of our planet. It is a place of ecologically sensitive areas, some of which contain rare flora and fauna. However, population pressures threaten these areas and one day will, through urban sprawl, obliterate these important ecosystems. Once they are gone, they are gone forever.
However, we now have a precious opportunity to preserve these lands. The solution: that the lands of Mary Hill, Race Rocks, and the undeveloped portions of William Head and Rocky Point be designated a National Conservation Area. This should be part of a larger canvas— a South Vancouver Island National Park Reserve—which would include parks in East Sooke, Albert Head, and Fort Rodd Hill connected to the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail system and an expanded Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. This would also embrace the Upper Walbran Valley and sites around Port Renfrew that contain magnificent stands of old growth forests. These remarkable trees tower above all others and predate the birth of our county by centuries. (more…)
Canada’s behaviour in Nagoya blocks efforts to stop the catastrophic loss of species
By Dr. Keith Martin, P.C., M.P.
The Canadian government is justifiably facing severe international criticism for hindering progress to develop a new Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at the COP10 negotiations in Nagoya, Japan. Specifically, our government is blocking a crucial agreement on Access and Benefits Sharing (ABS). This agreement will set the terms for the sharing of resources and traditional knowledge with indigenous people who usually live in or near important biospheres. It would also be a mechanism to develop incentives for people to protect ecosystems and to help create tools that fight bio-piracy.
Protecting habitats is essential to preserving our planet’s biodiversity.
All of this is important because protecting habitats is essential to preserving our planet’s biodiversity. Between 1960 and 2000, our population doubled. However, during that same 40 year period, the world lost 25 per cent of its land species, 28 per cent of marine life, and 29 per cent of freshwater species. This is the fastest and greatest rate of biodiversity loss since the extinction of the dinosaurs. The cause is human activity, which is destroying ecosystems. As is well known, habitat destruction is the leading cause of biodiversity loss around the world. (more…)
Dr. Keith Martin, MP, touring Avatar Grove
These trees are more valuable for tourism and to our ecosystem than as lumber
by Dr. Keith Martin, MP
Port Renfrew is the furthest outpost of my riding. It is a land of extraordinary beauty with mountains that hug a rugged coastline, rivers that run through deep valleys, and a land that harbours significant biodiversity. This area also contains some of the oldest and most majestic living things on our planet. In the area of the Gordon River Valley and further north in the upper Walbran Valley are some of the largest trees on the planet. A few weeks ago, I went into this remote area with a small team from the Ancient Forest Alliance to document these giant Western Red Cedars, Sitka Spruce and Douglas Fir that jut out of the surrounding valley floors like spires from cathedrals. (more…)