In my last column, I talked about the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity. I said I would do some more investigating so I searched on the government website www.canada.gc.ca and went into the search engine with the title "1992 Convention on Biological Diversity”. Pages of publications came up and so I started to follow through on some of them.
"With the 1995 Canadian Biodiversity Strategy, Canada confirmed its commitment to creating additional protected areas. Most of the provinces and territories have also developed their own strategies on protected areas. Canadian legislation, including the National Parks Act, has been developed in parallel with biodiversity and protected areas strategies, providing the legal means to create, establish and manage protected areas."
As of Oct, 2012, the status of protected areas in Canada was as follows according to the government website:
• Canada currently has approximately 8500 protected areas, representing 9.9% of its land base—almost one-fifth more than it had in 2000.
• About 95% of protected lands are within IUCN Categories I to IV. These categories largely prohibit industrial activities such as forest harvesting, mining and hydroelectric development.]
• More than 31 million hectares (8%) of forest and other wooded land in Canada are within protected areas.
• More than 23.5 million hectares (75%) of protected forest and other wooded land are considered strictly protected—an increase of 78% since 1990.
In an article government publication entitled "Marine and Estuarine Biodiversity Monitoring Protocols for the Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network" , I learned that "as a signatory to the 1992 United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, Canada has legal obligations to develop the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. This resulted in a national plan, the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy (EC, 1995)." So what has been done since 1995?
There were at least 15 pages of publications etc. and I admit, I gave up! Is it planned this way? I must become a better researcher!
On a more positive note, I got an email from the Ontario Clean Air Alliance with the following suggestions to the provincial government to cut down on our energy use and cut our power costs:
1. Get serious about reducing peak electricity demand by aggressively marketing the under-used peaksaver program;
2. Help homeowners improve comfort and efficiency by ordering energy utilities to develop home retrofit programs with low-cost on-bill financing;
3. Pay industrial and commercial customers to save by paying them up to the same amount for a kilowatt hour saved as we pay for power from the Bruce A reactors (7.4 cents per kWh);
4. Import low-cost water power from Quebec;
5. Stop wasting natural gas by developing combined heat and power systems in factories, hospitals, universities, and commercial buildings;
6. Phase out the Pickering A & B Nuclear Stations, which are among the most expensive to run reactors in North America; and
7. Make the Darlington Rebuild Project prove its worth by levelling the playing field with other sources of supply or efficiency. If it can't win a fair fight, it's out.
What do you think of these ideas?