Earth Day 22 April 2019: Protect Our Species

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Posted on Thursday, April 18, 2019


Earth Day is an annual event that is celebrated globally every April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Earth day originated in 1970 in the United States of America in order to honour the Earth and the concept of peace. Originally it was first celebrated on March 21, the first day of Spring. The day was proposed by peace activist John McConnell at a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) event. It became an international event in 1990 and involved over 141 nations. The first Canadian Earth Day was held on September 11 in 1980.

Earth Day International is focusing on protecting the planets millions of species. The increased human population is having a detrimental effect on the balance of nature. This has caused the world to face the greatest rate of extinction since the time of the dinosaurs. All living things have an essential value, and they all play a unique role in our ecosystems. Some of the things that are increasing extinction are specifically driven by human activity. These activities include climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking, poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and pesticides. The positive news is that humanity has the ability to slow the rate of extinction and help threatened and endangered species recover. Earth Day International believes now is the time for consumers, voters, educators, faith leaders and scientists to band together to demand immediate action to protect the planets species. [Reference: www.earthday.org]

Currently at Garrison Petawawa we have the following initiatives to help protect species at risk:
• Environmental Services ensures compliance with not only the Federal Species at Risk Act, but also the Migratory Birds Convention Act by reviewing all activities and works at Garrison Petawawa so that mitigation measures are implemented to protect these species from the potential effects of training, construction, demolition, and the maintenance of the garrison. This legislation is binding on the Crown, meaning that as a Federal Land Owner, we are all required to meet the requirements of this Legislation.
• Surveying for Species at Risk occurs on a regular basis, by Environmental Services Wildlife Staff. This is done so that we know what species are present and require protection. These species are then monitored so that we know how they are using the base and how we can best protect them.
• Tree Cutting activities are reviewed by Environmental Services Wildlife Staff to ensure that the nests of Migratory Birds are not impacted by roadside brushing, building of improvised shelters, clearing of trees for construction projects, or any other activity that requires the removal of trees.
• Environmental Services works with the military to assist them in understanding all of our responsibilities, and advise them how, when, and what they can do to train without impacting protected species.
• As new species are federally listed and new technologies are developed for the monitoring or protecting of species, we are constantly learning so that we can provide the best advice possible.