Biodiversity Strategy (under development)

The term biological diversity or “biodiversity” describes the variety of life found in an ecosystem or habitat. When many forms of life have the habitat and resources they need to survive, this often coincides with an increase in biodiversity.
 
Biodiversity provides us with clean air, fresh water, good quality soil and crop pollination. It helps us fight climate change and adapt to it as well. According to a UN report in 2019, biodiversity is declining at a unprecedented rate. This loss is a direct result of human activity. It is not too late to reverse this trend but taking significant action is needed from local to world-wide scales.
 
The development of a Biodiversity and Natural Areas Strategy is a priority action from the City’s 2018 Environment Strategy and Action Plan  and the City’s first key step to outline a variety of actions that can be taken to halt further biodiversity loss.
 

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

The City engaged members of the public to discuss biodiversity and natural areas at a public information session held online on September 16th, 2020. Fifteen members of the public participated in the information session. Members of the public also had the opportunity to highlight important places for biodiversity on an interactive online map. A total of 19 important locations were submitted by the public through the online map.

View the presentation.

Several themes emerged from these engagement events. Many participants highlighted the importance of natural and semi-natural areas found in the City’s parks to support biodiversity and the broader benefits they provide to residents. The importance of enhancing other areas in the city on public and private land to increase habitat was also discussed.

Ideas to enhance biodiversity range from planting more grassy areas with diverse shrubs and plants that support habitat for wildlife and pollinators, to providing more continuous habitat connections between green spaces across the city. Participants also indicated great interest in seeing the community more involved in initiatives to restore natural areas. Findings from the public engagement will be summarized in the Biodiversity and Natural Areas Strategy.

Next Steps

  • Review draft of Biodiversity Strategy with Environment & Climate Advisory Committee (May 2021)
  • Consultation with First Nations on draft strategy (Summer 2021)
  • Review key feedback with Environment & Climate Advisory Committee (September 2021)
  • Review key feedback with Environment & Climate Task Force  (October 2021)
  • Bring draft Strategy to City Council (Late 2021)

 

Please feel to contact  should you have any questions.