Sunday, December 26, 2010

Youth Presentations

A couple weeks ago, Emily Malone and Christina Vietinghoff of the CISV-Eco Group made a presentation at the "Collaborating for Biodiversity" Conference held in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Members of the audience included government and NGOs. They talked about their experience in Japan as well as the outcomes of COP 10. They also discussed the NB Youth Accord on Biodiversity. Although there were some tough audience questions, many participants of the conference listed this presentation as one of the highlights of the conference.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

International Youth Statement on Biodiversity

Hey Everyone,
This is the statement that we prepared at the International Youth Conference on Biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan in August of 2010. It was presented at the COP10 to world leaders.
Jack Simpson

International Youth Statement on Biodiversity
International Youth Conference on Biodiversity in Aichi 2010
Aichi, Japan
August 23rd~26th, 2010
Chapter 1 General Discussion
Vision for 2050
We, the participants of the conference;
• expect measures to be taken towards halting the anthropogenic causes of biodiversity loss
by 2020, so as to rehabilitate biodiversity by 2050.
• expect biodiversity to be understood and respected by 2020, in order to build a society that
co-exists sustainably with all species by 2050.
• expect all governments to conserve biodiversity, regulate the use of natural resources, and
ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from biodiversity by 2020.
Current State
We, the participants of the conference;
• recognize that the 2010 Biodiversity Target* has not been achieved and therefore
biodiversity loss continues at a critical rate.
* “a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional
and national level as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on
• recognize that unsustainable economic development is increasingly causing biodiversity
loss and compromising ecosystem services;
• recognize that current international cooperation on biodiversity protection is not sufficient,
and that existing policies are not integrated sufficiently to achieve the expected results.
Chapter 2 Specific Discussion
2.1 Reduction of the pressures on biodiversity and conservation of biodiversity risk
2.1.1 Direct Pressure
Vision for 2050
We, the participants of the conference;
• urge that biodiversity issues be incorporated into climate change mitigation and adaptation
strategies as part of a post-2012 agreement in order to minimize the impact of climate
change on biodiversity by 2050.
• call on governments to implement a legally binding framework that defines targets for
monitoring, reporting and evaluating the state of biodiversity by 2020, in order to achieve a
society which respects and understands biodiversity by 2050.
Current State
We, the participants of the conference;
• recognize that climate change is aggravating the pressures on biodiversity.
• recognize that market mechanisms that can have positive effects on biodiversity, such as
REDD+*, should be further researched and promoted where appropriate.
*REDD+ stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus
Conservation(REDD+) and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management
of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
• recognize that marine and coastal biodiversity is threatened by pollution, overexploitation
and climate change, especially ocean acidification, and that agricultural biodiversity is
threatened by the adoption of improper agricultural practices.
Youth Action:
We, the participants of the conference;
• aim to stop activities which contribute to environmental degradation, such as pollution, the
overexploitation of natural resources, the spread of invasive alien species, and climate
2.1.2 Indirect Driver
Vision for 2050
We, the participants of the conference;
• expect that when planning future economic activities higher priority and importance will
be placed on verifying and quantifying the value of biodiversity.
• expect national and local governments to have developed an effective framework and
provided sufficient funding for the complete implementation and enforcement of the
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and related protocols by 2020.
Current State
We, the participants of the conference;
• recognize that economic pressures often hinder the enforcement of effective laws for
biodiversity conservation, leading to unsustainable resource use.
• recognize that NGOs, local authorities, and civil society have made efforts to conserve
ecosystems, but that a lack of funding still exists.
Youth Action
We, the participants of the conference;
• urge governments to implement national legislation and enforce judgments to address
environmental degradation and support civil society and the private sector to ensure that
their actions do not adversely affect biodiversity.
2.2 Sustainable use of the benefits from biodiversity and preservation and promotion of
culture and tradition concerning sustainable use of biodiversity
Vision for 2050
We, the participants of the conference;
• expect the implementation of binding and enforceable laws including a protocol on Access
and Benefit Sharing(ABS)by 2015, immediately after ratification by parties, thus ensuring
the sustainable use of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from its
• expect biodiversity to be managed, drawing on local knowledge concerning its sustainable
use, and technology to be transferred to developing countries in compliance with CBD Art.
8(j)* and CBD Art. 16**.
* Art. 8(j) Subject to its national legislation, respect, preserve and maintain knowledge,
innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional
lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and
promote their wider application with the approval and involvement of the holders of such
knowledge, innovations and practices and encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits
arising from the utilization of such knowledge, innovations and practices;
** Article 16. Access to and Transfer of technology
• expect developed and developing countries to fully recognize their shared but
differentiated responsibilities in implementing sustainable natural resource management
strategies, in order to meet their needs concerning food security, energy use and water
provision issues.
Current State
We, the participants of the conference;
• recognize that economic development is often prioritized over environmental conservation,
causing a loss of biodiversity.
• recognize that laws and regulations concerning the sustainable use of biodiversity have not
been adequately implemented.
• recognize that traditional knowledge on the conservation of biodiversity is neither
sufficiently valued nor promoted.
Youth Action
We, the participants of the conference;
• encourage environmentally-friendly lifestyles, including the sustainable use of resources,
and the use of clean and renewable energies.
• encourage participation in activities at the local and national levels that stimulate
businesses, civil society and governments to promote the sustainable use of biodiversity.
• aim to collaborate with international campaigns and initiatives, and improve international
networks for coordinated action regarding the sustainable use of biodiversity.
2.3 Raising awareness of biodiversity and promoting the involvement of civil society in its
conservation and sustainable use
2.3.1 Lack of Knowledge
Vision for 2050
We, the participants of the conference;
• expect all people to fully understand the value of biodiversity and the importance of its
conservation by 2020, and expect them to be involved in conserving biodiversity by 2050.
• expect all national and local governments to integrate environmental programs at all
educational levels by 2020, to ensure that everyone has access to education on biodiversity.
• expect a wide range of media to promote the importance of biodiversity conservation by
Current State
We, the participants of the conference;
• recognize that although efforts have been made to increase awareness of the importance of
biodiversity, knowledge of the urgency of the problem is still lacking.
Youth Action
We, the participants of the conference;
• aim to improve accessibility to information about biodiversity;
• aim to promote environmental campaigns more effectively to raise awareness of
2.3.2 Lack of involvement
Vision for 2050
We, the participants of the conference;
• urge governments to provide full access to justice in environmental matters for all citizens
and NGOs by 2020, as well as the enforcement of the resulting judgments, in order to
ensure the full involvement of civil society by 2050.
• call for increased support and collaboration in scientific research on biodiversity, in order
to better understand the significance of biodiversity.
Current State
We, the participants of the conference;
• recognize that decision makers often lack the will or ability to spread knowledge on the
repercussions of economic development for biodiversity, and urge them to develop truly
sustainable policies in this area..
• draw attention to the fact that involvement in biodiversity conservation is inefficient, due
to a lack of knowledge, funding, cooperation and enforcing legislation.
Youth Action
We, the participants of the conference;
• pledge to take further action in deepening and spreading the awareness of the fundamental
value of biodiversity;
• aim to create reliable partnerships between all stakeholders for the conservation of
biodiversity, bearing in mind the value of their respective knowledge;
• seek to list and promote practices inspired by the best practice recommendations for
business and government of the report on ‘The Economics of Ecosystems and
Biodiversity’ (TEEB).
Chapter 2.4 None of the above
Vision for 2050
We, the participants of the conference;
• expect that by 2020, a global platform on the conservation of biodiversity will have been
set up to enable and reinforce youth action;
• expect ecosystem services to be sustainably managed in coordination between
governments, organizations and local communities
• expect national and local governments to set regulations immediately that ensure the
judicious use of GMOs and protect native varieties.
• expect coordinated management of protected areas between governments, NGOs, and local
Current State
We, the participants of the conference;
• recognize that currently there is no adequate regulation of access to genetic resources, that
benefits arising from their use are not equally shared, and that bio-piracy is not sufficiently
• recognize that the safety of GMOs is not guaranteed and that their significant impacts on
biodiversity, posing threats to future generations, still needs to be further researched.
Youth Action
We, the participants of the conference;
• encourage youth to create a global biodiversity platform in order to increase international
cooperation among youth organizations by sharing their respective practices.
• seek sponsorship from the public and private sectors to support the promotion of
environmental-friendly behaviors.
• aim to raise people's awareness of the potential consequences of the use of GMOs, and
encourage the use of native species.

Sortez explorer la biodiversité avec les BioTrousses!

Afin de souligner l’Année internationale de la diversité biologique, la Biosphère, musée de l’environnement dirigé par Environnement Canada, a développé les BioTrousses. Ces guides d’observation de la faune, de la flore et de la nature vous invitent à découvrir les richesses naturelles du pays avec les cinq sens. Que ce soit en ville ou en pleine nature, chaque BioTrousse fera de vivre de nouvelles aventures!

Les BioTrousses convenant à tous les lieux
Dans la rue, dans une ruelle, dans une cour d’école ou dans un parc du voisinage, la BioTrousse Urbaine offre l’occasion de partir à la découverte des trésors naturels méconnus des cités canadiennes. Si l’appel de la forêt et des lieux éloignés des villes se fait sentir, la BioTrousse Nature permet, quant à elle, de mieux explorer les environnements sauvages et riches en biodiversité. En été ou en hiver, les BioTrousses offrent du plaisir entre amis, en famille et avec les amoureux de la nature!

Pour obtenir plus de renseignements sur les BioTrousses de votre région et pour les télécharger gratuitement, visitez le site d’Environnement Canada à l’adresse

Monday, December 20, 2010

Get out and explore biodiversity with BioKits!

To mark the International Year of Biodiversity, the Biosphère, Environment Museum located in Montréal and managed by Environment Canada, has developed a series of BioKits.  These observation guides for wildlife, plant life and nature invite you to explore the country’s amazing natural wealth using your five senses. Whether in the city or out in the wild, each BioKit will lead you to new adventures!

A BioKit for every location
On the street, in alleyways, schoolyards or in a neighbourhood park, the Urban BioKit provides an opportunity to discover the unknown natural treasures hidden in Canadian cities.  Out in the woods or in other places far from the city, the Nature BioKit allows you to explore wild and diverse environments. During summer or winter, the Biokits ensure lots of fun with friends, family, and nature lovers!

For more information on the BioKits and to download them free of charge, go to the Environment Canada’s website at the following address:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Canadian School celebrates their Involvement in the International Year for Biodiversity

St-Laurent Academy School in Ottawa, Canada held a special assembly today to mark the ending of a successful year in biodiversity awareness and engaging youth with the Youth Accord for Biodiversity. Much of our work is with the Macoun Marsh, a unique wetland in the middle of the city.  Over 1300 species have been recorded here over the past 8 years. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Meerkat Adoptions at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (United Kingdom)

William, the slender tailed meerkat

The slender tailed meerkat is a small mammal and a member of the mongoose family. Meerkats live in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana and in South Africa. A group of meerkats is called a ‘mob’, ‘gang’ or ‘clan’. A meerkat clan often contains about 20 meerkats, but some super-families have 50 or more members. Meerkats have an average life span of 12-14 years.

Its tail is not bushy like all other mongoose species, but is rather long and thin and tapers to a black or reddish coloured pointed tip. The meerkat uses its tail to balance when standing upright. Its face tapers, coming to a point at the nose, which is brown. The eyes always have black patches around them and it has small black crescent-shaped ears that can close to exclude soil when digging. Like cats, meerkats have binocular vision, a large peripheral range, depth perception, and eyes on the front of their faces.

The information above is from the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.  For more information on Meerkats and for the possible adoption of William, please see

Canadian Youth Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp.

Show your commitment to wildlife habitat conservation by purchasing the Canadian Youth Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp. The recently released 2011 stamp features an image painted by 18 year old Bethany Harris from Millarville, AB and features a moose in its native habitat. Proceeds from the sale of the Youth Stamp will fund conservation activities undertaken by youth. Learn more by visiting

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rescued Bird in Panama

Bird Mortality chart with windows at the highest
(From Sibley bird guides website)

Bird I have picked with a glove and rescued after it suffered a hit against the window
in the end it flew away alive.

So many birds die annually because of windows and a collision.
This happens because the bird's natural habitat is reflected into the glass.
To the bird it basically looks like more forest or a tree to land on.
It's sometimes a deadly illusion.
Fortunately sometimes it just stuns the bird and it flies away like the one above.
I have put  CD's up at the windows  in my house to prevent the birds from colliding with them.
I intend to put up more because it seems to be working.
I hope that I am making a small difference in the lives of all birds around my house
and neighbourhood.

Mr. Panamá 

Monday, December 13, 2010


Forests are home to millions of people and are responsible for the livelihoods of over a billion people.  Most of terrestrial biodiversity is found here.  Join us as we explore forests over the next twelve months. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Our main biodiversity youth website is being redone.  If you have a youth project for us to advertise, let us know and we will put it up.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


The UN climate change conference finally reached a deal to fight global warming early Saturday after an all-night session, overruling objection from Bolivia. Full story 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

SPECIES IN FOCUS- Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia)

This moth is North America's largest native moth. It is a member of the Saturniidae family, or giant silk moths. These images were taken at the Macoun Marsh in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 

The weird larva has a very large sea green body with prominent dorsal knobs: thoracic knobs orange, abdominal ones yellow; sides of body with pale blue knobs.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


This apple art form follows a very ancient tradition, which reached its peak in the 19th century in France.

The colouring of the fruit is done by placing a bag around each fruit, then unwrapping it and placing a stencil against it at key stages of its growth.

The method was reinvented in Japan in 1970.  The city of Hirosaki, in Aomori Prefecture, has been renowned for its regular production of its fruits.  The fruit gardens at Laquenexy, France also produces these illustrated apples.  They last for up to 6 months.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


International Civil Aviation Organization building- Montreal
By Mike Leveille (Director of Biodiversitymatters)
It was an honour to attend this important reception this evening.  There were many important political representatives from both Canada and Japan.  Here are some photos from the event:

Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf (Executive Secretary of the Convention)

Jean Lemire- Biologist, adventurer and film director and producer.
In 2006 he completed a 15-month voyage to the Antarctic on the Sedna IV, a unique 51 metre full-rigged yacht with high-precision scientific and filming equipment. The voyage was documented in the film The Last Continent.

What a tree!

International Civil Aviation Organization building

Friday, December 3, 2010


The vision and targets of ou
Continue to engage youth of all ages to increase their awareness and ability to act on environmental issues
·         We commit ourselves to applying our knowledge, expertise and resources to sustain and promote biodiversity.
·         We also commit to measuring the success of our joint efforts and we will report back to the CBD on an annual basis.
·         Assist in the planning of the Third International Youth Symposium on Biodiversity planned for Auroville, India in 2012.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


The loss of biodiversity is threatening human health. That's the conclusion of a study published this week in the journal Nature by scientists who study biodiversity and infectious diseases.  Species losses in ecosystems can result in increases in disease-causing organisms the researchers found.  Those species that remain tend to be species that magnify the transmission of infectious diseases like West Nile virus, Lyme disease, and Hantavirus.

Rodents can increase the transmission of infectious diseases.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

SPECIES IN FOCUS- TURKISH GECKO (Hemidactylus turcicus)

Image by Mike Leveille

This species is one of the most successful geckos in the world.  Native to southern Europe, it has spread over a very wide geographical area.  It is also found throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa.  It holds no threatened or endangered status.  They are often found in people's homes and they come out at night.