Monday, April 29, 2013

Our Beautiful School- St-Laurent Academy - Ottawa, Canada

  We have a strong conservation program that focuses on youth and biodiversity!
Check out this video on YouTube about our school:

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Here are some images from today at our favorite marsh.  Clear, with a high of 22 degrees.

 Eastern chipmunk

 Painted turtle

 Tree swallows

Mining bee on pussy willow

Friday, April 26, 2013


VIENNA: The United Nations’ anti-crime body today resolved to step up the global fight against wildlife and forest crime in recognition of the urgent threat it poses and the serious nature of the criminal networks involved.

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has been pressing for special agencies tasked with crime fighting to turn their attention and resources to combating wildlife and forest crime. All too often these crimes are not a priority for law enforcement agencies and successful prosecutions of the perpetrators are rare.   

This week’s meeting of the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) in Vienna had as its core theme crimes that impact the environment and held a day-long discussion on the issue.

Many Member States expressed concern about the growth of such crimes, especially trafficking in wildlife and forest products, and the impact this has on wider issues of health and safety, security, good governance and sustainable development. It was recognized this is no longer an emerging threat; it is now one of the world’s largest forms of organised crime, generating tens of billions of dollars in illicit profits.

In a joint statement to the meeting, EIA and WWF said recognition of the serious, transnational and organised nature of wildlife and forest crime, 12 years on from the first discussion of these crimes under the UN General Assembly, is a crucial step forward.  

Debbie Banks, EIA Senior Campaigner, said: “The severity of these threats can no longer be ignored and we are glad that the discussion led to the adoption of a resolution tabled by Peru and the USA specifically addressing wildlife and forest crimes.

“EIA has been pressing for action involving the professional law enforcement community for several years, and this high-level political recognition of the problem will hopefully lead to more concrete action at the national level.”

Member States lined up to support the resolution, which recognises wildlife and forest crime as an increasingly sophisticated form of transnational organised crime and encourages member states to treat this as serious crime and to adopt the necessary legislation and penalties for the prevention, investigation and prosecution of such trafficking.

The resolution further encourages establishment of national inter-agency taskforces, international cooperation, and the use of measures to trace and seize illicit proceeds of these crimes.

Crucially, it also extends the mandate of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to pursue its role within the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime by working with member states who want to use the Wildlife and Forest Analytic Crime Toolkit, and requests the UNODC to undertake studies of the organised crime networks involved in wildlife and forest crime.

The increased commitment shown at the meeting comes at a time when poaching of wildlife and illicit timber trade is surging. To date, the enforcement response has been inadequate, with seizures rarely leading to prosecutions and environmental crimes generally having one of the lowest conviction rates.

EIA will monitor the implementation of the resolution agreed, and will continue to push for the full armoury of anti-crime measures to be applied against the powerful syndicates behind many wildlife and forest crime.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


LONDON: Once again living up to its status as ‘world’s most effective environmental treaty’, the Montreal Protocol has struck a deal with China to phase-out hydrofluorocarbon (HCFC) production and so prevent eight billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. 

With funding of up to US$385m from the Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund, China will eliminate its production of HCFCs, ozone-depleting substances that are also potent greenhouse gases. 

Clare Perry, Senior Campaigner for the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), said: “This is an important step which demonstrates yet again the significance of the Montreal Protocol in providing effective climate mitigation through a tried and tested process.”

The decision, reached at the most recent meeting of the Multilateral Fund, is a major step in the accelerated phase-out of HCFCs. The elimination of the production of over 4.3 million metric tonnes of HCFCs will prevent emissions of eight billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), equivalent to emissions from 1.6 billion cars, one-and-a-half times the global motor vehicle fleet.

HCFCs are chemicals used mainly in air conditioning, refrigeration, foam blowing and solvents. They are also used as feedstock for other products such as Teflon feedstock use of HCFCs is not regulated by the Montreal Protocol as it is deemed that the HCFCs are entirely consumed in the process and not emitted to the atmosphere. However, the production of HCFC also results in the unwanted production of HFC-23, a super greenhouse gas 14,800 times more damaging to the climate than CO2. While destruction of HFC-23 is easily done and inexpensive, some Chinese plants allow HFC-23 by-product to be vented, resulting in growing atmospheric concentrations.

According to the press release issued by the Multilateral Fund, China has agreed to “...make best efforts to manage HCFC production and associated by-product production in HCFC plants in accordance with best practices to minimize associated climate impacts.” 

This stops short of mandating HFC-23 destruction in all plants, but does indicate China’s intent to follow best practice as currently followed by HCFC producers in developed countries where HFC-23 is routinely destroyed.

EIA is calling on China to formally pledge to destroy the HFC-23 from all Chinese HCFC production facilities, including facilities which produce HCFC for feedstock.

“Elimination of China’s production of HCFCs over the next 17 years is a great win for the environment,” said Mark W Roberts, EIA’s Senior Policy Advisor. “However, it will be a hollow victory unless China adopts measures to prevent HFC-23 from being vented into the atmosphere.”

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Chitral Gol National Park with a total area 7,000 acre had only four watchmen performing duties. Wildlife department had been making consistent efforts to protect the Markhors – Capra falconeri (endangered species) which had increased from 195 in 1991 to 1,364 last year. However on February 20, some unidentified hunters escaped after shooting a Markhor – said to be worth Rs 9.5 million – in the Birmoghlasht Mountains of Chitral. In an attempt to stop illegal hunting Peshawar High Court directed the chief conservator to send a summary regarding release of funds used to equip wildlife watchers with arms.
April 11, 2013