DAN KRAUS: Which wetlands will we choose to save or lose?

Contributed by Dan Kraus
The Chronicle Herald
February 1, 2021

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Dan is the National conservation biologist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). He has worked on projects that range from conservation planning to habitat management to climate change adaptation.

Nature Conservancy of Canada

Despite a global agreement and a special day of recognition, we have not been kind to wetlands over the last half century. Over the past 50 years, over one-third of the world’s remaining wetlands have been lost. They continue to disappear at a rate faster than forests, and the loss is accelerating.  

Courtesy of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, used with permission

In every country, including our own, we are now facing an increasingly critical decision: Which wetlands will we choose to save, and which wetlands will we choose to lose?  

Our choices will matter for both nature and people.  

[…] Canadians need wetlands now, more than ever. Our northern peatlands are global giants when it comes to storing carbon. Wetlands around our cities and farms are one of our best natural defences to buffer communities from extreme weather events and our rapidly changing climate. They are the Swiss Army knife of ecosystems. The wetlands around us store carbon, hold flood water, recharge creeks during drought, stop storm surges and provide fire breaks. We can’t afford to lose them. The best use of wetlands is to have them remain as wetlands.  

[…] We can choose to be the new generation that values, conserves and creates wetlands, or continue to pass on an ecological deficit to our children. Fifty years ago, there was a commitment made to future generations to stop the loss of wetlands. We need to fulfil that promise.  

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Related Reading:

Nova Scotia Wetland Conservation Policy

Ecological Life Support: Why We Need to Preserve This Biodiverse Coastal Headland

Report on the Ecological Importance of Owls Head Crown Land: More Findings

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