David Suzuki Foundation brings groups and experts together to celebrate wetlands
VANCOUVER, BC — The David Suzuki Foundation is bringing together community groups, municipal decision-makers and scientific and economic experts from throughout BritishColumbia's Lower Mainland to celebrate the wonders of local wetlands and craft plans for protecting these vitally important and increasingly threatened ecosystems.
Generously supported by the Vancity Visa enviroFund, the first ever Wetlands Leadership Forum will take place June 28-29th at the VanDussen Botanical Gardens. Attendees include more than a dozen leading wetland conservation groups, plus key officials from local and provincial government agencies.
A study by the David Suzuki Foundation in 2010 found that wetlands are critically important for the ecological health of communities in the Lower Mainland. These natural ecosystems provide essential ecological services, such as filtering and regulating water, removing greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere andproviding wildlife habitat. The study found that wetlands conservatively provide more than $9,000 in economic benefits per hectare each year; economic values that tend to be ignored in land use and development decisions. The study also found that over 1,300 hectares of rare wetlands have been lost in the last two decades in the Lower Mainland. This represents a loss of more than $11 million in ecosystem services each year.
Speakers at the Wetlands Leadership Forum will include ecological economists, local advocates, academics and government officials that will provide examples of key challenges and opportunities in protecting local wetlands. Topics will include discussion of the economic benefits and essential ecological services that the region's remaining wetlands provide, like flood protection and water filtration. It will also include discussion of how communities can protect these valuable natural assets while continuing to grow and prosper.
WHAT: David Suzuki Foundation Wetland Leadership Forum
WHEN: 9am-4pm, June 28th and 29th, 2012
WHERE: Great Hall, VanDusen Botanical Gardens, 5251 Oak Street,Vancouver, BC V6M 4H1
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For more information, please visit www.davidsuzuki.org or contact:
Aryne Sheppard, David Suzuki Foundation firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeffery Young, David Suzuki Foundation email@example.com, 604 764 6142 cell