Celebrating and protecting the Lower Mainland's wetland ecosystems
Research by the David Suzuki Foundation has shown that the Lower Mainland's wetlands are some of B.C.'s most valuable ecosystems, providing essential ecological services like flood protection, water filtration and carbon storage.
Unfortunately, these benefits are often ignored when decisions are made about how to develop and grow our communities. More than 1,300 hectares of rare wetlands in the Lower Mainland have been lost in the last two decades, mostly to urban development. As the population of the Lower Mainland is predicted to grow to more than 3 million by 2020, stress on our highly valuable ecosystems will increase.
In 2010, DSF released its Natural Capital in BC's Lower Mainland report which provided a preliminary assessment of ecosystem services in economic terms. In 2012, DSF will expand the Lower Mainland audit with a 'blue belt' report that measures the economic value of nearshore and wetland ecosystems.
These valuation tools will help decision makers and the public understand the true cost of degrading our wetlands and the economic benefits of protecting and restoring the region's natural wealth. The Foundation has invited diverse local groups to join us for a Wetlands Leadership Forum where we can begin to work together to celebrate our wetlands and ensure their protection into the future. The forum will take place over two days, June 28-29, 2012 in Vancouver.
- To empower local wetland champions with natural capital valuation tools and resources that measure the economic value of wetland ecosystems
- To build and mobilize an engaged constituency for wetland protection with the implementation of Metro Vancouver's Ecological Health Action Plan
- To plan public awareness campaigns to raise awareness of the vital ecological services wetland ecosystems provide Lower Mainland residents
- To understand current challenges in wetland conservation and identify strategic opportunities to build support for stronger conservation policies
- Be a part of a collaborative process that builds a strong voice for wetlands advocacy in the Lower Mainland
- Learn about natural capital valuation and how it can support your wetland conservation initiatives
- Gain early access to the David Suzuki Foundation's Valuing the Aquatic Benefits of BC's Lower Mainland: Nearshore Natural Capital Valuation report
- Dialogue and network with like-minded colleagues and build new synergies
Check out who attended the Wetland Leadership Forum.
Please contact Aryne Sheppard, Senior Public Engagement Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about this initiative.