Biodiversity Summit: Questions

During the course of our two-day 2012 Summit, we encouraged participants to provide us with their ideas, suggestions, and questions on the topic of Biodiversity. Their comments were captured under the headings of “Revelations”, “Solutions”, and “Questions Unanswered”; they are provided below for public consideration and to help continue the dialogue.


Questions Unanswered

So, how do we save the world?

How to or who prioritizes biodiversity challenges? e.g., species at risk vs sustainable forestry.

How can we reconcile the imperative for economic growth with the urgent need for biodiversity conservation?

How can the conservation community reconcile their partnerships with transnational corporations whose practices are in direct opposition to the conservation agenda?

Why doesn’t the Government of Ontario have a biodiversity strategy (the Ontario Biodiversity Strategy is authored by the third-party Ontario Biodiversity council, not the government)?

Political engagement & responsive governments – can we afford to wait for another election?

Dr. Gonzales referenced natural history as a cultural foundation, shaping art, music, architecture etc.  Is this changing with growing importance of technology?

How many steps are there between the international conference goals & the decision makers on the ground?  Where does the breakdown occur?  Who translates broad statements to specific action?

How do we follow through on our agreement as expressed in the Friendships and Sharing Wampum belt carried by Elder William Commanda? The belt expressed the fact (in the early 1700’s) that Anishnabe people would share the “grand resources of the land” providing “we shared the responsibility to care for Mother Earth” as guided by Anishnabe experience through traditional knowledge gained through 10,000 years of listening to the heartbeat of Mother Earth.

Is there any upside to the awful decline of brown bats?  If brown bats as insectivores are on a mass decline due to white-nose fungus disease, and insects proliferate regionally as an effect, could that work to out-compete potential future invasive insects?  If current insects require a larger niche for increasing populations, could that make less room for potentially dangerous invasive species?

What about genetically modified plants & animals . . . are they a greater threat to biodiversity or do they increase biodiversity?

If we replace local agricultural land with habitat rescue plans then wouldn’t that affect people in the community that may have been buying their food from that farmer or their produce?


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