Research

BIODIVERSITY

Living Planet Report 2014 WWF: This latest edition of the Living Planet Report reveals the effects of the pressures we are placing on the planet. It explores the implications for society. And it underlines the importance of the choices we make, and the steps we take, to ensure this living planet can continue to sustain us all, now and for generations to come. The report shows that The Living Planet Index (LPI), which measures more than 10,000 representative populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, has declined by 52 per cent since 1970. Put another way, in less than two human generations, population sizes of vertebrate species have dropped by half. The report is a wake-up call to all of us to take action to protect, restore and enhance biodiversity.

Ontario’s Natural Heritage Areas: In March 2012, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources published an assessment of Ontario’s natural heritage areas in relation to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Protected Areas Classification System. In addition to describing international, national, provincial and municipal designations and mechanisms in use in Ontario, the report includes a useful chapter on Private Land Areas and Mechanisms.

State of Ontario’s Biodiversity: The 2010 report, published by the Ontario Biodiversity Council, summarizes the state of biodiversity in Ontario based on 29 different indicators.  The indicators, which measure things such as pollution, aquatic stress, and species diversity, are rated as improving, deteriorating, or staying the same.  This status gives us an idea of the overall health of biodiversity in the province and helps focus efforts and future research.

The Wetland Conversion Analysis: In 2010 Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) released a report indicating 72 per cent of southern Ontario’s large inland wetlands have been lost or converted to other land uses and this loss continues at an alarming rate.

ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

A Business Case for Wetland Conservation in the Black River Watershed: Despite a growing awareness of their  benefits, we continue to lose wetlands. In 2012, with the help of the Lake Simcoe Clean-up Fund, the University of Guelph and the University of Alberta, Ducks Unlimited Canada completed research that examined the ecological values of wetlands in the Black River subwatershed of the Lake Simcoe basin and the economic impacts of wetland loss – essentially, DUC assigned a dollar value to local wetlands.

The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity in Ontario: by Eric Miller and Patrick Lloyd-Smith, 2012.  In addition to its inherent value, Ontario’s biodiversity has economic value associated with the goods and services it provides. Ecosystem services include nature’s benefits to us, such as providing us with food, regulating our air and water quality, and moderating the effects of extreme weather we experience, as well as the recreational and spiritual opportunities we enjoy. This 2012 report was prepared for MNR and assesses the knowledge and gaps in our understanding of ecosystem services in Ontario.

A Healthy Dose of Green: Many of the benefits of forests, such as the production of oxygen, carbon sequestration, protection against soil erosion and maintenance of clean water supplies, are well known, but the health benefits of trees have been largely overlooked. In February 2012, Trees Ontario released a publication that documents the growing body of evidence supporting the benefits of forest ecosystems for human health.

ENVIRONMENTAL FARM PLAN

Final Report-EFPs-Measuring Performance, Improving Effectiveness, and Increasing Participation: Prepared by Prairie Research Associates for the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, on behalf of the Ontario Farm Environmental Coalition, 2011.

Spatial Analysis of the Adoption of Nutrient Management Related Best Management Practices in Ontario, April 2005-March 2010: The Canada-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) partnership undertook a spatial analysis of the adoption of nutrient management Best Management Practices (BMPs) in Ontario. The purpose of the analysis was to determine the effectiveness of the EFP as a ‘place based’ assessment tool for targeting or accelerating BMP project adoption in geographic areas at risk of elevated nutrient levels and to contribute to the measurement of the performance of the EFP and the Canada-Ontario Farm Stewardship Program (COFSP). The report was prepared by Elisabeth Woyzbun, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

 

 

 

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