University of Calgary

Voice your views on biodiversity

UToday HomeJuly 19, 2012

Communications studies professor Edna Einsiedel is recruiting Albertans for a global citizen consultation on biodiversity Sept. 15.Communications studies professor Edna Einsiedel is recruiting Albertans for a global citizen consultation on biodiversity Sept. 15.Professor of communications studies Edna Einsiedel is recruiting 100 Albertans to participate in World Wide Views on Biodiversity, a global citizen consultation on Sept. 15.

“Canada is a signatory of the Convention on Biodiversity, so it is important that its citizens have a voice,” says Einsiedel. “This is an unparalleled opportunity to participate in a global conversation about biodiversity and to help inform policy on the issues.

Participants will provide input into conserving and protecting designated habitats, protection of at-risk and endangered species, and the genetic diversity project which ensures plants and animals are conserved through gene banks and seed banks for crops. They will discuss related factors in making policies on biodiversity such as who should pay for the costs associated with biodiversity, whether developing countries should have the same responsibilities as developed countries, and how countries can implement the goals established by the Convention on Biodiversity.

“There will be many implications for regular citizens when policies on biodiversity are created,” says Einsiedel. “For example, some communities that might have been utilizing marine resources without limits may have to consider measures that provide restrictions to ensure fisheries are more sustainable over the long term. We need to understand all the facets of an issue before our governments make decisions.”

At least 100 people from each of 25 countries on six continents will take part in discussions on the same day. The results will be reported instantly to a website and organizers of World Wide Views will also present results at COP11 and to policymakers gathering in India in October.

In addition to Alberta, citizen panels in Ontario and Quebec will also participate. Interested Albertans from all over the province are encouraged to apply to participate.