Education and Awareness

Almost 9% (891 163 km2) of Canada's total area is covered by freshwater.

Over 70 000 species of plants and animals have been identified in Canada, and countless numbers remain to be discovered.

One in every three bites of our food depends on pollination by bees and other insects.

Canada's boreal region covers 34% of the country's land mass and contains 21% of the world's total boreal forest.

Canada's 138 native tree species have provided substances for approximately 40 medical uses.

Canada is a seasonal host to 530 species of migratory birds.

As of early 2011, 470 species are listed under the Species at Risk Act.

We all are a part of the biodiversity of our planet - "the variety of species and ecosystems on Earth and the ecological processes of which they are a part"1. We depend on biodiversity for our survival and well being. It nourishes our most basic needs - the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink - and our spirits - the beauty of taking a walk in the forest or listening to a bird sing outside our window.  Learning about the importance of biodiversity is critical for its conservation and sustainable use. 

Goal 3 of the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy is "to promote an understanding of the need to conserve biodiversity and use biological resources in a sustainable manner". As outlined in the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy, "education is the most cost-effective means of producing long-term social change. Education allows individuals to make lifestyle and consumption decisions that are sensitive to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use objectives".

Throughout the UN Decade on Biodiversity, we encourage you to take measures to promote biodiversity communication, education and awareness. Experience biodiversity and engage in activities that promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.  Organize and participate in biodiversity events and theme days - such as the International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22nd each year. Join a community-based ecological monitoring program such as NatureWatch to help are raise public awareness on biodiversity and contribute to the collection of scientific data.

1   Canadian Biodiversity Strategy