Canadian Biodiversity Strategy
- Executive Summary
- Biodiversity: Our Living Legacy
- A Vision For Canada
- GOAL 1 - Conservation and Sustainable Use
- A. Wild Flora and Fauna and Other Wild Organisms
- B. Protected Areas
- C. Restoration and Rehabilitation
- D. Sustainable Use of Biological Resources
- E. Biosafety: Harmful Alien Organisms and Living Modified Organisms
- F. Atmosphere
- G. Human Population and Settlement
- GOAL 2 - Ecological Management
- A. Improving Our Ecological Management Capability
- B. Increasing Resource Management Capability
- C. Monitoring
- GOAL 3 - Education and Awareness
- GOAL 4 - Incentives and Legislation
- GOAL 5 - International Cooperation
- Indigenous Community Implementation
GOAL 1 - Conservation and Sustainable Use
C. Restoration and Rehabilitation
The third element of the ecological approach is restoration and rehabilitation, which includes the restoration or rehabilitation of species and ecosystems.
Several species recovery efforts are underway. On a national level, species recovery efforts are currently coordinated by the committee on the Recovery of Nationally Endangered Wildlife (RENEW). Since 1988, the committee has been leading recovery efforts for birds, terrestrial mammals, reptiles and amphibians at risk. Although recovery and reintroduction form part of the RENEW mandate, an over-riding objective of the RENEW strategy is to prevent species from becoming threatened or endangered. Where species are threatened , endangered or extirpated, recovery efforts are undertaken within jurisdictions to enhance or re-introduce species, subspecies and populations. These recovery efforts are designed to improve the viability of threatened and endangered species through such actions as: the protection or enhancement of habitat; the rehabilitation or creation of habitat; the development of contingency plans for major disruptions; captive-breeding and the transplanting of wild or captive-bred individuals; and the enhancement of public awareness and support.
Additionally, some plans are being developed between federal, provincial and territorial governments and indigenous communities to ensure the conservation of species-at-risk and to restore them to levels at which traditional harvesting can be sustained.
Ex situ or "off-site" conservation is sometimes required to support the conservation of vulnerable , threatened and endangered species. There are a number of institutions in Canada currently involved in ex situ conservation supporting both domestic and international species recovery programs. In Canada, ex situ institutions are playing an essential role in conserving native endangered species, such as the Black-footed Ferret and the Whooping Crane, and supporting international efforts to conserve endangered species from other countries, such as the Puerto Rican Toad. All three species are being bred in captivity to produce offspring for re-introduction to their native habitats.
Ecosystem Restoration and Rehabilitation
Several ecosystem restoration and rehabilitation projects are currently underway. In 1988, the Federal Government and the Government of Quebec launched the St. Lawrence Action Plan, allocating approximately $173 million towards the rehabilitation and sustainable use of this ecosystem. In 1991, the Fraser River Basin Action Plan was introduced to promote the sustainable development of the Fraser River ecosystem in British Columbia. This partnership project involves governments, indigenous people and non-government organizations. There are also numerous smaller scale ecosystem restoration and rehabilitation projects underway.
These include restoring wetlands, repairing eroded stream banks and reclaiming areas such as abandoned gravel pits. Many of these projects are community-based and contribute to the conservation of biodiversity.
Ecosystem restoration and rehabilitation can be extremely expensive and is not always successful in fully restoring ecosystems. Preventing ecosystem degradation is, therefore, critical. The cost and scientific and technical implications of each proposed restoration or rehabilitation program must be critically evaluated to determine the program's long-term value in conserving biodiversity. In some cases, scarce financial and human resources could be used more effectively in other conservation initiatives.
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