Montréal Space for Life is pursuing its mandate to protect biodiversity by joining the global coalition #UnitedforBiodiversity. It is officially the first institution in Canada to join the coalition and it is hoping it can kick-start a broad movement of support for this initiative.
The #UnitedforBiodiversity global coalition was launched on March 3, 2020, in Monaco by the European Commissioner for the Environment, Virginijus Sinkevicius. All botanical gardens, museums, zoos, aquariums, research centres, universities and nature parks have been asked to lend their support by informing and raising the awareness of people all around the world about environmental issues and urging them to act in favour of biodiversity.
On the eve of World Biodiversity Day on May 22, Space for Life is joining with over 250 institutions from 49 countries and 40 organizations in raising its voice for nature.
At a time when a million species are at risk of extinction, the global coalition wants to ensure that people everywhere realize just how critical it is to take urgent action. Another of its objectives is to strengthen the call to world leaders to ensure that a new global plan to protect and rehabilitate nature is adopted at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity, which is scheduled to be held in China this fall. After the summit, the coalition will concentrate on coordinated initiatives that can have a tangible impact on combating the loss of biodiversity.
Ecosystems sensitive to disruptions
Biodiversity and all the ecosystems of our planet are now threatened by human activity: these are fragile environments sensitive to disruption. The disappearance of a single habitat or a single species can unbalance a whole ecosystem.
Insects, for example, are essential to the food chain, pollination and the decomposition of matter. Studies done since 2000 indicate that some insect species are in decline. The rusty-patched bumblebee and the nine-spotted lady beetle, for instance, are species that were common 40 years ago, but are now endangered in Canada. A number of species of swallows face the same predicament, as they are finding fewer and fewer insects to eat. The causes that lead to these extinctions are complex, involving a number of different factors. The equilibrium of insect populations is particularly affected by the use of insecticides and herbicides and by monoculture farming.
Putting words into action
Besides informing the public, Montréal Space for Life has set up programs that give everyone a chance to take concrete action themselves. These are initiatives that make tangible contributions to achieving the coalition’s ambitious goals.
My Space for Life Garden: Greening a balcony, a patio or a wall, or putting in a flower or vegetable garden are all ways to get closer to nature. They are also opportunities to take concrete steps to preserve biodiversity and give a boost to all kinds of pollinators.
Mission Monarch: This community science program documents the reproductive success of the monarch. The program is part of an international research and education effort aimed at saving the migratory populations of this endangered species.
The Laboratory of Possibilities: This initiative involves designing, prototyping and creating projects by drawing on collective intelligence. The goal is to work together to solve issues related to biodiversity and climate change. The lab’s purpose is to get people to see things from a new perspective that places humankind at the centre of the solutions it develops.
Montréal Space for Life is calling on all institutions in Canada and all its partners to join the United for Biodiversity global coalition at:
Learn more about the importance of biodiversity, the coalition and the CoP 15 on social media by following the hashtags #UnitedforBiodiversity, #UnispourlaBiodiversité and #CoP15.- 30 -
About Montréal Space for Life
Montréal Space for Life is made up of five major attractions: the Biodôme, the Biosphere, the Insectarium, the Jardin botanique and the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan. These prestigious municipal institutions form Canada’s largest natural science museum complex. Together, they are launching a daring, creative urban movement, encouraging all of us to rethink the connection between humankind and nature and cultivate a new way of living.