Recently as part of a Nature Canada trip to Ottawa for Nature NL (where I volunteer as President) I had the chance to take in an interesting conference that helped me expand my thinking around the conservation areas and climate.
The Nature-based Climate Solutions summit looks at all the different things that we might do, as a conservation community, to fight climate change in natural ways. Make no mistake, cutting emissions and reducing our consumption should be our top priorities on this issue. But turning to natural solutions and taking care of our lands and waters can help supplement our efforts, and we can explain these extra benefits to others so that we all understand that conserving land, for example, is a major plus when it comes to climate action.
|Pathways we can follow to create nature based climate change solutions presented by Amanda Reed, from Nature United.|
|The four main categories of nature-based climate change solutions are natural infrastructure, protected areas, restoration, and improved management of our lands and waters. One of the main reason that many of these are climate solutions, although we might not think of them that way at first, is that our ecosystems store carbon, and healthier places store even more. So for example, tree planting, aquatic restoration, or preserving a natural marsh that helps filter municipal water - these are all climate change projects too.|
Natural peatlands store about 20 grams of carbon per metre square per year, for example. To better illustrate that, let's consider the Gambo Bog conservation area in the Town of Gambo. At 417 hectares and ~90% peatland, this beautiful wetland conserves about 375 hectares of natural peatlands, and keeps about 75 000 kg of carbon locked into the ground each year.
|View of the Gambo Bog. This enormous peatland can lock away tens of thousands of kilograms of Carbon.|
|Each municipality could quickly calculate this for their conserved and natural areas, and come up with an approximate figure that shows how they are doing their part to use nature to help slow climate change. And together, we make a difference. Imagine the amount of carbon stored across all of our 100+ conservation areas in our province, year after year.|
|Conveying these climate benefits will hopefully help us understand that our land conservation efforts here with SAM in NL benefit not only our wildlife populations and species at risk, but help prevent carbon from being released into our atmosphere. Conserving where possible, and restoring where necessary, is a superb approach to taking care of our peatlands and other wetlands. And something we can feel good about from a climate perspective as well.|
I'm looking forward to integrating what I've learned in Ottawa in my work here. As the climate changes, so too must our thinking, and the ways we approach conservation.
Interested in learning more? You can watch the conference for free online and access the extensive, and growing, library of climate resources they've pulled together.
Watch Day 1
Watch Day 2
SAM Network News & Updates
|SAM Steward Award: Recognizing our environmental stewardship leaders|
The SAM Steward Award has been created to recognize these heroes of environmental stewardship. SAM hopes this award will inspire people to support wildlife habitat conservation and stewardship.
SAM member municipalities can nominate individuals. The selection will be done prior to SAM meetings by the SAM Officers Committee. If at all possible, it is our hope that the selected individual will attend a SAM meeting to receive the award.
SAM Members, please see our website and send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org. The nomination deadline is May 1, 2020.
World Wetlands Day 2020: Libraries across NL celebrate
World Wetlands Day is celebrated globally on February 2nd each year to mark the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands
. This year SAM wanted to reach out to public libraries
. Over 30 of our SAM members
have a public library in their community, and the public library system has 95 libraries across the province.
For World Wetlands Day SAM created a library program
to encourage public libraries to celebrate wetland conservation. Many libraries participated by creating displays, having wetland themed story-times, and inviting special guests to talk about wetlands.
|Pictured below is the wetlands display at the Gander Public Library.|
|Thank you to all the libraries that participated in the program! If you would like to know more see our website or email us.|