The United Nations World Environment Day takes place every June and the aim is to celebrate and safeguard our environment – and restore our ecosystems.
For this year the day’s theme is ‘ecosystem restoration’. Canada enjoys a variety of ecosystems, some of which are unique in the world. Forests, wetlands, grasslands, tundra, lakes, rivers, coastal and marine ecosystems – all of these contribute to Canada’s unparalleled natural beauty. This explains why so many Canadians have a special connection with nature and the environment.
Everyday actions from us all can ensure we make a real difference in protecting nature. The Government has committed to protecting at least 25 per cent of the country’s lands and 25 per cent of its oceans by 2025. These goals seek to create healthier habitats for species at risk as well as a dedication to improve Canada’s natural environment. Canada’s biodiversity is a cornerstone of our way of life. As a nation we depend on the wellbeing of the natural environment to support our culture, health, and economy, so find a way to engage with it this summer.
As part of the work towards this, a 31-day protect Nature Challenge can be found on the Government’s website. The suggestions are wide-ranging; from safe disposal of chemicals, electronics and light bulbs to slowing down for wildlife, building pollinator gardens and planting native trees in our backyards.
In addition to the efforts in the challenge, with ecosystem restoration in mind, there is also the chance to learn indigenous knowledge handed down over thousands of years. Through collaborations with indigenous partners, Parks Canada and Canadians are already benefiting.
For example, the return of sea otters (Kuu) to the British Columbia coast is only a recent development, having been hunted to local extinction more than a century ago. Without the otters, the sea urchin population exploded to the detriment of the kelp forests. Now partners from universities, governments, the fishing industry and non-profit organisations are working to explore strategies for the successful management of the sea otters return.
Appreciating Parks and Wildlife Areas
There are currently 55 National Wildlife Areas across Canada (some located in regions that include relatively undisturbed ecosystems) containing nationally significant habitats for animals or plants. Canada also has 38 national park reserves which cannot fail to inspire a desire to support and safeguard the ecosystems which sustain so many species.
Consider New Solutions
Natural climate solutions embrace the power of nature to reduce the effects of and adapt to climate change all while supporting biodiversity. Forests, wetlands, grasslands, and farmland absorb and store large amounts of CO2, reduce the effects of climate change, keep our air and water clean, as well as provide habitat for wildlife. The benefits of switching to natural solutions cover a broad range; from supporting biodiversity for wildlife, to increasing the resilience of nature based economic sectors and creating green jobs nationwide to adapting our communities to the harmful effects of climate change. These benefits will add up over time, and will provide us with cleaner air and water, protect us from the effects of climate change, and improve our quality of life.
Both as an individual or organization there is so much, we can do, from switching to tap water instead of bottles, to using the greenest way to dry your hands. Many companies have an environmental responsibility to meet green business standards.
At Stiltz Home Elevators, we meet a range of green criteria, from ensuring environmental responsibility in the way the company sources, manufactures and markets its home elevators to the way in which its business is run. The range of residential elevators offer one of the smallest footprints of any elevator on the market, and therefore, use less materials. These home lifts also consume far less power than a traditional elevator because they do use hydraulics and, instead are powered by a unique drive system which is situated, out of sight, on top of the lift. Each time Canadians make a choice to work with such an organisation, they will be doing their bit to safeguard the environment and help preserve global ecosystems.