Biodiversity is nature. Healthy and biodiverse ecosystems provide services that we depend on for healthy communities and a strong economy. Unfortunately, we are experiencing an unprecedented rate of biodiversity loss as a result of human-caused threats, including habitat destruction, overexploitation, invasive species, pollution and climate change.

Municipalities have an essential role to play in conservation and restoration. This not only means protecting nature, but also incorporating nature into urban planning. It is critical for cities to step up because they are the areas with the least amount of habitat left. Which means cities are where conservation efforts can be most effective.

The City of Ottawa has implemented some policies that support urban biodiversity, such as the Greenspace Master Plan, Wildlife Strategy and Urban Forest Management Plan. However, we are only halfway there.

In fact, we are missing one of the most important steps of effective urban biodiversity conservation: monitoring and revision.

When it comes to protecting biodiversity, cities do best when they make data-driven decisions to improve land-use. Ottawa can do more to protect and restore local nature by collecting ecosystem data to improve local policies. That’s why we need you to speak up and be a Biodiversity Champion. Here’s a list of 4 ways you can help:

  1. Sign our petition to let City Hall know how important biodiversity is to you.
  2. Become a citizen scientist and start collecting ecosystem data yourself! Download iNaturalist and learn about nature while contributing helpful information that scientists will refer to. Join our iNaturalist project “Ecology Ottawa’s Bioblitz 2020” and start uploading your natural observations today!
  3. Learn more about how you can help Ottawa’s plants, critters, and greenspaces by attending our fun, interactive online events! From trivia to webinars, bioblitzes to virtual field trips – we have something for everyone. You can find them all listed in our Passport to Nature and you can register for them by clicking here.
  4. Volunteer with Ecology Ottawa’s Living City Program by contacting Natasha at [email protected]. You can also find a list of our volunteer opportunities by clicking here.

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