Carleton University researchers are partnering with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) on a new initiative to tackle the global biodiversity crisis.
“This a great example of Carleton researchers working directly with government partners to create positive change,” said Rafik Goubran, vice-president (Research and International). “We are fortunate to have some of the top researchers in ECCC located on the Carleton campus. There is excellent synergy with our Biology Department, and many of our students end up working permanently with ECCC because of our collaborations with them.”
Joseph Bennett, professor in Carleton’s Institute of Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences, Steven Cooke, director of the Canadian Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation which was established at Carleton in 2014, and Paul Smith, research scientist with the Wildlife and Landscape Science Directorate, Science and Technology Branch of ECCC, are leading this important partnership.
“ECCC is showing real commitment to partnership and innovation,” said Bennett. “This funding will help design better ways of saving Canada’s threatened species from extinction. It will also help train scientists in cutting-edge techniques for biodiversity conservation.”
Governments increasingly recognize that there is a global biodiversity crisis, with many species on the verge of extinction. It is a difficult issue with few resources dedicated to conserve threatened species and a lack of data to help determine the best course of action. ECCC recognizes these issues, and is interested in better understanding the threats facing Canadian species and how to effectively protect and conserve them.
“This funding reinforces the fact that scholars at Carleton are doing research that is of direct relevance to environmental managers and policy-makers,” said Cooke. “This partnership creates opportunities for training the next generation of environmental problem-solvers.”
The partnership will help managers determine how much effort they should direct towards initial threat assessment, management and follow-up monitoring. The research will also develop techniques to better characterize interacting threats, and will explore the benefits of data sharing and synthesis to help improve biodiversity conservation in Canada.
“Partnering with Carleton offers a rapid and cost-effective way to accelerate this innovative science and translate it into action, helping to address these complex and time-sensitive issues,” said Smith.
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