Under the Convention of Biological Diversity, Canada has committed to protecting 17 per cent terrestrial and 10 per cent marine and coastal areas by 2020.
While welcome and much-needed, scientists and the public agree that much more is required to halt species extinction, allow recovery and mitigate and adapt to climate change, says Dr. Tara Martin, a Professor of Conservation Decision Science in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences at the University of British Columbia.
“This will require more than just protection of any land or seascape, but rather protection of high quality habitat within and outside of protected areas and management of these areas for conservation outcomes,” said Dr. Martin.
Deciding which areas to protect and what management strategies to implement within those protected areas is the focus of Dr. Martin’s talk titled Prioritizing Threat Management for Species Persistence within B.C., at the University of Northern British Columbia’s Canfor Theatre on Monday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Open to the public, Dr. Martin’s lecture, one that she draws upon her research in Canada and Australia, is the keynote address at the BC Protected Areas Research Forum conference Dec. 3-5 at UNBC.
Prior to her position at UBC, Dr. Martin was a principal research scientist with Australia’s National Science Agency, CSIRO, where she founded and led the Conservation Decisions Team.
Dr. Martin is a pioneer in the field of conservation decision making – combining ecological data with decision science to bridge the gap between research and on-ground conservation action and policy.
Her current research interests include prioritizing threat management for biodiversity conservation; climate adaptation and mitigation under global change; understanding shifting baselines and informing eco-cultural restoration; and decision-making under uncertainty.
Rotating around the province, the BC Protected Areas Research Forum conference is held every two years and brings together those from all three levels of government, Indigenous governments, academia, NGO and others interested in protected areas to talk about the latest research and management challenges within B.C. and neighbouring regions.
The themes this year are Indigenizing Conservation and Climate Changes and Protected Areas.
Undergraduate and graduate students from UNBC’s Ecosystem Science and Management program are also attending the forum.