Two years ago, Ecojustice and our clients celebrated a landmark win for protection of B.C.'s iconic killer whales under the Species at Risk Act. And while there have been some recent signs that these populations may be on the long road to recovery, proposed projects like the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and now the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 expansion pose new threats to their survival.
Earlier this week, one of the world's last rhinoceroses was killed in the name of saving the species -- at least that's what the hunter who took the shot wants you to think. Eighteen months ago, Corey Knowlton made international headlines when he purchased the "right" to hunt an endangered black rhino in Namibia. The Dallas Safari Club announced that it would be auctioning off the right to hunt the rhino and Mr. Knowlton sprang at the opportunity, spending $350,000 to win the auction. With less than five thousand black rhinos left in the wild, we should be valuing each one and doing our best to keep them alive.
I used to eat a lot of shrimp, but based on my travels examining foreign shrimp farms and various unsustainable and sustainable fishing practices, now I am much more selective. Supporting more sustainable options is a good start but with the vast majority of the global shrimp industry based on destructive harvesting methods, widespread change will take a long time.
In 2010, our five-year-old daughter, Lily, was diagnosed Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Whenever Lily was released from the hospital, and the weather cooperated, we headed outside. We really started to depend on these adventures, these outdoor excursions, to get us through the bad days and help Lily along her road to recovery. According to the National Environmental Educational Foundation, exposure to nature can reduce stress levels by as much as 28 per cent in children. Health benefits of nature may include reduced anxiety and depression, increased energy and immunity, decreased stress and improved mental health.
Almost everyone who has seen the gruesome videos of sharks having their fins cut off and their mutilated bodies dumped back into the ocean, barely alive but doomed to drown, is outraged by this barbaric practice. Even more so upon learning that there is no nutritional value in shark fin soup or any shark fin products.
How long can you go without water? You could probably survive a few weeks without water for cooking. If you stopped washing, the threat to your life might only come from people who can't stand the smell. But most people won't live for more than three days without water to drink. It makes sense: our bodies are about 65 per cent water. According to the United Nations, about 750 million people lack access to safe water -- that's one in nine!
Someone recently asked me how I would invest a million dollars to help conserve Lake Erie. When I really thought about it, the answer became clear: if I had a million dollars to spend on Lake Erie, I'd hire a public relations firm to remake our collective perceptions and rebrand the world's 11th largest lake.
In the past two weeks, the government of Canada has come under fire several times over its complete lack of effort when it comes to the protection of endangered species. The gap between what Canada says -- and what it actually does -- for conservation continues to widen, and it is wildlife who pays the price.
We have found that 86 per cent of species considered to be at risk of extinction in Canada are either deteriorating or failing to recover. Despite the fact that many of these species should be receiving protection, the government has largely failed to identify the critical habitat necessary for the species to recover, and as a result this habitat may be going unprotected. This is bad news for biodiversity.
Here in Canada, it's a luxury to not think about water. Most of us watch it come out of the tap and go down the drain without considering its source or destination. But many people in the world don't have taps or drains. In fact over 1.2-billion people experience critical water shortages. They think about water every day.
There is another reason why we cannot afford to take much longer to increase conservation and tighten the rules. One major logging company operating in the region is not a member of the Joint Solutions Project. Instead, TimberWest has a long history of opposing increases in conservation and undertaking extremely profit-driven logging operations in the southern-most portion of the Great Bear Rainforest with very little remaining old-growth.
Despite the best efforts of citizens and watershed groups actively caring for their local waters across the country, we have no consistent way to measure water health. That leaves us in the dark, unprepared to do what's necessary to care for our waters. It leaves us without the information we need to understand the impacts and trade-offs of development decisions, restoration projects and legal reforms.