Celebrating Canada’s Natural Heritage
At home and abroad, Canada’s identity is closely tied to our geography and climate. It always has been. From long before Europeans arrived right up until today, the peoples, the cultures and the wildlife here have been defined by the challenges of our intemperate weather and our varied topography. The wild and its bounty were the basis for the economic forces that shaped the country, from cod on the Grand Banks and the early fur trade to the massive hydroelectric projects of the mid-20th century.
Today, the wilderness also serves to draw many Canadians outside, helping us connect to nature. It is where we go for fun, be it foraging, canoe tripping, hunting, fishing, hiking, berry picking or any of the countless other activities that bring us outdoors in every season.
Most Canadians embrace the idea that we are one facet of an ecosystem: that rivers and lakes are not only part of our drinking water and a source of clean energy, but they are also home to a complex yet fragile web that needs our careful attention; that wetlands and forests absorb harmful greenhouse gases and produce oxygen and regulate flooding; and that we have a responsibility to everyone else on the planet because 30 per cent of the world’s boreal forest and 20 per cent of global fresh water are in Canada.
CWF is proud of our long history of working with Canadians of all ages, backgrounds and interests in and for the wild. With this era’s heightened understanding of the need for each of us to conserve and protect biodiversity for the future health of humans, flora and fauna, all of us who are part of the Canadian Wildlife Federation are excited to provide another unique opportunity to Canadians to join in the fun. CWF is a co-organizer of Canada’s Nature Selfie Bioblitz, one of 40 “signature” projects supported by Heritage Canada as part of the country’s 150th anniversary, with events right across the country (page 30). To mark this special time, we are creating opportunities for everyone and anyone to join together with scientists from across the country to create a comprehensive inventory and a clear picture of the state of our biodiversity. It is an important contribution to ensuring a healthy future for Canada and all its diverse inhabitants. And it will be loads of fun in the outdoors. See you there!