And the Win­ner Is… Na­ture

Canadian Wildlife - - FROM CWF -

Wel­come to my favourite issue of Cana­dian Wildlife each year, where we cel­e­brate the win­ners of our fed­er­a­tion’s an­nual awards. I am par­tial to this issue be­cause in it we show­case the ac­com­plish­ments of some very com­mit­ted Cana­dian vol­un­teers. It is in­spir­ing to read about th­ese pas­sion­ate and en­gaged ci­ti­zens and the work they do to pro­tect our en­vi­ron­ment. Of course, part of what is so pow­er­ful is that each of th­ese lau­re­ates is rep­re­sen­ta­tive of many thou­sands more Cana­di­ans who vol­un­teer each year to con­serve our awe­some (and im­per­illed) na­tional bio­di­ver­sity.

The dif­fer­ent ways in which each of th­ese eight de­serv­ing in­di­vid­u­als and or­ga­ni­za­tions made an im­pact is in­struc­tive as well as in­spir­ing. Take Nova Sco­tian Stella Bowles, who at age 11 was so of­fended by the idea of raw sewage pour­ing into the La­have River that she tested the wa­ter, com­piled a re­port and publi­cized the re­sults so ef­fec­tively that, two years later, three lev­els of gov­ern­ment came to­gether to ad­dress the prob­lem.

Or con­sider the life­long work of Pierre La­tra­verse, hon­our­ing the land on which his fam­ily has lived since the mid-17th cen­tury by be­com­ing a voice for con­ser­va­tion and work­ing with every­one from lo­cal fam­i­lies to the heads of in­ter­na­tional ship­ping com­pa­nies to re­ha­bil­i­tate a heav­ily trav­elled seg­ment of the St. Lawrence River.

In dif­fer­ent ways, every one of our award win­ners this year did im­por­tant work in the field that helped cre­ate a greater im­pact. Their work helped ed­u­cate Cana­di­ans and change at­ti­tudes, in­flu­ence pol­icy and ul­ti­mately en­sure that our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives would do the right and timely thing. This is also what we do at CWF: we take a pos­i­tive, in­clu­sive ap­proach to en­gag­ing every­one in the con­ser­va­tion of our nat­u­ral world. We un­der­take and fund research to un­der­stand the chal­lenges in con­ser­va­tion so they can be solved. We work hard to com­mu­ni­cate with Cana­di­ans about the press­ing is­sues the en­vi­ron­ment faces. We of­fer many op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple across the coun­try to get in­volved and act on what they have learned, of­ten cre­at­ing stew­ard­ship pro­grams to en­sure last­ing change. Ad­vo­cacy too is an im­por­tant part of what we do, work­ing to en­sure gov­ern­ments act to end flawed or harm­ful prac­tices and poli­cies and to pro­vide proper guid­ance and stew­ard­ship.

So, as we cel­e­brate the ef­forts of our most re­cent award win­ners, we also cel­e­brate the pas­sion and spirit of stew­ard­ship that is grow­ing through­out Canada and the con­tri­bu­tions of the mil­lions of Cana­di­ans who de­vote time, money or both to sup­port­ing con­ser­va­tion. Rick J. Bates CEO, Cana­dian Wildlife Fed­er­a­tion

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