A range of initiatives were undertaken across Canada to mark the 2008 International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD).

The provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Quebec staged various activities. These included a “Biodiversi-Tea-Party” programme, intended to encourage biodiversity ‘reflection, learning and acting’ through discussions and educational resources, organized by the Sierra Club of Canada in British Columbia; a flyer on biodiversity and agriculture created by the Ontario Biodiversity Education and Awareness Network, in Ontario; and a program of events developed by the Nature Museums in Montreal, Quebec, which included films, shows, guided tours, presentations, bird watching, exhibitions and other activities.

Canada’s Environment Minister John Baird, and Canada’s Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Gerry Ritz released a joint ministerial statement highlighting Canada’s achievements in protecting the diversity of life and using biological resources sustainably.

The Biodiversity Convention Office (BCO) of Environment Canada developed an IBD 2008 website as part of the national biodiversity clearing-house mechanism. The website presents background information about biodiversity and focuses on ‘Biodiversity and Agriculture’ as the 2008 theme, and includes thematic pages and fact sheets. For more information please see Environment Canada’s IBD page.

BCO also partnered with the Canadian Environmental Network (CEN) to develop a Biodiversity Day outreach strategy to engage Canadians in IBD 2008 activities in seven cities across Canada. Through this partnership CEN selected seven environmental non-government organizations in each city to promote IBD 2008, resulting in a number of activities, events and the dissemination of educational materials on the “biodiversity and agriculture” theme.

For more information please see the full report of activities marking IBD 2008 in Canada