This sessions includes two presentations:

The Good the Bad and the Ugly of Species at Risk (SAR) in the Urban Development Sector & Urban Growth. Biodiversity. Can they Coexist?

Urban Growth. Biodiversity. Can they Coexist?
Presented by Steve Heuchert, Namrata Shrestha, Kim Statham and Jane Welsh

This session brings together experts in science, policy, planning, and practice to demonstrate approaches and present case studies of integrated multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral expertise used to develop plans for ecosystem health and community well-being. 

Urbanization poses challenges to sustainability and the resilience of socio-ecological systems unless they are addressed by planning policy, best practices, and relevant science. Potential impacts include loss and degradation of natural areas, biodiversity, air and water quality, stormwater management, and social equity, which are exacerbated by climate change. 

About 56% of the world’s population and 2% of global biodiversity inhabits urban areas and cities that generate 80% of global GDP. Urban areas can be major contributors to global sustainability and resilience if they are planned and managed appropriately. Therefore, we must pursue an integrated understanding of urban landscapes. Planners, designers, engineers, and ecologists need to co-develop plans with stakeholders, the public, and Indigenous communities, addressing issues related to ecosystem health, planning policy frameworks, and implementation, within the broader context of land use and climate change. This will ensure planners can implement their mandate to acknowledge the interrelated nature of planning decisions and their consequences for the natural and built environment and the public interest.

The Good the Bad and the Ugly of Species at Risk in the Urban Development Sector

Presented by Carolyn Seburn, Megan Meaney and Joscelyn Coolican

Many of Canada`s threatened species live in its most populated and growing regions and prefer the same landscapes, habitats, and climates as humans. Canada has an opportunity to advance innovative policy approaches to enhancing biodiversity and Species at Risk (SAR) conservation in the urban development sector. Many of the positive conservation actions currently occurring in municipalities and regions not only benefit species and biodiversity, but also offer important co-benefits such as climate change mitigation and adaptation, making our cities more inclusive, livable, and supporting reconciliation.

In this session, we will see cross-Canada examples of what has gone well and what has not in SAR conservation in urban and regional planning and development.  We will also learn about the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada, and discuss the challenges and opportunities communities have in conserving and enhancing biodiversity in the municipalities where they work and live.