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Biodiversity. Connor Caudill Mike Ciccarone Polly Fairfield What is Biodiversity? .

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Connor Caudill

Mike Ciccarone

Polly Fairfield

What is biodiversity
What is Biodiversity? 

  • "The variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems" --Convention on Biological Diversity

  • "Variability within nature" --UK Biodiversity Action Plan

  • "Wide array of ecosystems, ecological processes, species and genes" --Environment Canada

Biodiversity loss
Biodiversity Loss

  • Species extinction and habitat loss

  • Today, biodiversity loss is 1000 times higher than the rates found in the fossil record

Causes of biodiversity loss
Causes of Biodiversity Loss

  • Habitat Destruction

  • Invasive Species

  • Over exploitation

  • Climate Change

  • Overpopulation

  • Pollution

Why do we need biodiversity
Why Do We Need Biodiversity?  

  • Ecosystem services - $16-$64 trillion

  • Research - e.g. discovery of new medicine

  • Aesthetic value 

  • Food Security

How to fix biodiversity loss
How To Fix Biodiversity Loss

  • What is the market failure?

    • Under provision of a public good

    • Lack of information

    • Externality

    • incomplete property rights

  • What policies address this?  

    • Command and Control Regulation

    • Public Education

    • Permitting

    • Tax Incentives

Us biodiversity policy
US Biodiversity Policy

The USA has no official national biodiversity policy. However, there are key pieces of legislation that help define US biodiversity policy.

- US government policy has been primarily focused on conservation efforts for most of history

- US Fish and Wildlife Service (

  • US government's wildlife and conservation agency

    - Recent development

  • US government position moving closer to support an international biodiversity agreement. (

Us key national legislation
US - Key National Legislation

  • The Lacey Act (1900) (

    •  The first environmental piece of legislation. Provides the ability for the federal government to regulate invasive species populations. Evolved over the 20th century to reflect the challenges of the time.

  •  The Migratory Bird Conservation Act (1929) (

    • Provision provided that allows the Federal government to rent/buy land that can be protected to preserve the natural habitat for migratory bird

  • The Clean Water Act (1948 (

  • Affects fish and wildlife that are dependent on water for their survival.

    The Clean Air Act (1963) (

    • Has helped restore ozone in the atmosphere which is vital to the protection of trees and assisted in the mitigation of acid rain that devatstates natural habitat.

  • Endangered Species Act of 1969 (1973) (

    • Often cited as the US's landmark biodiversity legislation (more info on the next slide).

  • Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (1980) (

    • Allocates substantial funding to the states to assist with conservation efforts of natural habitats.

  • Uk s approach to biodiversity
    UK's Approach to Biodiversity

    • Convention on Biological Diversity

      • International Treaty for the "conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity" (CBD)

    • Biodiversity Action Plan

      • Inventories potentially threatened species and habitats

      • Creates plans to protect species and habitats

      • The 4 countries of the UK have all designed their own Action Plans

    • Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981

      •  Protects wildlife and habitats of the UK

      • Amended to comply with EU directives

    Eu biodiversity policies
    EU Biodiversity Policies

    • Habitat Directive

      • Protects 1000 animals and plant species and 200  "habitat types" (EU)

    • Bird Directive

      • Protects birds and their habitats 

    • Natura 2000

      • EU-wide network of protected areas

    • EU biodiversity strategy to 2020

      •  Goal to stop biodiversity loss by 2020

      • Focus on EU and the globe  

    Biodiversity in canada
    Biodiversity in Canada

    • 1973 Canada Wildlife Act

      • Creates national wildlife areas

    • 1990 Wildlife Policy for Canada

      • emphasized the restoration of biodiversity and ecological processes

    • Migratory Birds Convention Act 1994

      • Protects birds from hunting and trafficking

      • Establishes Migratory Bird Refuges

    •  1995 Canadian Biodiversity Strategy

      • produced by a group including federal, provincial and territorial governments

      • Guide to carrying out Canada's commitments  under the Convention of Biodiversity

    Canadian provinces
    Canadian Provinces

    • Ontario

      • The Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program

        •  A voluntary program administered by the MNR to provide lower property taxes to participating landowners who agree to conserve and actively manage their forests.

      • Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program

        • provides property tax relief to those landowners who agree to protect the natural heritage value of their property

    • British Columbia

      • Ecological Services Act

        • Preserves land to protect species and habitats

      • Wildlife Act

        • Creates wildlife areas, protects endangered species, and regulates invasive species


    • Comparatively speaking, the US has no official national biodiversity plan while the UK and Canada have national long-term biodiversity plans.

    •  The most used policies are direct regulation and provision of information

    • We may be going into a 6th mass extinction period, so it is very important to act now!