Biodiversity Caucus

Fall 2014 Update

The RCEN Biodiversity Caucus continues to work on biodiversity issues including the Canadian response to the international Convention on Biodiversity.

Biodiversity is recognized as being important in its own right; however, the extent to which it provides services that support the life of Canadians is not generally recognized - as an illustration, The presence of wetlands can serve to serve to absorb toxic substances and mitigate the threat of flooding by holding excess waters. This is in addition to wetlands being an essential home and breeding ground of countless species. Unfortunately the loss of wetlands in Canada has been extensive - in the early 1990’s, it was estimated that the total wetland loss for Canada since the 1800s was 200,000 km. The importance of wetlands in a time of extreme weather events is becoming more important.

Canada has developed biodiversity goals and targets. The Biodiversity Caucus has provided input to Environment Canada to both strengthen their support of the international targets set by the strategic plan of the Convention of Biodiversity and to better serve the specific needs in a Canadian context.

In the fall of 2014, the Caucus will continue to work on support of strengthening both international and Canadian biodiversity policy, continue to provide information on biodiversity issues through Twitter (@RCEN_Biodiv), its weekly summary of biodiversity news and its email newsletter. Of special interest is work on models for the incorporation of biodiversity in policy and programs at provincial and local levels. In the planning stages is a series of webinars on various priority biodiversity topics in 2014-15.

If you or your organization are interested in joining the Biodiversity Caucus and participating in our work, please let us know at We look forward to hearing from you.

2011 International Day for Biodiversity Events

The RCEN has selected 13 lead environmental NGOs from across Canada to carry outreach and education activities for IDB 2011. This year’s theme is Biodiversity and Forests and coincides with the UN declared 2011 International Year of Forests. More

Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS)

Learn about ABS, the Nagoya Protocol and the Biodiversity Caucus' work on this important issue, including results of our ABS webinar. More

Friends of the Convention on Biological Diversity

The Canadian Friends of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a civil society association hosted by the RCEN, aims to bring together stakeholders from academia, industry, municipalities and non-governmental organisations to play an active role in meeting Canada's commitments to the CBD and safeguarding biodiversity globally.

RCEN Biodiversity Best Practices Handbook

biodiversity handbookThe RCEN  “Biodiversity Best Practices Handbook 2009: Case studies from the environmental non-government sector” is available for download. This handbook features twelve projects from within seven of Canada’s terrestrial ecozones that were selected as representative best practices of what environmental NGOs are doing to help increase or protect biodiversity from coast to coast to coast. More


Past projects and activities

RCEN E-Bulletin

Steering Committee

Leslie Adams (Co-Chair)
Protect Our Water and Environmental Resources, ON

Larry McDermott (Co-Chair)
Plenty Canada, ON

John Coombs
Nature Manitoba, MB

Joseph Hnatiuk
Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists, AB

Lynn Palmer
Environment North, ON

Frederic Perron-Welch
Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, QC

Wendy Thomson
ElectricGreen Environment News, ON

Caucus Coordinator

John Coombs
Tel / Fax : 1-855-200-2463 (1-855-200BioD)