Symposium program

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Symposium location: Holiday Inn, 420 Sherbrooke St West, Montréal

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Time Session
14:00-17:00 General assembly for QCBS members

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Time Session
9:00-9:15 Welcome, opening
9:15-10:15 Opening speaker: Michael Donoghue “Reconnecting ecology and evolution to understand biodiversity and global change
10:15-10:30 Break
10:30-12:00 Concurrent research presentations
12:00-13:00 Lunch
13:00-14:15 Concurrent research presentations
14:15-15:30 Poster session
15:30-17:00 Panel: Building northern Québec’s protected areas network
17:45-20:00 Reception at Montréal Botanical Garden

Friday, 9 December 2011

Time Session
8:30-9:15 Olivier Rukundo, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity:  The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing, and The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets
9:15-10:15 Concurrent research presentations
10:15-10:30 Break
10:30-12:00 Panel: Initiatives for biodiversity data integration and access
12:00-13:00 Lunch
13:00-14:00 Concurrent research presentations
14:00-14:15 Break
14:15-15:45 Panel: The future of biodiversity in urban areas: from greenbelts to ecological networks
15:45-16:00 Closing
16:30-18:00 Closing happy hour at Brasserie Benelux

Panel descriptions

Building northern Québec’s protected areas network

Québec’s Plan Nord calls for a completion of northern Québec’s protected area network so that by 2015, at least 12% of the area is in protected areas, to be increased to 50% by 2035. Building this network, in this area covering nearly 1.2 million square kilometers, will require the cooperation of Quebec, Cree, Inuit and Innu Nations. This panel will focus on the interplay of the ecological, cultural, social, and political factors that are key to the creation of protected areas in northern Québec. Participants in this panel – representing ecological sciences, social sciences, the Cree community of Wemindji, and the Québec government - will share their perspectives about the challenges and opportunities for Québec as it works to build its protected areas network in the north and its Plan Nord commitments to safeguarding biodiversity. They will discuss their own experiences working on terrestrial and marine protected areas, with a special focus on the creation of the Paakumshumwaau-Maatuskaau Biodiversity Reserve and the Tawich National Marine Conservation Area initiative. Panelists will also address issues of collaboration between Québec and the federal government in safeguarding the ecological integrity of land-sea connections.

Panelists:

  • François Brassard, Scientific coordinator, Direction du patrimoine écologique et des parcs, Ministère du Développement durable, Environnement et Parcs
  • Murray Humphries, Associate Professor, Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University
  • Rodney Mark, Chief, Cree Nation of Wemindji
  • Monica Mulrennan, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, Concordia University

Initiatives for biodiversity data integration and access

Scientific data related to life and earth sciences have a unique value for the projects for which they were collected, but they can also be used for future research, sometimes without obvious connections to their original purpose. To enable the entire scientific community to effectively use these data, they must be made ​​accessible and integrated in a logical manner. In Canada, several initiatives are working toward these ends. Panelists in this session will present projects of a national scope for the integration and online access of biological data, including data about functional traits of plants, ecological reference framework data for the north, and data from biological collections. Panelists will address human, technological and institutional challenges, as well as the challenges and strategies for financing these projects. They will present concrete examples of the use of data in a research context.

Panelists:

  • Isabelle Aubin, Ecologist, Canadian Forest Service/Natural Resources Canada
  • Frédéric Poisson, Ecologist, Ministère du Développement durable, Environnement et Parcs
  • Anne Bruneau, Professor, Department of Biological Science, Université de Montréal
  • Guillaume Larocque, Research Professional, Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science

Le réseautage de bases de données comme outil facilitant la collaboration sur des projets de recherche à large échelle : deux initiatives du Service Canadien des Forêts

Isabelle Aubin
Les changements sans précédent auxquels font face les écosystèmes forestiers à l’échelle de la planète ont stimulé l’émergence de nouvelles approches et outils diagnostiques nécessitant de larges jeux de données. La mise en réseau de données et d’informations scientifiques permet d’intégrer des données à diverses échelles spatiales ou disciplinaires afin de générer du savoir répondant aux grandes questions de l’heure. Ces intégrations représentent des défis financiers et opérationnels comme la communication entre les bases de données et l’ontologie, mais avant tout humain. Afin d’assurer leur succès et leur pérennité, ces initiatives doivent trouver le point d’équilibre entre les besoins et les droits des utilisateurs, des gestionnaires et des fournisseurs de données. Deux initiatives en développement au Service Canadien des Forêts seront présentées : 1) TOPIC : un réseau Canadien de bases de données de traits; 2) Forest change : un portail qui hébergera un large éventail d’information lié aux changements climatiques. Au cours de cette présentation, j’aborderais les objectifs, motivations, structure et fonctionnement de ces initiatives. Je discuterais également de leur positionnement au sein des initiatives internationales et de leurs développements futurs.

Atlas de biodiversité du Québec nordique

Frédéric Poisson
Le ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP) a développé, depuis trente ans, une double expertise : la compréhension de l’organisation spatiale du milieu physique avec le cadre écologique de référence et une connaissance des espèces menacées ou vulnérables et des communautés végétales avec le Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec (CDPNQ). Le but du projet d’Atlas de biodiversité du Québec nordique est de proposer un outil d’intégration des connaissances sur les espèces, les communautés, les habitats et les processus de perturbations. Une grande partie de ces connaissances proviennent des données de l’inventaire du Capital nature mené dans les années 80 sur les territoires de la Baie-James et de la Côte-Nord. Nous avons obtenu des données sur la flore de l’Herbier Louis-Marie et la faune aviaire du Regroupement QuébecOiseaux grâce aux fonds du projet d’Atlas. De plus, nous avons aussi mené une campagne de terrain au mois de juillet 2011 dans le secteur de Kangiqsujuaq. L’intégration des connaissances se fait à l’aide d’un SIG qui permet d’analyser ces différents thèmes et de les mettre en relation – lien entre milieu physique et communautés végétales, liens entre communautés végétales et espèces. De nouvelles informations émergent et permettent une compréhension de l’organisation spatiale de la biodiversité à différents niveaux de perception sur l’ensemble du territoire. À partir de ces résultats, des fiches écologiques peuvent être montées constituant une forme de diffusion des données et analyses pour le public.

Canadensys and colleagues: Mobilizing biodiversity data across Canada

Anne Bruneau
The recent report by the Canadian Council of Academies, noted that Canadian biological collections hold more than 50 million specimens, containing a wealth of information that could potentially inform biodiversity-related decisions. Estimates indicate a similar number of observational data. However, this Canadian biodiversity information is highly fragmentary, with substantial gaps in the digitization of the collections and with only a fraction of the data available online. In response to this, Canadensys (www.canadensys.net) was established to coordinate efforts to publish biodiversity data from university collections and botanical gardens. Headquartered at the Université de Montréal Biodiversity Centre, this consortium comprises 11 universities and five botanical gardens, and unites 34 Canadian researchers. Canadensys collectively holds over 13 million specimens, of which approximately 20% are now databased. We have begun publishing these datasets as downloadable Darwin Core Archives through our own web portal; the data also are available through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). Over the past two years Canadensys, the Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility (CBIF, www.cbif.gc.ca) and NatureServe Canada (www.natureserve.ca) have begun collaborating to ensure compatibility of data and to represent Canada at international biodiversity informatics conferences. The next logical step in this process of coordinating efforts is to involve other data-holding networks as well as a broad cross-section of Canadian data users in academia, government and industry. Advances in informatics tools, standards and expertise make this a perfect time to tackle the need to increase access to and use of biodiversity information by orders of magnitude via a Canada-wide effort.

The future of biodiversity in urban areas: from greenbelts to ecological networks

This panel will explore the ecological, economic, and social dimensions of managing and conserving biodiversity in and around urban areas through greenbelts and ecological networks. Speakers will address the ecological science underlying the design of greenbelts and ecological networks, economic valuation of greenbelts, and the political and governance challenges associated with establishing and maintaining greenbelts. The panel will include discussion of greenbelts and ecological networks in Montréal, southern Québec, Toronto, and Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Panelists:

  • Oliver Hillel, Programme Officer, Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity
  • Faisal Moola, Director, Terrestrial Conservation and Science Program, David Suzuki Foundation
  • Jérôme Dupras, Doctoral candidate in Geography, Université de Montréal; Science Advisor to Montréal greenbelt project
  • Andrew Gonzalez, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, McGill University

Reconnecting ecology and evolution to understand biodiversity and global change

I will argue, using a series of examples, that the integration of ecological and evolutionary perspectives provides the best hope of understanding biodiversity, its distribution, and its likely changes in the face of global change.  This knowledge is critical to achieving a sustainable society.

Speaker: Michael Donoghue, Sterling Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Yale University

I) The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing; and II) The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity was adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its tenth meeting on 29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan. The presentation will provide an overview of the key features of the Nagoya Protocol and describe how the Protocol contributes to the further implementation of one of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity:  the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources.  In particular, the presentation will highlight how the Protocol will create greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources.

The tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, held from 18 to 29 October 2010, in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, adopted a revised and updated Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, for the 2011-2020 period.. The presentation will provide an overview of  the mission and strategic goals and 20  targets, collectively known as the Aichi Targets. The presentation will highlight how The Strategic Plan serves as a flexible framework for the establishment of national and regional targets and it promotes the coherent and effective implementation of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Speaker: Olivier Rukundo, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity