From dependence to opportunities
The workshop of 7 December 2011, organized by the QCBS Biodiversity Platform and its partners, is the first edition of an open forum to establish a dialogue on biodiversity issues.
The objectives of this workshop are the following:
- Examine issues related to biodiversity and ecosystem services for businesses, municipalities and organizations and citizens;
- Present a review of strategies and tools available to conserve biodiversity and maintain ecosystem services; and
- Review the development of new tools to conserve biodiversity and maintain ecological services.
The three sessions of the workshop will consist of presentations, each time with concurrent visions on global or theoretical issues along with practical experiences presented by the companies. At the end of the workshop, during a working lunch, there will be exchanges with PBBEQ partners and representatives of businesses, municipalities and organizations for Phase II of the project, during which one the pilot companies will conduct a self diagnosis of impacts and interdependencies to biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Biodiversity loss results from several factors, which often act cumulatively: (a) degradation and widespread destruction of ecosystems, leading to the homogenization of increasingly large portions of the landscape, (b) the excessive exploitation of resources from the living world at speeds and through modes of appropriation that do not allow for their renewal (e.g., fisheries), (c) the introduction of exotic species – both intentional (e.g., agriculture) and unintentional (e.g., through marine shipping and river transportation infrastructure) – that can invade and disrupt ecosystem functioning, (d) climate change, caused largely by emissions of greenhouse gases, which directly influences the evolution of ecosystems, including the distribution of constituent species, and (e) pollution of any kind, which directly or indirectly affects the functioning of ecosystems and, consequently, the spatiotemporal distribution of their biological components. Addressing these threats to biodiversity is among the greatest socio-ecological challenges that society faces.
Companies and institutions such as municipalities are implicated in this erosion of biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES). They profit from (a) the appropriation of renewable resources (e.g., fisheries) as well as nonrenewable resources (e.g., fossil fuels), (b) the destruction of BES (e.g., through the construction of infrastructure), (c) the homogenization of living systems (monocultures) or (d) the repair of damage caused by others (e.g., the destruction of pollinators). The four types of impact often act in synergy in the same places.
Faced with alarming estimates of the costs of inaction in terms of biodiversity, attention is focusing on efforts to put in place to stop this degradation. The most innovative companies have realized that the current regulatory system could change: the economic valuation of biodiversity and ecological services on which they depend is becoming a major concern for some and opening new business opportunities for many.
To enable the business community, municipalities, and other institutions and organizations to make meaningful contributions to conservation of biodiversity, an activity of reflection was initiated in the context of the Business and Biodiversity Assessment Project in Quebec (PBBAP) and resulted in the establishment of the QCBS Biodiversity Platform, an initiative whose mission is to unite the research community, companies, municipalities, governments and organizations in Quebec.
This initiative, under the auspices of the Centre for Biodiversity Science, is positioned in a broader context of sustainability research by organizations.
Biodiversity and ecosystem services issues for stakeholders: companies, municipalities and organizations in Quebec
9:15-9:30 – Presentation 1: General concepts: impacts, dependencies and opportunities by Marie-France Turcotte, and Jean Pierre Reveret, Chaire de responsabilité sociale et de développement durable
9:30-9:45 – Presentation 2: Integration of biodiversity and ecological services in the corporate strategy for a company of public utility, André Besner, Manager – Environment and Sustainable Development, Hydro-Québec
9:45-10:00 – Presentation 3: Why small and medium companies should be interested by biodiversity, by Bertrand Dumont, Federation Interdisciplinaire de l’Horticulture Ornementale du Quebec
10:00-10:15 – Presentation 4: BSE: issues and challenges for land use planning and management for municipalities and their stakeholders. Isabelle Boucher, Direction Générale de l’Urbanisme et de l’aménagement du territoire, MAMROT
10:10-10:25 – Discussion period
10:25-10:45 – Pause
Strategies and tools for the management of biodiversity and ecosystem services
10:45-11:00 – Presentation 5: Integrating biodiversity in the environmental impact assessments for environmental projects in Quebec by Pierre André, Département de géographie, Université de Montréal, and Claude Delisle, retired professor, École Polytechnique de Montréal
11:00-11:15 – Presentation 6: A study of ecological services – the Baie-Comeau modernization Project by Jean-Pierre Barry, Représentant à l’environnement Projet de modernisation et Lise Sylvain, Directrice régionale Développement durable
11:15-11:30 – Presentation 7: An assessment of the economic valuation of non marketable goods and services to develop appropriate compensation mechanism and tools to support decision process. Stephane Martinez, MRNF
11:30-11:40 – Discussion period
A specific platform at the QCBS to co develop new tools to take into account biodiversity and ecological services
11:40-12:00 – Presentation 8: A QCBS Platform to address the economy-society-biodiversity equation: toward a global partnership to address biodiversity and ecological services issues in Quebec and the first tool available with BSE indicators and guideline to conduct a self assessment of impacts and interdependencies of biodiversity and ecosystem services. By Mathieu Larocque, UQAM, Jean Pierre Reveret, UQAM, Francois Durand, Hydro-Quebec, Benoit Limoges, MDDEP, Lorraine Rouisse, Association de l’Aluminium du Canada, Bertrand Dumont, FIHOQ, Andrew Gonzalez, McGill-CSBQ, Joel Houdet, Accountants @ Law (Pty) Ltd and Synergiz et Philippe Auzel, CSBQ
12:00-12:15 – Discussion period
12:15-12:20 – Closing of the workshop
12:30-13:30 – Networking lunch – exchanges between PBBEQ partners and representatives of companies, municipalities and other organizations to plan the second phase of the BBEQ project.