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METCALF
FOUNDATION

The Nature and Climate Change Gathering
2019

Chief R. Stacey Laforme, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, welcomes the group. Photo: Guntar Kravis
 
 
 

Historically, in government policy and environment sector activity, climate and biodiversity issues have largely been addressed separately from one another. So when Metcalf launched our Carbon Landscapes funding stream in 2017, one of our explicit goals was to strengthen the connections between these two tracks.

To this end, in April, forty environment sector leaders from across Canada convened in Toronto for The Nature and Climate Change gathering. This Metcalf-funded event was the first of its kind in Canada. It provided a much-needed space for leaders to discuss the ways in which climate and biodiversity work could be better integrated to help stem biodiversity loss, advance natural climate solutions, and sustain livelihoods. From this gathering, a number of working groups were established to guide and coordinate cross-sector efforts going forward.

 

 

Following the welcome from Chief R. Stacey Laforme, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Graham Saul, Executive Director of Nature Canada, greets participants and sets the stage for the discussions to come.

Photo: Guntar Kravis

The opening morning session includes a mix of plenary panels and rapid-fire presentations by key leaders in the field.

Photo: Guntar Kravis

Tonio Sadik, Director of Environment, Assembly of First Nations (middle) and Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada (right) discuss barriers to and better opportunities for working together across areas of shared interest with nature and biodiversity-focused NGOs. The session is moderated by Risa Smith (left), Co-Chair of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Protected Areas Climate Change Specialist Group.

Photo: Guntar Kravis

Laurie Thomson, Chair, Chisholm Thomson Family Foundation and Jim Brennan, Director of Government Affairs, Ducks Unlimited Canada react to a lively presentation.

Photo: Guntar Kravis

Between sessions, Silke Nebel, Vice-President Science and Conservation, Bird Studies Canada (left) exchanges ideas with Dimple Roy, Director, Water Management, International Institute for Sustainable Development.

Photo: Guntar Kravis

Informal networking and relationship building is a valuable part of the gathering. Stan Kozak, Project Consultant, Gosling Foundation, and Mary-Kate Craig, University of Guelph (foreground) chat during a break.

Jay Ritchlin, Director General, Western Canada, David Suzuki Foundation, maps out key milestones for nature and climate work over the coming two years.

Courtney Lewis, Manager of Ecosystems Policy, Canada Project, International Program, Natural Resources Defence Council, takes the mic to discuss opportunities for joint action and collaboration in the short- to medium-term.

Photo: Guntar Kravis

Lara Ellis, Vice-President, Policy and Partnerships, ALUS Canada, contributes to the conversation while Martin von Mirbach, Director of Conservation Strategy, WCS Canada, looks on.

Photo: Guntar Kravis

Campaigns are identified and breakout groups form to discuss goals, challenges, and next steps. Trevor Hesselink, Director, Policy and Research, Wildlands League talks about forest carbon strategies.

Photo: Guntar Kravis

In breakout groups, a number of opportunities are identified, including the upcoming federal election in October.

Photo: Guntar Kravis

Another group discusses strategies to reverse species decline in the age of climate change.

Photo: Guntar Kravis

At the end of the first day, the group gathers for an informal reception at a nearby pub for a chance to debrief and catch-up with colleagues, before reconvening for the final day.

Photo: Guntar Kravis
 
The George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation
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