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Investing in biodiversity monitoring

posted Jan 1, 2020, 2:23 PM by Action for Agriculture

The province is providing a $3.7-million grant to the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) for ongoing research on biodiversity in Alberta’s ecosystems.

The grant will allow the ABMI to continue its important monitoring work, which includes tracking changes in Alberta’s wildlife and habitats using scientifically credible methods.

The ABMI’s monitoring program is a biodiversity safety net for economic development. The ABMI operates one of Canada’s only long-term biodiversity monitoring networks, providing clear indicators of change in biodiversity. This work provides Alberta Environment and Parks with necessary information for biodiversity-management frameworks, land-use planning and related policy considerations.

In its recently completed 10-year program review, an independent review committee described the ABMI’s work as a “monumental achievement,” providing a great example of a long-term biodiversity monitoring program.

“I am pleased to continue working with the ABMI on biodiversity monitoring of the province’s natural resources. Thorough monitoring will make it possible for us to make critical decisions as we continue to balance protection of our shared environment with certainty for job creators.”

Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks

“Alberta has a busy working landscape. Albertans want to make decisions on how to manage our natural resources while maintaining a legacy of strong environmental stewardship. This Government of Alberta grant allows us, at the ABMI, to continue to deliver the information and practical tools Albertans are looking for.”

Jim Herbers, executive director, ABMI

Quick facts

  • The term “biodiversity” refers to the variety of life in a particular habitat or ecosystem.
  • Alberta has six major ecosystem types and each supports a wide range of plants and animals.
  • The ABMI monitors about 2,500 of Alberta’s species.
  • The ABMI has 1,656 site locations, spaced 20 kilometres apart, to collect biodiversity information on terrestrial and wetland sites.
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