A Time for Reflection, Action, and Our Early 2024 Highlights

Friday, May 24, 2024

Finding hope in this year’s shifting climate patterns that threaten nature

Wonder: It’s in our Nature

As the days lengthen and the buds begin their annual transformation, I find myself musing with wonder at the first signs of spring and the annual ritual of planning my garden.

My first instinct when I look out my window in the spring is amazement and wonder. Wonder that my yard’s trees, plants, insects, and birds are so resilient! Amazement that the plants’ root systems can survive through the freeze/thaw cycle that we get every year (and was worse this winter). Wonder that the birds come back to nest in the birdhouses we’ve built for them and feed on the seeds we’ve put out for them and that the groggy-looking bees can already begin harvesting on the clover we planted just for them.

But this year, I also worry.

The changing season feels different, marked by the noticeable absence of snow during the winter. The lack of snowfall casts a shadow over this summer’s garden and echoes a larger environmental alarm that resonates deep within me.

As I looked out over my garden this winter, I was struck by the starkness—a visual reminder of the shifting climate patterns that threaten nature. Despite these concerns, I am also filled with hope as I reflect on the recent conservation achievements of CPAWS and its chapters.  

Protecting Nature: Early 2024 Highlights

In Manitoba, the Seal River Watershed is now under interim protection. This vast area, stretching over 50,000 square kilometers, is crucial for maintaining biodiversity and supporting Indigenous communities. Its protection marks a significant step towards preserving our country’s ecological health and achieving our goal of protecting 30% by 2030.

Further east, in Ontario, we are witnessing the results of collaboration with Indigenous councils, as we edge closer to establishing the Mushkegowuk National Marine Conservation Area. This initiative protects vital marine habitats and supports the cultural heritage and sustainable practices of Indigenous Peoples.

And in Quebec, the commitment to protect Mount Kaaikop [FR] signifies more than just an environmental victory. It represents a beacon of hope for achieving broader conservation goals, helping to ensure that Quebec remains a leader in the global effort to preserve our planet’s natural resources.

A Time for Reflection and Action

These conservation milestones provide a blueprint for action. They show us that despite the challenges, there is room for optimism and that progress is within our grasp.

As I walk through my garden, witnessing the early signs of spring, I am reminded of the resilience of nature and our ability to effect change.

This juxtaposition of concern and celebration urges us to acknowledge the fragility of our planet while also recognizing our capacity as stewards of the earth. It compels us to act, to adapt, and to advocate for the protection of our world.

As we continue our journey towards a sustainable future, let’s carry forward the spirit of renewal that spring bestows upon us. Let’s nurture our gardens, our communities, and our planet with the same resolve and commitment that have fueled our recent successes. The challenges are significant, but so are our achievements and our potential.

Spring is a reminder that hope can take root in the most unexpected places.

Sandra Schwartz
National Executive Director

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