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Invasive Species Council of BC taking part in UN biodiversity summit in Montreal

A woman walks her dog outside the fenced-off perimeter of the Montreal Convention Centre ahead of the COP15 UN conference on biodiversity on Dec. 1, 2022. Paul Chiasson / The Canadian Press

The Invasive Species Council of BC will be taking part in a United Nations biodiversity conference this month.

The Convention on Biological Diversity, also known as COP15, will run Dec. 7 to 19 in Montreal, with participants setting out goals and plans regarding nature for the next decade.

Alongside the Invasive Species Council (ISCBC) will be the Canadian Council on Invasive Species (CCIS). The two organizations are looking forward to the upcoming discussions about stopping biodiversity loss.

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“This is a huge opportunity to take part in a critical conversation, one that includes helping to set global targets for invasive species management,” the ISCBC told Global News.

“The threat of invasive species increases with climate change,” said Gail Wallin, executive director at ISCBC and CCIS chairperson.

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“Ecosystems that are biodiverse are more resilient in extreme weather events, whereas high concentrations of invasive species, like Scotch broom with its high oil content, will increase wildfire risk. Preventing the introduction and spread of invasive species is critical to protecting biodiversity on a global scale.

“The international community recognizes this, identifying invasive species as a key issue and target at COP15.”

Click to play video: 'COP15 delegates to gather in Montreal as negotiations continue'
COP15 delegates to gather in Montreal as negotiations continue

While in Montreal, the two organizations will host a two-hour presentation on Thursday, Dec. 8.

“It will emphasize the importance of Indigenous leadership at every level, recognizing that invasive species issues can only be effectively advanced through collaboration and partnerships across jurisdictions,” Wallin said.

“These discussions will examine the opportunities and challenges in invasive species management and highlight why agencies across the country should work with ISCBC and CCIS.”

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Click to play video: 'Montreal sets stage and makes move to protect pollinators before COP15 biodiversity conference'
Montreal sets stage and makes move to protect pollinators before COP15 biodiversity conference

Many other professionals will also be on hand, such as a biodiversity expert and professor from the University of Arizona.

“Unprecedented rates of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation can result in species extinction, destabilization of the earth system and the loss of the many benefits people derive from nature,” said Diana Liverman, who will speak on Friday.

“Biodiversity loss is often driven by rising overconsumption, unsustainable technologies, unsustainable economic practices and systems that do not promote care for nature.”

For more information about the Invasive Species Council of B.C., visit the organization’s website.

Click to play video: 'Police prepare for upcoming COP15 conference in Montreal'
Police prepare for upcoming COP15 conference in Montreal

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