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  6. A voice for nature: Canadian Museum of Nature joins Global Coalition “United for Biodiversity”

A voice for nature: Canadian Museum of Nature joins Global Coalition “United for Biodiversity”

Ottawa, May 22, 2021 – The Canadian Museum of Nature (CMN) is pleased to announce it has joined the Global Coalition for Biodiversity. It becomes one of the first North American institutions supporting this international campaign to raise awareness about the need to protect biodiversity, and to share its importance to the health of the planet.

Launched in March 2020 by the European Commission, the Coalition has steadily grown, recruiting 40 organizations and more than 250 museums, botanical gardens, zoos, aquariums, parks, universities and research centres from around the world.

Apart from the scientific knowledge these members bring to the table, all have a public face that allows for outreach campaigns, which are symbolized through the collective identifier, #UnitedforBiodiversity. The Museum is the second institution from Canada, joining Espace pour la Vie in Montréal.

This announcement on the UN Day for Biological Diversity comes at a critical time for nature. Scientists estimate one million species are at risk from human activities, and the urgency to address the biodiversity crisis was emphasized with a recent joint statement by science academies in the G7 countries, including Canada’s Royal Society.

As a signatory to the Coalition pledge, the Canadian Museum of Nature adds its voice to the movement calling on all to act for nature in advance of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CoP 15) in China in October.

Knowledge, understanding and awareness of the natural sciences is imperative to finding and implementing sustainable solutions to challenges such as climate change, habitat loss and the spread of invasive species. Understanding biodiversity requires describing and documenting what exists or has existed, where it is found, and how species interact with each other in ecosystems. This baseline knowledge is a focus for the research and collections experts at the Canadian Museum of Nature, as it is for all major natural history museums.

The museum curates more than 14.6 million specimens of animals, fossils, plants and minerals, which have been collected over more than 150 years. These collections provide the physical evidence that documents biological and geological change over time, and describes trends to help predict future impacts to biodiversity – essential to finding solutions.

The knowledge of these collections is shared, for example, with scientists worldwide through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). The museum also helps assess at-risk species in Canada, through the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. It is a founding member of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada, and facilitates nature preservation by hosting the secretariat of the Canadian Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Learn more about the Global Coalition, “United for Biodiversity”, at its web page, which includes the pledge and the official list of members and supporters. You can also follow the hashtags #UnitedforBiodiversity #ForNature and #CoP15 on social media.

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About the Canadian Museum of Nature
Saving the world through evidence, knowledge and inspiration! The Canadian Museum of Nature is Canada's national museum of natural history and natural sciences. The museum provides evidence-based insights, inspiring experiences and meaningful engagement with nature's past, present and future. It achieves this through scientific research, a 14.6-million specimen collection, education programs, signature and travelling exhibitions, and a dynamic web site, nature.ca.

For more information: 
John Swettenham
Vice-President, Marketing and Public Affairs
Canadian Museum of Nature
613-868-8277
jswettenham@nature.ca

Dan Smythe
Head, Media Relations
Canadian Museum of Nature
613-698-9253
dsmythe@nature.ca