The loss of biodiversity and its serious effects on human populations are at the heart of international issues. As the 15th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) comes to Montreal in December, Ville de Montréal and the Space for Life Foundation are consolidating their commitment to protect nature by announcing the creation of the Imperilled Species Fund, a legacy for future generations.
An initiative of the Space for Life Foundation, the Imperilled Species Fund is a philanthropic tool with a long-term vocation that aims to accelerate the conservation and research work carried out in the Montréal Space for Life museums. Through this Fund, the community is invited to contribute to the financing of projects that help stem the decline in biodiversity.
Primarily, the Imperilled Species Fund is boosting funding for existing programs led by Montréal Space for Life scientists in collaboration with their institutional, academic and community partners. Examples include monarch butterfly reproduction monitoring, the wood turtle recovery plan, captive breeding of the striped chorus frog, and wild garlic restoration. The development of an ex-situ propagation, reintroduction and research program for the copper redhorse is also identified as a priority. Over time, and as needed, new conservation and research programs may be added.
"To make a real difference, it is urgent that the entire population pitch in and engage in the ecological transition. Pooling energies towards this goal is a priority for Ville de Montréal. The Imperilled Species Fund, spearheaded by the Space for Life Foundation, is an extraordinary way to mobilize the community for research, conservation and, ultimately, for the crucial cause of protecting biodiversity," says Marie-Andrée Mauger, Executive Committee member responsible for the ecological transition and the environment at Ville de Montréal.
"Through the Montréal Space for Life philanthropic development mission, the Foundation is accelerating funding for important conservation projects for endangered species, as the expertise of Montréal Space for Life's scientists and museum infrastructure are at the heart of many urgent initiatives. By inviting donors from all sectors to contribute to a new fund dedicated to Montréal Space for Life conservation projects, the Foundation intends to play a role as a catalyst and mobilizer of the community to take concrete action for endangered species," explained Sébastien Fassier, President of the Board of Directors of the Space for Life Foundation.
“The Montreal Port Authority is proud to be among the first contributors to this species at risk research fund. The St-Lawrence River is obviously essential to port activities, but it is also a complex ecosystem that is home to certain endangered species and on which there is a scientific vacuum supported by contemporary data. We hope that, through this contribution, we will leave a legacy for future generations and have the opportunity to collaborate in the maintenance of biodiversity, especially in this fragile living environment,” said Daniel Dagenais, Vice-President, Port performance & Sustainable development at the Montreal Port Authority.
"The richest biodiversity in Quebec is located in the Montréal region, where half of Quebec's population happens to reside. Human activities exert intense pressures on our region's ecosystems, resulting in the fact that the region harbours about half of Quebec's threatened species. It is here, therefore, that we must intensify our efforts to protect ecosystems and safeguard threatened species. For the Foundation of Greater Montréal, participating in the implementation of the Imperilled Species Fund of the Space for Life Foundation is an immediate and concrete way to achieve this goal. By being the first to step forward, we are inviting other partners to contribute to this Fund and to be part of this essential and critical process", explained Karel Mayrand, President and CEO of the Foundation of Greater Montréal.
"The recognized expertise of Montréal Space for Life researchers helps make Montréal a leader in the field of biodiversity preservation. Thanks to the invaluable and unwavering support of the Space for Life Foundation, our scientists are able to further their work and develop new knowledge that has a real impact on the preservation of biodiversity, for the benefit of citizens," said Julie Jodoin, Director of Montréal Space for Life.
The Space for Life Foundation contributes philanthropically to the development of Montréal Space for Life by supporting the scientific, educational, cultural, social and artistic missions of its five institutions. The Foundation's support has made it possible to welcome many disadvantaged youth to the Biodôme and Jardin botanique day camps, as well as to increase the potential of research programs by acquiring new equipment (e.g. cameras for the dome project of the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan) as well as by hiring graduate students (e.g. the phytotechnologies projects of the Jardin botanique). Over the years, the Foundation has contributed more than $15 million to Montréal Space for Life.
Montréal Space for Life is made up of five major attractions: the Biodôme, the Biosphère, the Insectarium, the Jardin botanique and the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan. Together, these prestigious municipal institutions form Canada’s largest natural science museum complex. Through its communication, conservation, research and education activities, Montréal Space for Life guides human beings towards a fuller experience of nature, to help empower people to act for the protection of biodiversity and the environment, in a perspective of ecological transition.
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