Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

October 12, 2005 13:25 ET

Wildlife Habitat Canada Launches National Survey on Ecological Goods and Services

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 12, 2005) - The Government of Canada is providing $191,000 to Wildlife Habitat Canada to conduct a national survey of over 1,500 farmers and ranchers. The survey will assess their attitudes and behaviours towards ecological goods and services on agricultural lands.

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Andy Mitchell announced the funding under the Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Program, a $240 million initiative to assist and encourage the industry to work cooperatively in finding constructive solutions that respond to current and emerging issues.

"Farmers and ranchers have a longstanding tradition of carefully managing their land because they depend on it for their livelihood," said Minister Mitchell. "The Government of Canada is proud to continue to support Wildlife Habitat Canada, as we all recognize that the health of the agriculture and agri-food industry is closely tied to the health of the environment."

This landmark national survey points to a growing recognition that ecological goods and services are vital to Canada's economic and social well being. This initiative builds on two previous surveys conducted by Wildlife Habitat Canada and partners in 2000 and 2003 to benchmark rural landowners' attitudes towards land stewardship.

"I am convinced that this survey will demonstrate that farmers are already producing valuable ecological goods and services for Canadian society," says Lynn McIntyre, acting president of Wildlife Habitat Canada. "It will also provide key information to decision-makers on how to develop policy to support the agricultural community in this production."

Ecological goods and services are the benefits that humans derive from our ecosystems. Some examples of these goods and services include water supply and regulation, erosion control, climate regulation, food production, raw materials, and recreational activities. Our ability to continue to benefit from ecological goods and services is greatly affected by ecosystem change, occurring as a result of over exploitation, introduction of alien species, habitat change, pollution, and climate change.

For the past 20 years, Wildlife Habitat Canada has been participating in and promoting stewardship programs with numerous partners in every province of Canada. These programs have proven themselves to be effective tools for conserving and enhancing biodiversity. More information on the organization is available at www.whc.org.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Media Relations
    (613) 759-7972 or 1-866-345-7972
    or
    Minister's Office
    Matt Tolley
    (613) 759-1059
    or
    Wildlife Habitat Canada, Ottawa
    Amy Seabrooke
    1-800-669-7919 ext 230