Saugeen Nature AGM celebrates Conservation in Grey-Bruce

On Monday, April 24th, Saugeen Nature held its 42nd Annual General Meeting in Formosa at the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority offices. The theme of the AGM was Conservation. The club’s top honour, the Saugeen Nature Conservation Award was given to Dr. John Reaume of Mount Forest for his many years of service to the club and education of the public through talks, outings and photographs. The awards ceremony was followed by a presentation by Caroline Schulz, Executive Director of Ontario Nature (ON) , on Canada’ international commitments to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Dr. Reaume has been a member of Saugeen Nature (SN) for 18 years, and in that time he has served on the Board for many years, created and singlehandedly maintained our website, led many outings for SN and other conservation organisations and given countless educational talks to club members and other groups. John has an extensive knowledge of the natural world, with some indepth specialties in birds, spiders and damselflies and dragonflies, and he loves to share his knowledge with others. His photographs are detailed and stunning and give added impact to the website and his educational talks. The website is our public face and John works tirelessly to make it attractive and educational as well as full of information about our activities – all of which are open to everyone. The Board of Saugeen Nature was pleased to award John our Conservation Award for 2017.

Ms. Schulz’s presentation; Protecting Life on Earth, described the purpose and goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity. This is an international treaty, under the auspices of the United Nations, whose goals are the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of biological resources, and the equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources. Canada is one of 168 signatories to the Convention.

The focus of the presentation was the goal of conserving at least 17% of Ontario’s terrestrial and aquatic natural resources through strong protection of well-connected areas of land. This is one of the internationally agreed-upon goals that Canada has signed on to. Ms. Schulz went on to speak about how Ontario could readily meet these goals by strengthening protection for lands that are already under some sort of nominal protection. We already have about 10% of lands that meet the requirements for the Biodiversity Convention, so we need to find about 7% more. If Crown Lands were protected, and Enhanced Management Areas on the Shield were converted to protected areas, a large chunk of this number could be reached. Other smaller wins would come with including Conservation Authority lands, Land Trust lands and ON’s Nature Reserves, and enhancing protection in some of our provincial parks.

Ontario Nature is working to form a partnership with other conservation organisations in the province to help advise the government on how this goal could be reached. Members of Saugeen Nature were inspired by the talk and enthusiastically endorsed ON’s efforts in this area.

All enjoyed the evening thoroughly, including the treats supplied by the board, and the silent auction that was held during the evening. Talks at the AGM are open to the public, as well as all other outings and indoor events of Saugeen Nature. Visit our website at for more information.

Submitted by Nikki May

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