By Jody Allair, Director of Community Engagement
Birds Canada was privileged to be invited by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Science & Research to share our views on the importance of Citizen Science and our recommendations for the federal government on February 9th.
Patrick Nadeau, President & CEO and I spoke to the Members of Parliament on the Standing Committee about our 44 Citizen Science programs and the 74,000+ volunteers, like you, who dedicate your time to bird conservation.
Committee members were impressed by the data that you are able to provide by monitoring bird populations and by the impact this work is having on conservation efforts. In 2021-22, data from our programs were used for 533 peer-reviewed publications. Your Citizen Science data also helped to identify Canada’s Key Biodiversity Areas and to produce crucial report cards like the State of Canada’s Birds and much much more.
Beyond generating data, the Committee heard that volunteering as Citizen Scientists is a great way to connect people to nature and acts as a gateway to greater connections with environmental issues.
Our presentation to the Committee included three recommendations:
- That Government investment in Citizen Science should continue, especially for the backbone infrastructure needed to deliver these programs.
- To grow Citizen Science opportunities at federally managed sites like National Parks.
- To support Citizen Science focussed on birds as they are vital components of our ecosystems and widely recognized as key indicators of the state of our environment.
The Government of Canada has provided support for many of Birds Canada’s Citizen Science Programs and it was a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate impact and show how we are leveraging those government investments – thanks to you, our amazing volunteers who provide invaluable information about bird populations in Canada.
Together, we are driving action to increase the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of birds in Canada.
The entire hearing can be viewed here with the Birds Canada portion beginning at 12:00:06