The Conservation Blueprint is a tool developed by CPAWS Northern Alberta that illustrates areas of high priority for conservation in northern Alberta. It takes into account biodiversity, linear disturbance, forestry, and oil and gas activity.
The Conservation Blueprint was developed using current, science-based geographic information systems (“GIS”) and mapping methodology and identifies high-value areas for conservation in northern Alberta. It is meant to be used by government, ENGOs, industry, and community partners in regional land use planning
in northern Alberta, and in planning for northern Alberta’s protected areas.
The Conservation Blueprint is a comprehensive tool, taking into account coarse, landscape-level features that may drive conservation, as well as the finer-scale habitat preferences of rare or at-risk plant, animal, and insect species in the province of Alberta.
The Conservation Blueprint also provides the ability for its users to consider both the economic value of Alberta’s natural resources and the impact of linear disturbance on the landscape when planning for protected areas.
We live in an era of increasing land use and human development that has resulted in species going extinct at a rate 100 to 1000 times faster than before humans inhabited this planet. The cause of this mass extinction are habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, overexploitation, and competition with invasive species - all causes directly or indirectly related to human activities.
Protected areas are the foundation of both regional and global conservation strategies. Setting aside parks and protected areas that preclude human industrial development is necessary for a diversity of species to survive. In addition to protecting biodiversity, protected areas ensure that comunities have clean water to drink, help moderate climate by storing carbon, and offer an opportunity for people to connect with nature.
Recent scientific studies have shown that in order to maintain current levels of biodiversity and allow for healthy ecological processes such as forest-renewing fires, carbon capture and storage, and air and water filtration, at least 50% of a landscape needs to be protected.
In Alberta, only 12.4% of our landscape is protected. At that level of protection, half of our species will be lost!
Now is the time for Alberta to take action - to protect at least 20% by 2020, and 50% forever, for the benefit of both future and current generations!
The Conservation Blueprint is a comprehensive look at where Alberta needs to go in protected areas planning in order conserve our wilderness for future generations.
The data is abundant, the model ran for days on end, and the maps illustrate many different scenarios for the province. However, this Conservation Blueprint is really a living, breathing document.
Thus, the Conservation Blueprint is truly an iterative series of maps, capable of moving and working with changing times, people, and climates, both political and ecological.
CPAWS Northern Alberta will use the Conservation Blueprint to collaborate with stakeholders on:
The Conservation Blueprint is now available in PDF!
Purchase a hard copy of the Conservation Blueprint of Northern Alberta: Prioritizing areas for protected areas planning.
All proceeds go towards CPAWS Northern Alberta's conservation work.
This project was generously funded by:
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