Pointe-Sauvage (Photo by NCC)

Pointe-Sauvage (Photo by NCC)

Economic value of green spaces and nature to be discussed in Montreal

October 23, 2017


A local discussion in Montreal on Monday will highlight the value of local green spaces, nature and how preserving them can help our communities adapt to climate change.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is welcoming Montreal residents to come out on October 23 and learn why protecting our forests, wetlands and nature in general makes good economic sense. From forests that absorb carbon dioxide to rivers that mitigate floods, the quality of our lives depends on these services.

The not-for-profit conservation group is holding a NatureTalks event. Joël Bonin, NCC’s associate vice-president in Quebec, says the discussion will focus on the economic importance of nature and the services it provides to people and communities. “Natural capital refers to the goods and services that nature provides us. These are services that are fundamental to our economy, as well as to our survival,” said Bonin. “These green spaces provide direct monetary benefits, as well as benefits not measured traditionally. For example, trees clean our air, wetlands filter our water and green urban spaces absorb carbon and cool our cities.”

NCC's senior conservation biologist Dan Kraus will lead a discussion with other panelists. In addition to natural capital, speakers will discuss the importance of nature from a social capital perspective, focusing on healthy watersheds.

“When we think about all of the benefits these lands provide, like clean air and water, species habitat, biodiversity preservation and countless others, we intuitively recognize that the value of these spaces is more than just the price of the land, or the potential financial gain from the harvesting of timber or other resources,” said Kraus. “By putting a value on them we can start to make better, smarter decisions that incorporate all the services that nature provides.”

Other participants include:

  • François Morneau, Action Plan coordinator for the protection of water, Communauté métropolitaine de Québec et Ouranos. – Montreal
  • Elena Bennett, Associate Professor of Natural Resources Sciences at the McGill School of Environment
  • Raphaël Goulet, Conservation and Education Service Manager, Park national d'Oka
  • Meg Beckel, President and CEO of Canadian Museum of Nature
  • Violaine Pronovost, Regional Environment Manager for Quebec with the TD Bank Group. 

TD Bank Group is presenting sponsor for the speaker series, which is now entering its fourth year.

Working with TD Economics, the Nature Conservancy of Canada released a study earlier this year on the natural value of forests, using specific land conservation projects throughout the country. These included projects in Quebec, such as the 15,000-acre Kenauk site near Montebello. More than 30 provincially and nationally rare species have been documented on the property, including Canada warbler. This property was the historic land of politician and Patriote leader Louis-Joseph Papineau and his family through the 1800s. It was originally a seigneurie granted to Bishop François de Laval, Quebec’s first bishop, in 1674 by King Louis XIV. 

The natural value of forests report can be found here:

What:   NatureTalks: Natural Capital speakers event
Where: Space for Life/ Espace pour la vie, Planétarium,  4801, avenue Pierre-De Coubertin, Montréal, QC
Time: Doors open at 6:30 p.m., event begins at 7 p.m.
When:   Monday, October 23, 2017

Learn more

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation's leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect 2.8 million acres (more than 1.1 million hectares), coast to coast, including 98,840 acres (40,000 hectares) in Quebec.

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Media Contact:

Elizabeth Sbaglia
Communications Manager, Quebec Region
Nature Conservancy of Canada
514-876-1606 x6240

Andrew Holland
National Media Relations Director
Office: 1-877-231-4400 | Mobile: 506-260-0469

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