Ducks Unlimited Canada

By Marcelo Kawanami

Hi everyone! Well, this has been a super busy month and I’m sorry for the absence here in the blog. Just to start with, I would like to talk about the tree planting and wetland restoration initiative from the Green Party members at Gamiing Nature Centre. The 1st Bobcaygeon Scout also supported the work and the group removed invasive species and planted a variety of trees and shrub species.

Today I came across a video from Ducks Unlimited, which is one of the global leading organizations on wetlands and waterfowl conservation. Ducks Unlimited Canada recently posted a video talking about the wetlands in Alberta and the impact that it has on biodiversity, flood protection and water quality.

It is a very short video, but that it is worth watching to know more about the organization and the work that they do in North America. If you want to know more, I invite you all to visit their webpage: http://www.ducks.ca/

Winterlude 2015!

By Marcelo Kawanami

Hi everyone! Winterlude at Gamiing Nature Centre is right around the corner! It will be hosted on February 16th, 2015 from 11am to 4pm at Gamiing’s facilities. So bundle up and head down to Winterlude 2015 for a fun afternoon full of outdoor activities!

Winterlude 2015

NGOs teaming up!

By Marcelo Kawanami

The preservation of land, water, oceans, rivers and lakes are the core for Gamiing Nature Centre. Working closely with the local community, Gamiing has developed a set of programs such as trainings, workshops, recreational programs and events in order to educate the participants on the importance of land preservation and the environment.

We are also constantly benchmarking what similar organizations are developing regarding the topics that are important to us. Apart from the big global ones, we are always observing and collaborating with the local small ones like us!Imagem2

Today, I would like mention some these organizations that do amazing things for the environment. I selected some international ones that might not be well known to you, and also some very nice local ones with which your support will certainly make a difference!

Ramsar (Switzerland): http://www.ramsar.org/
The Convention on Wetlands, called the Ramsar Convention, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

Imagem1PFE (France): http://www.partenariat-francais-eau.fr/
The French Water Partnership (FWP – Partenariat Français pour l’Eau), a non-profit association, is a muti – actor platform which works on conveying key consensual messages on the governance and management of water resources in the international arena.

OCC (Uruguay): http://www.occ.org.uy/
Local organization from Uruguay (South America) that fights for the conservation of the oceans with a focus on the white whales.

BHNS (India): http://bnhs.org/bnhs/
One of the largest local Indian organizations, BHNS is a pan-India wildlife research organization, that has been promoting the cause of nature conservation for the past 131 years.

Living Planet Report 2014

By Marcelo Kawanami

WWF has recently published is famous Living Planet Report 2014, in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London, the Global Footprint Network, and the Water Footprint Network. This 170+ pages report brings an in-depth analysis on the health of our planet and the impact of the human activity.

Covering the entire global ecosystem, the report was very focused on topics that are very relevant to Gamiing such as freshwater, marine biodiversity, and water scarcity. I separated below some key highlights from the report:

• Energy generation uses Living Planet Report 2014approximately 8 per cent of the global water withdrawals, afigure which rises to 45 per cent in industrialized countries

• The main threats to freshwater species are habitat loss and fragmentation, pollution and invasive species (Collen et al., 2014). Direct impacts on water levels or on freshwater system connectivity have a major impact on freshwater habitats

• More than 200 river basins, home to some 2.67 billion people, already experience severe water scarcity for at least one month every year

• Global freshwater demand is projected to exceed current supply by more than 40 per cent by 2030 (WRG, 2009); by 2030, almost half of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress (OECD, 2008)

• Energy generation uses approximately 8 per cent of the global water withdrawals, a figure which rises to 45 per cent in industrialized countries

You can download the full report in the following link: http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/all_publications/living_planet_report/

You can also find the booklet summary if you are too busy!

What a great summer! Ready for the next season!

By Marcelo Kawanami

So, the summer is over once again … but as usual it has left good memories for all Gamiing’s team. This year, we received approximately 1,000 elementary students visiting Gamiing’s center and facilities!!!

Kawartha Lakes - Fall picWe had tons of fun and Gamiing’s team prepared many activities in order to entertain and educate our visitors. This year, we not only received a record number of visitors, but we focused our activities on educating the kids on the new challenges that our planet is facing through dynamic and group activities. We all enjoyed the outdoors taking advantage of the amazing infrastructure that we have!

The end of summer means the beginning of a new season. Thus, we keep with our ongoing activities and preparing ourselves for the upcoming events. Interpretive Trails Walk, special workshops, Fall Festivals and Halloween party, Volunteer Days, Winterlude… Ow! So many things! And we hope to see you all.

Global Insights: Mongolia

By Marcelo Kawanami

Recently I hadthe chance to watch a Khövsgöl Nuur v1documentary regarding Mongolia. This far land located between China and Russia, the country has a strong influence from both countries but had the ability to develop a unique and rich culture. One of the things that called my attention the most was Khövsgöl Nuur. Known as the Blue Pearl of the Mongolia, Khövsgöl Nuur is an extraordinary lake that stretches 136km deep into the Siberian taiga. The lake and mountains that surround it form the basis for this popular national park, a major destination for both Mongolian and international tourists.

In surface area, this is the second-largest lake (2760 sq km) in Mongolia, surpassed in size only by Uvs Nuur, a shallow, salty lake in the western part of the country. But Khövsgöl Nuur (sometimes transliterated as Hövsgöl or Hovsgol) is Mongolia’s deepest lake (up to 262m) as well as the world’s 14th-largest source of fresh water – it contains between 1% and 2% of the world’s fresh water (that’s 380,700 billion litres!).

Khövsgöl Nuur v2Khuvsgul is one of seventeen ancient lakes in the world being more than 2 million years old, and the most pristine. The Lake area is a National Park bigger than Yellowstone and strictly protected as a transition zone between Central Asian Steppe and the Siberian Taiga. Despite Hovsgol’s protected status, illegal fishing is common and prohibitions against commercial fishing with gillnets are seldom enforced. The lake is traditionally considered sacred in a land suffering from arid conditions where most lakes are salty.

The Park is home to a variety of wildlife such as ibex, argali, elk, wolf, wolverine, musk deer, brown bear, Siberian moose, and sable.

Curious Facts!

By Marcelo Kawanami

Today I was researching some interesting topics for the blog and I crossed many interesting facts and figures that I thought very interesting to post here! Did you know that:

  • Canada is home to approximately 60% of the world’s lakes?
  • Lake Karachay, Russia, is considered the most polluted lake in the world? It was used as a radioactive dumping ground for years.
  • the Caspian has characteristics common to both seas and lakes? It is often listed as the world’s largest lake, although it is not a freshwater lake.
  • Lake Titicaca in Peru is the highest navigable lake in the world? It is about 12,500 ft (3,810 m) above sea level. This lake is also South America’s second largest freshwater lake.Lakes
  • the lowest lake is the Dead Sea (it’s considered a lake but called a sea), which is in the Jordan Valley of Israel? The surface of the water is 1,340 ft (408 m) below sea level. Almost nothing can survive in it besides simple organisms like green algae.
  • Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes and it’s also the freshwater lake that covers the greatest surface area in the world?
  • Lake Baikal is the world’s deepest lake and is located in Siberia, Russia, north of the Mongolian border? It is 5,369 ft (1,637 m) deep – more than one mile straight down.

Nearly $1M Committed to Further Lake Winnipeg Clean-Up

By Marcelo Kawanami

Manitoba’s Lake Winnipeg has been given the dubious distinction of “Threatened Lake of the Year” by an international environmental organization.

According to the Germany-based Global Nature Fund, the health of Canada’s third largest freshwater lake and the world’s tenth largest lake was in jeopardy due to increasing pollution from agricultural run-off and sewage discharges.Lake Winnipeg

The wake-up call worked and clean-up initiatives started to take place. The federal government is funding 16 new projects to clean-up Lake Winnipeg. The nearly $1 million in funding announced Friday comes from the Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund, part of the Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiative.

These funds and projects are in addition to more than $5 million in funding for 59 previously announced community stewardship projects that are helping to restore the health of the lake.

For further information about The Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund, please check the following link: http://www.ec.gc.ca/eau-water/default.asp?lang=En&n=D7134110-1

Global Insights: China

By Marcelo Kawanami

China has rapidly emerged as a global super economic power. Nevertheless, the country’s environment is significantly suffering with this fast development. Without proper environmental policies and regulations, China has accumulated huge environmental debts that will have to be paid back.

Fishermen row a boat in the algae-filled Chaohu Lake in Hefei, Anhui province

Lack of waste removal and proper processing has exacerbated the problem; almost 90% of underground water in cities and 70% of China’s rivers and lakes are now polluted. Combined with negligent farming practices, the water crisis has turned China’s arable land into desert, which today claims around 27.5% of China’s total land mass.

Some 400 million Chinese lives are affected by desertification, according to the government, and the World Bank estimates that the overall cost of water scarcity associated with pollution is around 147 billion RMB, or roughly 1 percent of GDP. exacerbated the problem; almost 90%of underground water in cities and 70% of China’s rivers and lakes are now polluted. Combined with negligent farming practices, the water crisis has turned China’s arable land into desert, which today claims around 27.5% of China’s total land mass.

Pond filled with dead fish on the outskirts of Wuhan, central China's Hubei provinceThe water pollution of rivers and lakes in China is critical and is severely affecting villagers that rely on these natural sources to survive. Just to have an idea, a recent report conducted by WHO (World Health Organization) estimated that nearly 100,000 people die annually from water pollution-related illnesses in China.

The lack of environmental regulations coupled with economic development of emerging countries is significantly impacting the nature. Increasing the awareness towards this topic is the first step to take the first action!

We are friends of the osprey!

By Marcelo Kawanami

Distribution of osprey in Canada

Today I would like to share with you an interesting organization from the Kawartha regionand its incredible work. Called Friends of the Osprey, it is a volunteer organization for the Kawartha Lakes region that focuses on the osprey, which is an indicator species for the health of the Kawartha Lakes environment.

Ospreys are very important as an umbrella species, which reflects the health of an aquatic ecosystem. Being the Kawartha lake region an important aquatic system for Canada, we can easily understand the importance of the ospreys for our ecosystem.

Picture1Ospreys are good indicators of the health and abundance of the fish stocks they hunt, and can alert us to the impending threats to that fish stock in the form of harmful pollutants such as DDT and DDE.

Friends of the Osprey work we do involve osprey nest building, workshops and visits to elementary schools to teach young people about the importance of the osprey. If you want to learn more about this amazing organization, please visit their website: http://www.friendsoftheosprey.org/index.html