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Comment on the Proposed Plan to Reduce Neonicotinoid Use in Ontario.
Pollinators are facing big challenges worldwide. Research shows that pollinator numbers and health are declining at alarming rates due to multiple factors, such as habitat loss, climate change, pathogens and pesticide exposure.
The Ontario government has proposed a plan to decrease the use of neonicotinoids (neonics) on soy and corn crops, a chemical insecticide that affects insects, birds, earthworms, and aquatic invertebrates. Neonics are suspected of being a major cause in the death of native pollinators and have been proved to be highly toxic for bees.
The government is seeking feedback and comments on the proposed plan. Please take action by reading the proposal and submitting your comments before January 25th, 2015. Comments can be submitted online or via email at PollinatorHealth@Ontario.ca.
You can read a summary from the Environmental Commission of Ontario about the environmental impact of neonics here or read about the most comprehensive analysis of neonics to date conducted by the International Task Force on Systemic Pesticides (TFSP) – an international team of scientists which jointly synthesized 1,121 published peer-reviewed studies spanning the last five years. The TFSP conclusions were unequivocal that “…regulatory agencies (should) consider applying the principles of prevention and precaution to further tighten regulations on neonicotinoids…“.
Oakvillegreen Conservation Association strongly supports the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) plan to regulate neonics in Ontario as an approachable first step. We encourage OMAFRA to take additional action to protect pollinators in our region, not only by restricting neonics on corn and soy crops, but including all field crops as well, and to support wild pollinator and neonic impact monitoring and neonic labelling.
Here is a sample comment: I strongly support the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) plan to regulate neonics in Ontario as a first step. I would also encourage OMAFRA to take additional action to protect pollinators, not only by restricting neonics on corn and soy crops, but including all field crops as well, and to support wild pollinator and neonic impact monitoring of soil and water invertebrates and vertebrates and neonic labelling for nurseries, seed suppliers and plant growers, so consumers can make informed choices.
“The literature synthesized in this integrated assessment demonstrates the large-scale bioavailability of these insecticides in the global environment at levels that are known to cause lethal and sublethal effects on a wide range of terrestrial (including soil) and aquatic microorganisms, invertebrates and vertebrates. Population-level impacts have been demonstrated to be likely at observed environmental concentrations in the field for insect pollinators, soil invertebrates and aquatic invertebrates. There is a growing body of evidence that these effects pose risks to ecosystem functioning, resilience and the services and functions provided by terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems…includ(ing) amongst others soil formation, soil quality, nutrient cycling, waste treatment and remediation, pollination, food web support, water purification, pest and disease regulation, seed dispersal, herbivory and weed control, food provision (including fish), aesthetics and recreation.” (TSFP, 2014)
All photos are copyright © 2015 Oakvillegreen Conservation Association. All rights reserved.
As parents we are often bombarded with different studies and articles that express the importance of physical activity and outdoor time for kids of all ages; but as the winter arrives, just like many other species we tend to “hibernate”. Here are some fun winter activities for the whole family, just bundle up and enjoy the chilly weather.
Go for a hike and explore the areas around your home, parks and woodland areas. Find out who else shares that space with you and your neighbours! You can find more tips and resources on how to identify tracks and animal patterns here.
This will for sure bring hours of entertainment for the whole family. Just find a good hill and let the fun begin. Make sure to wear the appropiate safety gear.
Building with Snow
Build a snowman, a snow fort or a quinzhee.
All you need is cold water, food coloring and spray bottles. Mix a few drops of food coloring with the cold water and use the spray bottles to create master pieces in the snow. Pick different colors, mix them and let your inner artist flourish.
Every body can join a snow fight. On super cold days, snow tends to be too light and airy, try lying down on the snow to heat it up and then pack the snow into a ball. Avoid injuries by making sure the snow isn’t too icy.
You can always enjoy the wide variety of winter sports that are available in southern Ontario like snowshoeing, down hill skiing, cross country skiing, ice skating, and even ice fishing!
Now that the Holidays are approaching there are many ways to keep your environmental resolutions. Make your holidays more meaningful by following these suggestions:
- Be more creative and make your own Christmas decorations
- Use less wrapping paper or alternatives, such as recycled materials, fabric, ribbon, and reusable bags and boxes
- Give fair-trade gifts and waste-free presents
- Buy local – support local artisans and small businesses or donate to a cause in honour of your loved one
- Pay more attention to the social and environmental quality or your purchases
Remember the true meaning of the Holidays and don’t get gripped in a frenzy of consumption.