Biodiversity is in sharp decline worldwide, due largely to human practices. Protecting Saskatchewan’s biodiversity is a high priority for the Saskatchewan Environmental Society. SES works with other non-profit organizations and provincial and national governments to advance biodiversity protection in this province. SES presses for the establishment of new ecological reserves, national parks, and other protected areas in Saskatchewan, which in turn helps ensure that wildlife habitat is protected.
The vast bulk of Saskatchewan’s native prairie has been lost over the past century, and Saskatchewan’s grassland bird populations are dropping. Two of the last important refuges for at-risk populations are our community pasture system and the Great Sand Hills, the largest contiguous block of native prairie left in Canada. SES has joined the fight to save our community pasture system, and has encouraged the Saskatchewan government to create ecological reserves in the Great Sand Hills. One success has been the establishment of a 140-square-mile ecological reserve in the northern portion of the Great Sand Hills. In Saskatoon, the Northeast Swale is a 26km ribbon of wild prairie and natural wetlands, one of the largest surviving fragments of natural prairie in this part of the province. SES works to maintain and protect the ecosystem and biodiversity of this unique landscape.
At present, almost 10% of Saskatchewan total land area has some form of protection. SES is urging our provincial government to attain at least 17%, the internationally agreed upon goal set by countries through the United Nations.
Biodiversity is also impacted by toxins such as pesticides. Neonicotinoids are the world’s most widely used insecticides. Neonicotinoids have been found in 90% of the tested wetlands in Saskatchewan and post a significant risk to the province’s wild pollinators and to entire ecosystems. SES encourages the Saskatchewan government to halt the widespread and indiscriminate use of neonicotinoid-based pesticides and SES supports the proposed federal ban on the neonicotinoid imidacloprid.
Medical experts recommend that we reduce our dependence on the use of pesticides used only for the beautification of our lawns, gardens, schoolyards, parks, and golf courses. There is no legislation or bylaws restricting the cosmetic use of pesticides in Saskatchewan despite the fact that we have the highest household use of pesticides in gardens and lawns in Canada. Meanwhile, over 170 municipalities and almost every province has enacted pesticide reduction bylaws and legislation to protect their public and the environment.
SES, along with our health partners, created a policy paper suggesting three different policies for reducing cosmetic pesticide usage in Regina to protect human health and protect sustainability.
SES, along with the Canadian Cancer Society and the Lung Association of Saskatchewan, agree that cosmetic use of pesticides in and around our homes has significant unintentional impacts on our health, animals, plants, and the environment.
Be pesticide free with help from our fact sheets.