WWViews on Biodiversity
On Saturday September 15th 2012, thousands of people around the world will take part ina global event: “World Wide Views on Biodiversity”. The project will engage ordinary citizens in as many countries as possible in the process of policymaking and awareness raising to sustain a living and healthy planet. At least a hundred citizens in each participating country will attend day-long meetings to learn about biodiversity issues, make up their minds about them, and express their views. The meetings will start at dawn in the Pacific and continue until dusk in the Americas. All meetings will have the same agenda and use the same approach in order to make results comparable and useful for policymakers gathering the following month in India to discuss future policy measures for preserving biological diversity.
WWViews on Biodiversity in Canada
The University of Calgary, Concordia University and The Halton Peel BioDiversity Network are the national organisers of the WWViews day in Calgary AB, Montreal QC and Toronto ON in Canada.
The University of Calgary is a comprehensive research university committed to energy-environment research, education and innovation. From the Department of Communications and Culture, the Alberta team’s involvement is rooted in further exploring the role of publics and stakeholders in public policy deliberations and decision-making, with a special interest in studying the relationship between science, technology and society.
World Wide Views Biodiversity, Montreal, will be lead by the Concordia Science Journalism Project and its associated projects. Housed at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, the Concordia Science Journalism Project studies science journalism and deliberative methods of public engagement with biotechnology. Visit www.csjp.ca and http://pep.concordia.ca to learn more.
The goal of the Halton Peel BioDiversity Network (HPBDN) is to help mainstream the values and benefits of BioDiversity and raise awareness of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) within Halton and Peel. The HPBDN enables communities to understand and contribute to International, National and local efforts for BioDiversity. The HPBDN promotes the CBD’s Decade for Biodiversity (2011-2020) and implements programmes that will help to reach the Aichi targets and goals set out by the CBD by 2020. Visit www.mainstreambiodiversity.ca to learn more.
Results from the meetings in Canada
Link to the results from the meeting in Calgary – Alberta
Link to the results from the meeting in Greater Montréal Area – Quebec
Link to the results from the meeting in Greater Toronto Area
Recruitment of citizens for the meetings in Canada
Alberta – Calgary
The Alberta-Canada World Wide Views on Biodiversity event recruited citizens from the Calgary urban community and surrounding rural communities through advertising, face-to-face recruitment, and word-of-mouth. Citizens were invited to “join in a global discussion” and to “share your views with other citizens.” We tailored specific advertising strategies to target age groups: youth, middle-aged, and senior. For the youth audience, we advertised through social media and free entertainment newspapers. For the middle-aged audience, we advertised in a free daily newspaper widely distributed throughout the Calgary region. For the senior audience, we advertised in a senior-oriented community newspaper. We developed a website in which citizens were invited to apply online to be a participant in the project. We also advertised through posters displayed on university and college campuses, community centers, senior centers, employment centers, immigration assistance centers, community bulletin boards and provincial parks. We also set up display booths in public libraries in four rural communities within 100 km of the City of Calgary. At these public display booths, we described the project, and encouraged citizens to apply to participate. From a pool of 171 applicants, we invited 125 citizens to participate in the September 15, 2012 event being held at the University of Calgary. These citizens were selected based on the demographic information provided on their application forms regarding age, gender, ethnicity, education, environmental activism and occupation. Citizens were invited to participate in the one-day global forum on biodiversity, as well as a research project on the role of the citizen within global environmental governance.
Greater Montréal Area – Quebec
How were potential participants found?
To get in contact with potential participants, the following strategy/strategies was/were used:
The WWViews Montreal team hired a professional calling firm to invite Montreal citizens to take part in the WWViews meeting on September 15, explaining the nature of the event. Those who expressed interest were asked to fill and submit an online application form available in our website to follow certain demographic parameters.
The citizen meeting was advertised in different media like posters, our university newspaper, and social media network Facebook. Interested people were able to sign up via our online application form.
How were the participants for the citizen meeting selected?
In order to make the results comparable, the participating citizens of the WWViews meeting around the world were selected according to the same set of criteria.
The citizens were invited to join the meetings and out of those who signed up for the event, about 103 were selected from the Montreal area. The main parameters used for the selection were age, gender, education level and occupation. In our region, the languages spoken also had to be taken under consideration.
Documentary on the process and the results of World Wide Views on Biodiversity
Information Material for Citizens
1. Introduction to biodiversity, 2. Biodiversity on land, 3. Biodiversity in the sea, 4. Burden and Benefit Sharing
World Wide Views on Biodiversity – Information Videos for the Citizens – French
1. Introduction à la biodiversité, 2. La biodiversité terrestre, 3. La biodiversité marine, 4. Partage des responsabilités et des avantages