Environmental organizations in Canada and how game industry helps them

Canada is a nation with enormous natural resources like forests, lakes, rivers and oceans. But sustaining these resources over time is critical for our future generations. Canada's status on the environment has not always been positive; however, there has recently been an increase in awareness surrounding this issue.

Canada was one of the first countries to sign the Kyoto Protocol, an agreement with the goal of reducing greenhouse emissions. Canada ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002 and committed to reduce its greenhouse emissions by 6% (from 1990 levels). Since then, there has been a slow decrease in greenhouse gas emissions; between 1990 and 2012 they dropped only 5%, despite the fact that the Canadian population grew over 16%.

Canada has been struggling with other environmental issues as well, such as air quality. In 2014, the level of fine particles in the air was deemed dangerous by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be above Canada's own standards by one-third. These small particles are the result of human activities like electricity generation and transportation – resulting from fossil fuels – and contribute to local smog, acid rain and global warming. In 2015 the rates of fine particles in the air have been even higher than usual, especially around people's homes and workplaces, making it a serious health risk not only for Canadians but also for our natural environment.

Canada is also struggling with water quality issues. Many lakes across Canada suffer from eutrophication, the process in which a lake becomes overly rich in nutrients and algae. Eutrophication has been occurring more frequently because of urbanization, a growing number of people moving to cities. Some scientists believe that climate change may also influence eutrophication.

In addition to these environmental challenges, Canada continues to have land degradation – a serious environmental issue – due to forestry, agriculture and urbanization. Deforestation is occurring at an unprecedented rate in many areas of Canada, with some scientists estimating that our country loses around 100 000 hectares of forest each year. This has been linked to the decimation of wildlife species as well as increased greenhouse gasses from soil decomposition.

In addition, climate change impacts the natural environment in many ways. For example, some species are moving further north as their habitats become too warm for them to survive; this is causing new species interactions. Climate change may also be responsible for an increase in extreme weather events like floods and forest fires, which can ruin land and destroy homes.

Climate change also has a significant influence on the natural environment through rising sea levels. Coastal communities in Canada are especially at risk from this phenomenon, where flooding during storms and king tides is becoming more frequent. This will not only affect habitats but also potentially displace many Canadians living in coastal regions.

In the decades to come, climate change will continue to have a negative influence on the environment. In Canada, research shows that our nation will be warmer and drier in the future, which could reduce agricultural production, increase wildfires and have many other health and social impacts.

Key steps towards a green economy

The Government of Canada has introduced a national carbon price, which means that emissions from all provinces will be subject to a minimum tax. This has been an important step forward in trying to reduce the threat of climate change.

Another positive step is introducing clean energy programs like the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, which focuses on increasing the use of renewable energies like solar and wind. In order for this to work, Canada has been creating more incentives for businesses and homeowners to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

In addition, protecting critical habitats is also a top priority in terms of environmental conservation. Earlier this year the Canadian government announced its intention to create a marine protection plan to safeguard coastal and marine areas – including coral reefs – that are facing threats. This would be the largest marine conservation area in the world, which would include most of Canada's ocean territory.

Despite these positive steps, there is still a long way to go to ensure environmental protection and sustainable development for Canadians. Many people still do not fully understand environmental issues like climate change; this means that we need an increased awareness of these issues and their effects on both humans and plants/animals.

Canadians' relationship with the environment

One of the easiest ways to help the environment is by recycling your waste whenever you can. This not only benefits the earth, but it also helps reduce greenhouse gasses and landfill space. By clearing out unwanted items, you are effectively reducing both air pollution and water pollution while producing less solid waste that will end up in a landfill.

In order for Canadians to live more sustainable lives, it is important for everyone to understand the environmental issues that we face as a country and work together towards finding solutions. Keeping an open mind and not being afraid of change will go a long way towards protecting our nation's wildlife and natural environment.

The Canadian environmental movement often draws on volunteer resources to carry out its activities. A large portion of these resources come from online casinos where patrons spend their leisure time.

Environmental Protection groups seem to be benefitting more than others with gaming industry dollars. I mention this because of the amount of money that is in play in comparison with other industries and entities that are donating.

The Canadian government is trying to grow the economy with initiatives that have been made possible by its requirement for public consultation. The problem with this is, since it opened up the requirement for public input on environmental issues, groups like Greenpeace and Sierra Club of Canada have received more than $12 million in donations.

These two particular organizations have received over $4 million in public donations each. None of these organizations are required to disclose their financial giving for individual donors, which means that it's likely someone is donating sums larger than $10,000 to get the attention they want.

This money has been spent on lobbying efforts to hold up or block projects like oil sands pipelines and Arctic drilling, which in turn is costing Canadians jobs.

The debate is whether these donations end up benefiting the environment or create an imbalance in economic growth. Not all environmental groups are profiting from online gaming dollars, but most certainly they are gaining benefits that other industries aren't getting when it comes to getting their voices heard on important decisions that affect them.

Online casino sponsorship

The Canadian game industry is now one of the most important funders of environmental charities. Many groups may disagree with this because they feel that these donations only go to projects for animals, not to all the organizations that need them.

If the government demanded more transparency about who donates and how much money, there would be much more public outrage about these donations being made to environmental groups without having to disclose them. They probably get enough media attention as it is, and as a result people might not want to come forward.

Online casinos are very popular in Canada, more than anywhere else in the world. Many Canadians like to go out on the town to play blackjack or poker at a local casino, but this also means that Canadians spend a lot of money when they travel to gamble.

A lot of money pours into the Canadian economy on an individual basis, and yet we don't often hear about how gambling in Canada helps everyone equally. 


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  1. Mark Brooks
    April 22, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    I note that your list of categories doesn’t include Soil ! Yet this is such a serious environmental issue. Last year the FAO launched their Global Soil Partnership for Food Security and Climate Change Mitigation http://www.fao.org/nr/water/landandwater_gsp.html

    • April 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      Great suggestion. I’ll be sure to add this category and post related stories on this important issue. Thanks.

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