In this two-part episode, Tim Gray and Sandra Schwartz discuss the crisis of biodiversity loss and mass extinction. They discuss Canada’s commitments under the Kunming-Montreal agreement coming out of the global COP15 gathering on biodiversity. And contemplate challenges and strategies toward meeting this very ambitious and even more necessary target.

According to Schwartz: “The UN has reported recently … that around a million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction. And that is really within a few decades. That’s more than ever before in human history. And that’s largely a result of human interaction with nature. So whether that is from exploration, from mining for example, forestry … clearly we need to act now to save the natural world, because it is sustaining us as humans.”

Speaking to the recent Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, Schwartz says:[I]t was a huge win, both for people, but also for the planet … Target Three of the framework is requiring the protection of at least 30% of land and ocean is protected globally by 2030 … a requirement that Indigenous rights are respected and that Indigenous territories are recognized … And, all together the goals and targets of the agreement really do present a comprehensive plan to protect and restore biodiversity. But it’s ambitious. And really, from our perspective going into the conference, what we were most holding out hope for was that the Framework Agreement would be ambitious.”

About today’s guests

Tim Gray is the executive director of Environmental Defence. Gray has over 25 years experience developing and implementing environmental policy change efforts. These have included major shifts in land conservation, forest practices and climate change. Starting out his career as a biologist and policy analyst, Gray has spent a lot of time learning skills that move complex environmental issues toward resolution. He has worked with other change makers on the front lines of conflict and has also taken his skills inside to work on government advisory committees and in complex negotiations with industry. Gray completed an H.BSc. at Wilfrid Laurier University and a M.Sc. at the University of Toronto.

Sandra Schwartz is the national executive director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. With master’s degrees in management, and environmental studies and over 20 years of experience, she is a strong advocate for sound environmental policy and has championed progressive ideas for clean energy and tackling climate change.

Transcript of this episode can be accessed at or here.

Image: Sandra Schwartz and Tim Gray  / Used with Permission

Music: Ang Kahora. Lynne, Bjorn. Rights Purchased

Intro Voices: Ashley Booth (Podcast Announcer); Bob Luker (voice of Tommy Douglas); Kenneth Okoro, Liz Campos Rico, Tsz Wing Chau (Street Voices) 

Courage My Friends Podcast Organizing Committee: Chandra Budhu, Ashley Booth, Resh Budhu. 

Produced by: Resh Budhu, Tommy Douglas Institute and Breanne Doyle,

Host: Resh Budhu

Needs No Introduction

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