Muskoka Environment Summit

Conference hosted by Friends of the Muskoka Watershed
May 8 - May 9 (2014) in Bracebridge

The conference theme is Environment vs Economy: Resolving the Dichotomy.

Leading experts from across North America will be brought together to explore the relationship between the environment and economy and the perceived dichotomy between having a healthy environment and having a thriving economy. Experts include:

Robert Sandford, Director of the Western Watersheds Research Collaborative, is a leading thinker on the impact of climate change on freshwater resources.

Elena Bennett, from McGill University, studies the connection between ecosystem services and human well-being.

Terre Satterfield is an anthropologist at UBC whose work focuses on culture and justice as they influence environmental values.

Daniel Simberloff, from the University of Tennessee, is a leading terrestrial ecologist and expert on the biology of invasive species.

Peter Victor, from York University, is an economist who works on environmental issues.

These presenters will draw on their experiences in the sciences and the arts, bringing together perspectives from economics, anthropology, ecology and public policy arenas. Can we balance the conservation of nature with our need to have a strong economy so that we may live healthy and prosperous lives? Do we need to accept a weak economy so that we may have environmental sustainability? Can we afford to fight climate change? Or can we afford not to fight it?

Renowned Canadian wildlife artist, naturalist and conservationist, Robert Bateman, will be the keynote speaker on the evening of the first day. He is a passionate advocate for environmental education and his art speaks eloquently about the value of nature.

The two-day summit will feature presentations by each of the experts and will culminate in a panel discussion hosted by CBC’s Paul Kennedy (with subsequent broadcast on his award-winning program Ideas). At a time when the world is changing rapidly and pressing global environmental and economic challenges abound, an in-depth exploration of the ways in which environment and economics might interact is both timely and important.

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