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Ecosystem Restoration
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Introduction

Issues

Biodiversity loss and ecosystem destruction have become pressing global concerns, reflecting the accelerated rate at which habitats and species are disappearing from the planet. Environmental degradation is occurring faster than ever with 95% of Earth’s land areas currently at risk of degradation. Natural ecosystems have declined by 47% on average, while the global biomass of wild mammals has fallen by 82% relative to prehistory. While climate change and pollution are partly responsible for biodiversity loss, the main culprit is land-use change, including land degradation and other forms of habitat destruction caused by industrial agriculture, deforestation, and other impacts. 

These destructive patterns are being driven by an economic system that incentivizes ecological degradation; one study demonstrated that in 2019 alone banks around the world lent $2.6 trillion that was directly linked to ecosystem and wildlife destruction. Restoring ecosystems is one of the key tasks of the coming century. 

In Canada, many forms of ecosystem restoration methods are being used, but it remains isolated into a few institutions rather than being pursued systematically. It still lacks funding and political will, but with public awareness-raising and continued prioritization we can meet our sustainability goals. 

Solutions

Luckily, many things are happening to reverse this destruction. Conservation efforts around the world are working to preserve and restore ecosystems, recognizing their integral role in providing essential services like clean air and water, pollination of crops, and climate regulation. These efforts have the potential to be hugely impactful: restoring just 15 percent of ecosystems in priority areas would cut extinctions by 60 per cent, according to scientists. 

Indigenous-led conservation is one of the most important parts of the equation, as Indigenous communities already protect 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity despite making up only 5 percent of the world’s population. Nature-based solutions are another promising route for change. These are actions that involve the protection, restoration or management of natural and semi-natural ecosystems; the sustainable management of aquatic systems and working lands such as croplands or timberlands; or the creation of novel ecosystems in and around cities. These pathways highlight the potential for sustainable development that aligns with the inherent resilience and diversity of Earth's ecosystems.

In Canada, initiatives like the Indigenous Circle of Experts, which is a platform within the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, integrate Indigenous knowledge into conservation efforts. This bridges the gap between Indigenous and Western worldviews and knowledge systems to promote a holistic approach to conservation.

Resources to
Learn More
Programs, Trainings, and Events
Policies and Organizations
Organizations
  • Global Commons Alliance – A coalition working to address global challenges by promoting the responsible and equitable management of shared resources, such as the atmosphere and oceans.
  • Re:wild – A non-profit organization focused on large-scale conservation efforts, species reintroduction, and restoration projects to protect and restore biodiversity around the world.
  • Ecojustice – A legal advocacy organization in Canada that uses the law to defend and advance environmental rights, ensuring a healthy environment for all.
  • Stand.Earth – An environmental organization that engages in grassroots campaigns and advocacy to challenge corporate practices and policies that harm the environment.
  • Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership – A collaborative initiative in Canada working to integrate Indigenous knowledge and perspectives into conservation efforts, promoting both environmental and cultural sustainability.
  • Indigenous Leadership Initiative – An organization dedicated to supporting Indigenous-led conservation and land stewardship initiatives, emphasizing the importance of Indigenous knowledge and values.
  • Raven Trust –  A legal trust in Canada that supports Indigenous Peoples in defending their land rights and promoting environmental conservation through legal avenues.
Existing policies
Key Policies
  • Canada’s 2030 Biodiversity Strategy – A comprehensive national plan outlining measures and goals for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in Canada by the year 2030.
  • Nature Accountability Act – Proposed legislation aimed at holding the government accountable for commitments to protect and restore nature, potentially involving mechanisms to track and report on biodiversity and conservation efforts.
  • Indigenous Conservation Funding – Initiatives and programs providing financial support for Indigenous-led conservation projects and land stewardship efforts, recognizing and promoting Indigenous knowledge and practices.
  • Natural Climate Solutions Fund – A funding mechanism focused on supporting projects that employ natural approaches, such as afforestation and reforestation, to mitigate climate change and enhance carbon sequestration.
  • 2 Billion Trees Program – A national initiative aiming to plant two billion trees in Canada as a strategy for carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, and ecosystem restoration.
New policy initiatives
Petitions

Volunteer Positions

Disclaimer: this list includes both organizations that are actively recruiting volunteers as well as organizations that do NOT have current openings.
Please follow their newsletter and socials to be informed when opportunities become available!

Name of Company
Open Positions
Location
Website
Toronto Environmental Alliance
Toronto
Depave Paradise

Multiple

Peterborough, ON
Future Ground Network

Multiple

Nationwide
Regeneration Canada

No known openings

Nationwide
Forêt Capitale Forest

Multiple

Ottawa
Heaven’s Wildlife Rescue

General Volunteer

Sarnia, Ontario
OWL (Orphaned Wildlife) Rehabilitation Society

Multiple

Delta, BC
Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

Multiple

Rousseau, Muskoka/Parry Sound area, Ontario
Canadian Council on Invasive Species (CCIS)

Youth Nature Keepers Program

Nationwide
Fraser River Discovery Centre Society

Multiple

New Westminster, BC

Job Board

Disclaimer: Certain organizations on this list don't have sustainability as their core purpose, but they have been included because they have strong commitments and recognition for their efforts. For these organizations, only open positions directly contributing to sustainability initiatives or departments will be listed.

Organization
Open Positions
Type of Organization
Location ↓
Remote
Website
Career Development Resources
Career Advice Interviews
Coming soon
Leveraging LinkedIn
  • Explore Green Career Centre’s LinkedIn Maximization Guide
  • Read through Green Career Centre’s LinkedIn Sustainability Influencers to Follow articles from 2022 and 2023.  
  • We also recommend following us on LinkedIn, where we regularly share opportunities, resources, and news related to the clean economy.

Networking & Interview Prep

Job Search Resources
  • This report provides a helpful toolkit, case studies, and tips for BIPOC/BAME youth to develop self-knowledge, prepare for job hunting, increase their competence, build sustainability experience, and nurture well-being.
  • Visit Green Career Centre’s Job Application Tracker to manage your applications, update progress, and interview prep. 
  • Check out GoodWork's Job Search Tips & Resources for proactive strategies to find and land the right opportunity.
  • Many job search experts agree that most jobs belong to the hidden job market. To learn about navigating this, read Hidden Sustainability Jobs and Tapping the Hidden Job Market.