Municipal Planning & Biodiversity Conservation

Overview | Learning Outcomes | Instructor

Overview Back ↑

This 6-hour course focuses on the important role that municipalities play in biodiversity conservation and highlights the ways that Alberta's municipalities can foster resilient and biologically diverse landscapes. In this course, we will examine the important contribution that municipalities can make to biodiversity conservation in Alberta where amendments to the Municipal Government Act empower, and indeed require, Alberta's municipalities to enhance their environmental protection efforts. Workshop attendees will learn the ways that current municipal conservation efforts can be augmented to harness new statutory powers, capitalize on local knowledge and initiative, and enhance citizen education and engagement to improve biodiversity-related conservation outcomes

Learning Outcomes Back ↑

Recommendations from the Subsidiarity in Action report will be incorporated throughout the course. By the end of the program, participants should be able to:

  1. Use the guiding principles to assess existing biodiversity conservation initiatives and plan and implement additional biodiversity initiatives
  2. Understand the legal tools that municipalities can use to improve local biodiversity, and choose those that are appropriate for their community's constituents and natural environment.
  3. Understand how provincial and regional governance affect the range of actions that local governments can take to promote conservation.
  4. Design local conservation actions in a way that contributes to Canada's efforts to meet its international conservation commitments.
  5. Have the foundations needed to develop innovative approaches to overcome obstacles that inhibit the effectiveness of biodiversity initiative planning and implementation

Instructors Back ↑

Cameron S.G. Jefferies

Cameron S.G. Jefferies is an Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta. His work focuses on matters of international and domestic environmental law, energy and natural resources law, oceans law and policy, and tort law. He is the author of Marine Mammal Conservation and the Law of the Sea (Oxford University Press, 2016), a co-author of Tort Law, 6th ed. (Thomson Reuters, 2017), and a co-editor of Global Environmental Change and Innovation in International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2018). He has also authored a number of book chapters and journal articles, including articles in the Energy Law Journal and the Journal of Environmental Law and Practice. He is actively involved in the local environmental rights movement. He previously worked as a research associate at the Health Law Institute and qualified as a lawyer with the Edmonton firm of Field LLP. He earned his doctorate in law at the University of Virginia, where he studied as a Fulbright scholar.

Erin Sawyer

Erin Sawyer is a researcher at the Alberta Land Institute (ALI), a policy-focused research institute based at the University of Alberta. At ALI, Erin has worked on issues ranging from the development of policies impacting soil health to the establishment of property rights for ecosystem service markets. She earned her Master's in Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Saskatchewan and has since worked in forestry, agriculture, government relations, communications, and the post-secondary sector both in Canada and abroad. Erin is a strong believer in the power of communities and is currently the President of her Community League. In an effort to connect her community, she created an intergenerational network of gardeners and food lovers who come together to learn, share, and celebrate.