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Technical Thematic Report No. 11. - Western Interior Basin Ecozone+ Evidence for key findings summary

Theme: Science/Policy Interface

Key finding 21
Biodiversity monitoring, research, information management, and reporting

Theme: Science/policy interface

National key finding
Long-term, standardized, spatially complete, and readily accessible monitoring information, complemented by ecosystem research, provides the most useful findings for policy-relevant assessments of status and trends. The lack of this type of information in many areas has hindered development of this assessment.

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Monitoring programs and research studies have provided information on ecosystem status and trends for the WIBE, however, much of this information was not long-term, standardized, or spatially complete. Monitoring and research were unevenly distributed, with substantially more information available in the South Okanagan than in the west and northwest of the ecozone+. To determine trends in ecosystem processes, methods and analyses must be consistent through time and the results should be publicly accessible. Footnote 214 The maintenance and management of information can be a challenge, although excellent "clearing house" tools exist such as the BC government's Cross-Linked Information Resources (CLIR) that allows users to search for environmental and natural resource information.

Frequently, status or trends must be pieced together from a variety of sources and/or methods. Often, only a patchwork of data can be reported. Ecozone+-wide data is not always available as the boundaries of a particular monitoring program may not match the boundaries of the ecozone+. This may be less of a problem for the WIBE than with other ecozones+because WIBE boundaries are those of the Southern Interior Ecoprovince. Nevertheless, some datasets do not report data by ecoprovince.


  • Traditional and local ecological knowledge are rarely incorporated into monitoring programs.
  • There is little information and no regular monitoring of contaminants in wildlife, despite the amount of agricultural activity in the WIBE where potential contaminants may be in use.
  • Ecosystem services have not been systematically quantified for the WIBE.
  • Although many stewardship groups and organizations are active in the WIBE, their contributions have not been quantified, so it is difficult to assess the impacts of stewardship.

Notable initiatives

Key finding 22
Rapid change and thresholds

Theme: Science/policy interface

National key finding
Growing understanding of rapid and unexpected changes, interactions, and thresholds, especially in relation to climate change, points to a need for policy that responds and adapts quickly to signals of environmental change in order to avert major and irreversible biodiversity losses.

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Several of the key findings in this report include evidence or early-warning indications of environmental change that could lead to major and irreversible losses of biodiversity:

Content Footnote

Footnote 214

Vaughan, H., Brydges, T., Fenech, A. and Lumb, A. 2001. Monitoring long-term ecological changes through the Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network: science-based and policy relevant. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 67:3-28.

Return to Footnote 214 référence