In recognition of Biodiversity Awareness Month 2016

Mr. Silver: I would like to rise on behalf of the Liberal caucus to also pay tribute to Biodiversity Awareness Month.

April is a month of great change in the Yukon. The snow melts — or in this year’s case a bit earlier — buds begin to open and animals come out of hibernation. It is a grand display of our territory’s biodiversity. Biodiversity defines many stages of biological interaction within species, between species and between ecosystems. It is an ever-changing balance with time and is greatly affected by human activity. As individuals, we all have a part to play in ensuring that our actions do not have a negative effect on the flora and fauna, but instead promote healthy human interaction with them.

Occurring this month is the Celebration of Swans on Marsh Lake where Yukoners can peacefully view the monumental migration of swans northward for the summer months. This April, the birds are closer to the beach than in previous years due to the early melting and the viewing is particularly spectacular.

The interpretive centre at Swan Haven is a museum of information on the swans’ migration and houses many family-friendly activities for visitors to enjoy. Migrations of birds and other animals within and from outside the Yukon is only one example of our biodiversity. The Yukon Invasive Species Council is a group of Yukoners working toward the management of invasive species in the Yukon. Their recent forum brought up many Yukon issues, noting that an increase in public education and government involvement are key to combatting invasive species that threaten our ecosystem.

The Department of Environment has put time and effort into educating the public about biodiversity, including putting together a booklet for middle-school-aged children, which is a much-needed, education-based resource.

Today, Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank all persons who engage and educate the public about biodiversity in the Yukon and what we can do to protect our ecosystem.