Resources that aren't measured are rarely considered when decisions are made. Biodiversity, , has for too long been under-represented in planning and decision making. Biodiversity monitoring aims to change that by establishing an objective, rigorous method for evaluating changes in biodiversity in our region. Biodiversity purifies our air and water, ensures the productivity of our agriculture and forests, and regulates our climate. In short, biodiversity supports our natural wealth, and is the foundation of a healthy planet. Many people help to manage land and natural resources. In order to make good decisions they need good information. The goal of biodiversity monitoring is to provide reliable, objective information to the people who manage resources.
A cumulative-effects monitoring approach is used to detect the ecological effects of diverse environmental stresses. Cumulative-effects monitoring shows relationships between stressors in a system and the organisms that are monitored. Biodiversity monitoring assesses ecological integrity. This approach works over periods of time as new activities and environmental stresses are introduced. But, it is rare when strong causative relationships can be determined cumulative-effects monitoring approach.
The Yukon Envirothon asks student to identify areas that would benefit from a cumulative-effects monitoring approach and describe how such an approach could be used in a planning approach such as that outlined by the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute.