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Conferences & lectures

Policy to practice: Emerging issues

Part of the Hope and Agency in Uncertain Times conference

Date & time
Friday, March 15, 2024
2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Registration is closed


Sabrina Mruczek, Emilie Girard, Sepideh Mosharafian, and Rebeca Esquivel


This event is free and open to the public


Rebecca Tittler


Loyola Jesuit Hall and Conference Centre
7141 Sherbrooke W.
Room 110

Wheel chair accessible


Picture of a developed, sprawled urban neighbourhood with large houses, trees, and roads

This session features a series of student presentations about in teh general field of applied landscape ecology.

Sabrina Mruczek: Transportation policies and biodiversity conservation in North America

This project aims to evaluate the extent to which transportation policies in North America (Canada and the U.S.A) address the issue of biodiversity conservation. The project is motivated by the 30th anniversary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), an international treaty that commits its parties to conserve and sustainably use biological diversity. The project hypothesizes that transportation agencies in North America have begun incorporating biodiversity conservation into their mandates, in accordance with the CBD. To test this hypothesis, the project will conduct a comparative analysis of transportation policies and documents in North America and, eventually, selected European countries (Switzerland, Germany, France, and The Netherlands), which are known for their advanced environmental standards. The project will also collect qualitative data from interviews and surveys with transportation officials and experts, to gain insights into the challenges and opportunities for biodiversity conservation in the transportation sector. The project will contribute to the literature on environmental policy and governance, and provide recommendations for enhancing the integration of biodiversity conservation into transportation planning and management.

Emilie Girard: Cumulative effects assessment: An analysis of legislation, regulations, and guidelines in Canada

As global climate change continues to impact many facets of the environment and society today, never has it been more important to vastly improve the systems in place that are meant to protect and foster the wellbeing of our planet and its inhabitants. Cumulative Effects Assessment (CEA) is a formal process that analyzes and assesses proposed developments that may have potential negative impacts on biophysical, cultural, social, and health-related components as well as Indigenous rights extending beyond project-level assessments. This research analyzes the current challenges and complexities inherent in CEA within the Canadian context, highlighting the necessity for enhanced legislative frameworks and decision-making processes. Despite the mandatory integration of CEA in Canadian environmental assessment (EA) laws, there are persistent inconsistences in its application. Through a comparative review using methods developed by Pavlyuk et al. (2017) about uncertainty disclosure, this study aims to identify gaps and areas for improvement in existing legislation, regulations, and guidelines regarding CEA at the provincial and federal levels. The review seeks to answer the following questions relative to the methods used: What are the requirements for conducting a CEA in legislation, regulations, and guidelines at the provincial and federal levels in Canada? What is the extent of such requirements within EA? What are the strengths and weaknesses of these mandates? Through the analysis of these questions, the goal is to identify areas that require improvement to inform practitioners, proponents, communities, and scholars of better CEA decision-making processes.

Sepideh Mosharafian: Proposing targets and limits to urban sprawl: How likely are current greenbelt scenarios for Montreal to achieve these benchmarks by 2070?

Rapid increase in urban sprawl in Montreal highlights the urgency of addressing this challenge. This study assesses greenbelt scenarios currently under discussion as potential strategies to control urban sprawl. To explore potential future pathways and provide guidance for future planning, the study proposes targets, limits, and warning values to urban sprawl as a reference framework. Seven urban development scenarios for Montreal until 2070 are compared, of which only one is assessed as sustainable. Valuable natural and semi-natural areas and agricultural lands surrounding Montreal provide an opportunity to establish a greenbelt. We evaluate four greenbelt scenarios in terms of their potential to reach the proposed targets and limits. At the level of the Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), the analysis reveals that the greenbelt scenarios would significantly reduce sprawl compared to current trends. However, they remain insufficient to achieve the proposed target and limit to urban sprawl for Montreal. At the level of census subdivisions (CSDs), the greenbelt scenarios significantly affect some of them, with only one projected to meet its target, while several other CSDs would fall within the range between the limit and the warning value. The results demonstrate the potential of greenbelts to positively influence urban development towards more sustainability, even if the greenbelt proposals current under discussion do not achieve the defined targets and limits. Further improvement of this strategy may lead to more sustainable outcomes. Our study introduces a quantitative reference framework for evaluating the effectiveness of potential urban growth management strategies and planning alternatives. 

Rebeca Esquivel: Hopeful pedagogy for climate change: supporting educators teaching in and about the climate crisis

Educators in elementary, secondary and higher learning  spaces are being called upon to support their students in navigating  the intellectual, physical, social, and emotional dimensions of climate change. Despite encountering several constraints, most educators are willing to take up this hopeful work.  This talk will present the expressed needs and lived experiences of educators teaching in the context of the climate crisis in Canada, and propose pedagogical practices that can support educators from all disciplines in addressing some of the most important work of our lives. 


This event is part of:

Hope and agency in uncertain times

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