Resolution on the Canadian Museum of Nature

WHEREAS, Canada was the sixth nation to sign the Convention on Biological Diversity; and

WHEREAS, this Convention calls upon member nations to maintain national centers of expertise in biodiversity and be able to offer assistance to developing countries in establishing such centers; and

WHEREAS, nations of the Arctic rim are developing international agreements to assess and monitor boreal and arctic ecosystems in response to environmental challenges; and

WHEREAS, diminishment of Canada's scientific heritage and expertise can undermine Canada's ability to participate in cooperative international scientific endeavors; and

WHEREAS, the legacy of the Canadian scientific community, particularly in disciplines associated with organismal biology, is renowned for insightful syntheses that have been welcomed by the international scientific community; and

WHEREAS, the international commitment to the study of the world's biota as expressed at the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, 1992, (Agenda 21) and its resultant treaty the Convention on Biological Diversity, will be challenged as governments face budgetary decisions and political choices; and

WHEREAS, the community of biological scientists must now prepare to educate themselves and the citizens of their respective countries in new approaches to securing sustainable uses of the Earth's biological wealth; and

WHEREAS, systematic collections, such as those housed at the Canadian Museum of Nature, are of crucial importance in the efforts to understand, maintain, and support the issues of global biological diversity;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The American Society of Mammalogists, at their 75th Anniversary Meeting at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., 18-23 June 1994, respectfully urges the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Jean Chretien and the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Michel Dupuy, to preserve the integrity of the biological collections of the Canadian Museum of Nature and maintain scientific expertise that provide valuable and critical insights into the natural heritage of Canada.