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Professor talks climate change impact at economic summmit

NANAIMO – Catherine Potvin is one of the keynote speakers at Vancouver Island Economic Summit.
Catherine Potvin

Catherine Potvin, Canada research chair on climate change mitigation, will be the keynote speaker at the opening luncheon of the 2016 State of the Island Economic Summit in Nanaimo next week.

“The time is now ripe to initiate ambitious climate change mitigation efforts, defining a future of which we can all be proud. We live in a challenging, but exciting, period,” Potvin said, in a press release.

Potvin is a professor of biology at McGill University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the country’s national academy of distinguished scholars, artists and scientists, and has worked on issues related to global climate change since obtaining her doctorate from Duke University.

As a ‘Tier 1’ research chair, she is acknowledged by her peers as a world leader in her field. She has worked with the Emberá people of Panama since 1994, developing participatory approaches to integrate the human dimension in biological analysis. Her research in Panama spans a broad range of issues from remote sensing to capacity building and conflict resolution within the unifying theme of forest conservation and climate change.

Potvin served as Panama’s negotiator of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2005-09 and is currently leading Sustainable Canada Dialogues, an initiative that mobilizes scholars from across Canada to propose a blueprint for Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

It is timely and significant that Potvin’s insight on climate change mitigation and implications for the Island economy will be received at the summit’s opening luncheon, sponsored by the B.C. Innovation Council.

In addition to the keynote address, Potvin will be joining a panel of experts exploring opportunities for global decarbonization in depth at one of the 16 informative summit sessions. Along with Potvin, Stephen Sheppard, professor of forestry at the University of British Columbia and the director of the collaborative for advanced landscape planning, and Audrey Dallimore, assistant professor at the Royal Road’s School of Environment and Sustainability and paleoceanographic researcher, will take a deeper look at climate change adaptation and the impact on the Vancouver Island region.

Climate change innovation is just one of many critical topics presented at the State of the Island Economic Summit scheduled for Oct. 26-27 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

Tickets and schedules are available at the website