diversity, or biodiversity, is a term that is
frequently used but seldom understood. The Canadian
Biodiversity Strategy defines it as "…the variety of
species and ecosystems on Earth and the ecological
processes of which they are a part." When one part
of the ecosystem is affected, the whole system can
be stressed. Many species of fish, insects, aquatic
plants, and bacteria develop reproduction
difficulties. Some even die. The decline in the
population of any of these aquatic organisms affects
the food chain. Dwindling populations of insects and
small aquatic plants and animals are especially
serious because the entire food chain is affected.
The environmental sustainability
of the oil and gas industry involves many complex
issues. Each aspect of the petroleum industry from
exploration through to the final uses of its
products, affects people, animals, plants, soil,
air, and water. Some impacts are confined to small
areas, while others have global implications.
Impacts that can arise from industry activities
include disturbances to land and ecosystems
associated with oil extraction, and by construction
and operation of associated facilities.
Canada as a whole is trying to
build their biodiversification program. In 1992,
Canada ratified the Convention on Biological
Diversity as the first industrialized country to
sign the charter that seeks to protect all species.
The Feature Article by the World Wildlife Fund
Canada, "Seabirds and Atlantic Canada Ship-Source
Oil Pollution" addresses the petroleum industry and
Canada's part in saving and maintaining the world’s