Degradation of ecosystems and the resulting species extinction happens as a result of the activities  contributing directly to climate change such as mining, deforestation and pollution; but, also, from the damaging secondary effects of these activities, including biome destabilisation, ocean acidity, and natural disasters (1,2). As a result of these effects, a recent Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report concludes that global biodiversity is declining faster than at any point in recorded history (3). The most effective way to combat the loss of these habitats is through governmental policy at all levels which focuses on enhancing ‘protected areas’, to achieve long-term conservation of our ecosystems (4,5). Recently, scientists have begun discussing a 'Global Deal for Nature'- an ambitious plan to greatly increase the amount of conserved land on Earth (5,6). This proposal, outlined in detail by a new study in Science Advances, calls for half of all lands on Earth to be designated as “protected lands” with a minimum of 30% needed to maintain a stable environment (5). These conservation efforts will help to preserve the natural world, as combating emissions by increasing forested area. Moreover, biodiversity and the natural environment are important to the economies and physical health of human beings (3,7).

As of August 2019, the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans has stated that Canada is currently protecting 13.81% of its marine and coastal areas (8), while 12.1% of terrestrial land in Canada is considered protected (9). A 2019 Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) report on Canada's ecosystems argued in favour of the Global Deal for Nature in Canada - as a country with a vast amount of land, the report asserts that we should be world leaders in land conservation (6). This report also outlines the need for Indigenous-led proactive planning, specifically in northern regions, where traditional knowledge of the ecosystems is abundant and fundamental to ensuring the effectiveness of the protected lands (6).

An example of conservation at work in Canada is the North Atlantic right whale.Populations of these whales decreased exponentially during the time of whaling; and, sadly, they continue to be killed each year due to entanglement in fishing gear and collisions with ships (10). With less than 500 members of the species remaining, they are classified as endangered by the Species at Risk Act. However, their at risk status has sparked many efforts among marine scientists to restore populations. One solution was to track whale locations, and reroute or slow down shipping lanes to try to avoid fatal collisions (10). Strikingly, in the Bay of Fundy this has reduced the risk of whale deaths by up to 90% (10).

It is evident that more effort needs to be put into conservation. By adhering to and advocating for existing facts-based, science-led measures, we can readily meet the ambitious conservation standards needed to maintain the stability of our environment.

Who We Are

Shake Up The Establishment is a youth-led, registered (#1190975-4) national non-partisan non-profit organization that operates within the geographical confines of what is currently known as "Canada", but what is referred to by its First Peoples, as Turtle Island. Indigenous peoples have inhabited Turtle Island for over 10,000 years, and were the sole inhabitants less than 500 years ago. We acknowledge that our address resides on Treaty 3 land, and is the traditional territory of the Erie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississaugas Peoples. Turtle Island is still home to many Indigenous peoples and we at SUTE are thankful to be able to live, learn and work on this territory, whilst continuing to create meaningful change for the climate justice movement. We are aware that our actions as an organization and the work we put out have an impact on our land, and on all that inhabit it. We are humbled to be able to follow the lead of centuries long Indigenous-led efforts towards the protection and stewardship of this land and the people that inhabit it. We are committed to continually evaluating & decolonizing our practices, and we do our best to incorporate the lived experiences of the land defenders and protectors within our work. We also want to honour the voices of Black, and non-Black people of colour within our work, and continually recognize their resiliency in the face of years of systemic oppression as imposed by the Canadian state.


Our enterprise is inclusive of all folx who call the geographical confines of what is currently known as Canada, home, and we celebrate the horizontal learning that comes from our diverse identities. As an organization, we will try our utmost best to ensure that only individuals with lived experiences are speaking on behalf of their communities, while still recognizing that Black, Indigenous and communities of colour as well as the LGBTQ2S+ community, are not a monolith. We firmly believe in accountability, and commit to being as transparent as possible in our activism space; to research our topics well, support and centre community care, and minimize any harm, no matter the intent. We have strict policies and procedures to uphold these tenets, and update these on a yearly (or as-needed) basis.

106-325 Winterberry Drive, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8J 0B6

© 2020 Shake Up The Establishment

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