General Meeting – May 24, 2018

May 24, 2018
Marijuana in the Niagara Region – Alan Unwin, Associate Dean, Niagara College

Alan worked as an environmental consultant for numerous years before joining Niagara College in 1995 as a full time faculty member.  Alan has extensive international experience in Argentina, Ecuador, India, Sri Lanka, Jordan and Thailand.  In September of 2011, Alan became the Associate Dean for the School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies.

Alan is also the current Chair of the Society of Ecological Restoration (SER) – a non-profit organization based out of Washington D.C.  Alan has twice served as Chair of the organizations world conferences. In 2001 the conference was held in Niagara Falls, Canada and focused on restoration across borders and was largely a binational effort in collaboration with US EPA’s great lakes office and the International Joint Commission.  In 2013, Alan chaired the organization’s 25th anniversary world conference in Madison Wisconsin which attracted over 1500 attendees from over 60 countries worldwide.

In August of 2015 Alan became Chair of this influential organization – the third Canadian to have ever held this post.  SER continues to be very influential in regards to global restoration efforts assisting and implementing restoration policy through its collaboration with international bodies such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.  Alan also serves on the editorial board of the Ecological Restoration Journal – published out of Rutgers University.  In December of 2017 at the 13th COP of the United Nations Convention for Biological Diversity, Alan was a panelist and presenter as part of the Rio pavilion’s focus on forest and landscape restoration along with other panelists from around the world.  Parties to the Convention (194 signatory countries) during the 13th COP of the UNCBD adopted a short term action plan on ecosystem restoration that was focused on achieving a world target of restoring 15% of degraded land globally by the year 2020.  This document was co-authored by SER in conjunction with the Secretariat of the UNCBD and the United Nations Convention for Combating Desertification (UNCCD).