Call for Queries: Biodiversity

Biodiversity Issue
22 Mar 2010

Whereas many Canadians follow the international climate change negotiating process, few track parallel efforts to protect biological diversity. Not many are familiar with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) or realize that 2010 is the year when Canada and other countries that ratified the CBD were to have realized their modest target of achieving a "significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss." Even fewer know that 2010 is the International Year of Biological Diversity and that a Copenhagen-like meeting of world leaders is set for October in Nagoya, Japan.

To raise awareness about progress — or lack of it — on biodiversity, Alternatives Journal is dedicating an issue to the topic. We are looking for articles of both a political and a scientific nature. We invite you to submit proposals that deal with issues such as the following:

  • How is Canada, or other parts of the world, doing with regard to their efforts to reduce loss of biological diversity?
  • What is the state of Canada's and/or the world's biodiversity?
  • Is the Convention on Biological Diversity succeeding?
  • What are the latest (or suggested) tools and strategies for protecting biological diversity?
  • What role do business/government/NGOs play in protecting biological diversity?
  • Why has the CBD taken a back seat to the Kyoto Protocol?
  • What are you doing to recognize the International Year of Biological Diversity?

Alternatives combines the learned rigour of an academic journal with the breezy style of a magazine. We publish the best environmental writing in the country — writing that is engaging, thought-provoking and insightful.

Before responding to this call for submissions, please read several back issues of the magazine so that you understand the nature of our publication. We also suggest you go through the detailed submission procedures on our website to understand the types and lengths of articles we accept.

Queries should explain, in less than 300 words, the content and scope of your article, and should convey your intended approach, tone and style. Please include a list of people you will interview, potential images or sources for images and the number of words you propose to write. We would also like to receive a very short bio. And if you have not written for Alternatives before, please include other examples of your writing. Articles range from about 500 to 2000 words in length.

Keep in mind that our lead time is several months. Articles should not be so time-bound that they will seem dated once published.

Alternatives has a limited budget of about 10 cents per word for several articles. This stipend is available to professional and amateur writers and students only. Please indicate your interest in this funding in your submission.

Send submissions electronically to Nicola Ross, Executive Editor ([email protected]) by March 22, 2010

Query Check List

Please ensure that you include:

  1. Your name
  2. Your phone, address and email
  3. One paragraph bio
  4. Query (300 words max)
  5. Proposed length of article
  6. Do you request a stipend?
  7. List of people you will interview
  8. Ideas for images to accompany your article
  9. Sample of your writing if you have not written for Alternatives before

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