Clayoquot Sound (adjacent Tofino) is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The following information is available at clayoquotbiosphere.org, the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust.
On May 5, 2000, representatives of First Nations, local governments, the Governments of Canada and the Province of British Columbia, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) were joined by local residents and invited guests from around the world to officially commemorate the designation of Clayoquot Sound as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Prime Minister Jean Chrétien was in attendance to celebrate and announce a $12 million federal grant for an endowment fund for the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust (CBT) the cornerstone of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The CBT will use the income from the endowment fund to support local research, education and training in the Biosphere Reserve region.
Biosphere Reserves are areas of terrestrial or marine ecosystems which are internationally recognized within UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program for promoting and demonstrating a balanced relationship between people and nature. Individual countries propose sites within their territories which meet a given set of criteria for this designation.
Biosphere Reserves serve to combine the three following functions:
- Conservation: contributing to the conservation of landscapes,
- Ecosystems, species and genetic variation;
- Development fostering economic development which is ecologically and culturally sustainable;
- Logistic support: research, monitoring, training and education
- related to local, regional, national and global conservation
- and sustainable development issues.
Biosphere Reserves form a World Network. Within this network, exchanges of information, experience and personnel are promoted. Biosphere Reserves develop local solutions on conservation and sustainable development that can be shared with other Reserves and with peoples around our planet. This website serves as a vehicle to connect the Clayoquot Biosphere Reserve region, it’s people, businesses and the researchers in the area with the global community and the network of Biosphere Reserves.
With the designation of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, a new chapter opened for our area. This honour brings new possibilities and opportunities for local communities.
The Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve has as a guiding principle the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations philosophy “Hishuk ish ts’awalk”, or “everything is one.” This stresses the importance of recognizing and learning about the interconnections within and between ecosystems in order to promote truly sustainable local communities and economies, while protecting the environment for future generations.