The lengthy nomination document is now drafted and out for review and endorsement with a number of agencies. During the months of September and October, we will be out in the Howe Sound communities and conducting webinars to explain our proposal and to answer questions.
Howe Sound was represented together with over 200 participants from more than 30 countries at the 16th EuroMAB conference hosted by the Dublin Bay Biosphere Reserve in Dublin Ireland. This was an opportunity to exchange views and look at ways to integrate nature conservation with sustainable development.
Our goal is to have a completed nomination for UNESCO in Paris by the fall 2019. The nomination process is a challenge in itself, but actually being a biosphere reserve means living up to UNESCO objectives and the particular strategies of the MAB Programme itself.
The atrium at the Gibsons Public Market was an ideal location for Ruth Simons to provide a summer update for the public on the Biopshere Region Initiative.
Nestled in the woods along the Cheakamus River, The Cheakamus Centre in Brackendale achieves its mission "To create a hub of innovative, authentic educational experiences in nature that inspire all learners to make informed, sustainable decisions through a deeper understanding and connection to the natural world." This was an ideal location for a meeting of Howe Sound Conservationists on October 3rd.
Representatives from 11 conservation organizations from around Howe Sound came together on our invitation to learn more about our initiative and to share thoughts on the future of conservation work. A long list of issues was raised that will be explored further as we help to build capacity to support restoration, education and research projects in the years ahead.
Issues such as staying relevant, understand what monitoring is taking place, attracting and engaging new members and funders, effective communications, building and maintaining trust, ongoing historical context, building more relationship with Squamish Nation, prioritizing projects, influencing policy making and being adaptable were some of the issues that will be further explored.
Represented at the meeting was Squamish River Watershed Society, the Squamish Nation Environmental Manager, Sunshine Coast Conservation Association, Bowen Island Conservancy, Gambier Island Conservancy, Squamish Environmental Network, Keats Island Conservancy, Coastal Ocean Research Institute, Marine Life Sanctuaries Society, Seagrass Conservation Working Group and the Squamish Streamkeepers. For more information contact HoweSoundbri@gmail.com.