Promoting People, Planet, and Prosperity in Howe Sound / Atl'Kitsem
We are a group of local residents from different backgrounds who share a passion for the natural beauty, incredible biodiversity, rich cultural heritage, and great sustainable economic potential of Howe Sound / Atl'Kitsem.
New and collaborative ways of working together are needed if we are to create positive change for the Howe Sound Region into the future.
We are preparing and building support for an initiative to obtain a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Man and Biosphere Program designation for a Howe Sound Biosphere Region.
We chose the Biosphere Region model because of its potential to:
Connect people with nature
Combine locally relevant knowledges and experiences with international recognition, networks, and research
Realize the UN’s Global Sustainable Development Goals through practical and innovative partnerships and initiatives
Our Vision is a Howe Sound region where biodiversity is protected so that people and commerce benefit from a sustainable economy. A region where all who visit, work and play, are able to enjoy and contribute to the area’s natural, cultural, and social resources.
Our mission for this initiative is to:
Build local, regional, and national support to nominate Howe Sound as a UNESCO Biosphere Region
Identify, collect, and incorporate the right information and resources to successfully apply for and achieve designation of Howe Sound as a United Nations UNESCO Biosphere Region
Develop an operational structure for a UN Howe Sound Biosphere Region organization
In the process, we aim to:
Share information about what UNESCO biosphere regions are and how they can promote sustainable practices
Learn from diverse communities and stakeholders what is important to them about Howe Sound and its future
Encourage new conversations and deepen existing ones about how we can live sustainably together in Howe Sound
Build on existing networks, relationships, and initiatives in and around Howe Sound with similar visions and compatible goals
Collaboratively develop an adaptable, inclusive, diverse, innovative, and sustainable operational structure for a UNESCO Howe Sound Biosphere Region
Provide logistical support for organizations who have overlapping missions
In our mission, we are guided by the following values and frameworks:
Appreciating, protecting, and promoting ecosystem diversity and viability
Acknowledging and respecting First Nations’ titles, rights, traditions, and knowledges
Building respectful relationships among peoples and communities
Encouraging constructive dialogue through inviting diversity of voices and respecting differences of opinion
Focusing on strengths and celebrating successes
Sharing responsibility and promoting accountability
Promoting understanding of what systems are and how they interact
Sharing and building knowledge and innovative, creative solutions
DIRECTORS AND WORKING GROUP
The Working Group meets approximately every six weeks in Horseshoe Bay. Interested newcomers are always welcome. Current working group members include representatives from Coastal Ocean Research Institute, Squamish Nation, Local Government, Suzuki Elders, Squamish River Watershed Society, Consultants, retirees, students, adventurers and many more. To join and/or observe contact Howesoundbri@gmail.com.
The Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative Society’s 2018 board:
Ruth Simons, Lead - Lions Bay - Former business executive and small business owner and former Village of Lions Bay Council member.
Bob Turner, Vice President - Bowen Island - Former Federal Scientist and former Mayor, Bowen Island
Suzanne Senger, Treasurer - West Howe Sound - Strategic campaigner with innovative conservation organization, former tourism proprietor, community advocate and nature lover.
Dr. Patricia Plackett, Director - Vancouver - Socio-economics specialist (PhDs in anthropology & economics) with many years of experience in university teaching and managing sustainability-related initiatives.
Jenn Meilleur, Director - North Vancouver - Sustainability and community development specialist, currently working with the West Vancouver Foundation.