We’re Seeking a Bookkeeper!

Download (CBT_Bookkeeping_Job-posting_2019_v3-1.docx)

We’re looking for a new board member!

Download (Alternate-Director-Call-RH-comments.pdf)

CBT is overdue for a new website!

Website Redesign & Development

Request for Proposal


This RFP is for design and development services for a new website for the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust. Click here to download a PDF Version of this RFP

RFP Sent: February 7, 2019

Responses Due: March 4, 2019

Send any questions on the RFP to: Communications Coordinator, Colin Robinson (colin@clayoquotbiosphere.org) and Executive Director, Rebecca Hurwitz (rebecca@clayoquotbiosphere.org)

Send proposals to: Communications Coordinator, Colin Robinson (colin@clayoquotbiosphere.org)

Budget for new website: $8,000-10,000

Goal for new website launch: June 2019


Clayoquot Biosphere Trust Overview

Based in Tofino, BC, the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust (CBT) is a registered charity that enhances community and ecosystem vitality in Clayoquot Sound, in the traditional territory of the Hesquiaht First Nation, Tla-o-quiaht First Nations, Toquaht Nation, Ahousaht, and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government on the central west coast of Vancouver Island.

The organization was founded in 2000, when Clayoquot Sound was designated by the UNESCO as a Biosphere Region, with the goal of seeking sustainable ways for human societies to thrive in balance with our natural environments. To mark this designation, the federal government entrusted a $12 million grant to Clayoquot Sound communities; the CBT manages this endowment fund and carries out research, education, and program delivery to uphold the spirit and intent of the biosphere region designation.

In 2011, the CBT became a Community Foundation and joined the Community Foundations of Canada, a network of community-based non-profit investment funds that provide grants, expertise, leadership, and other investments towards local social priorities. To the best of our knowledge, we are the only organization with the world that is a UNESCO Biosphere and community foundation. As such, we are continually creating opportunities to support healthy communities and ecosystems.

With a team of 6 full-time employees, the CBT offers a number of annual grant and scholarship programs, as well as a number of branded programs with different relationships to the CBT.

Our Audience

Our primary audience is residents of the Clayoquot Biosphere Region (~5000 people). This audience is diverse in age, sex, income, and online habits but is connected by the sense of place created by the region’s social fabric, history, and natural environment. Our communities are rural and remote. Within the local population, our audience can be further defined as engaged community members. They may identify as long-term residents, who may be involved in community volunteerism, may have families, and who describe themselves as “invested in the region.” They care about the health of the environment and communities in the region. They are interested in the CBT because they see it as an organization that helps improve quality of life for themselves, their families, and their neighbors. These people engage with CBT in a number of ways – as engaged residents, as well as through their professional roles and volunteer commitments. They access the CBT website to learn about our granting programs, projects, and research.

Nuu-chah-nulth residents make up an important audience within the general population.

Our secondary audience is the philanthropic community of donors and prospective donors to the CBT. They may be local businesses, individuals, or organizations looking to establish a fund for a specific social or environmental goal. Regardless of whether a gift is to be made now or later, donors are frequently attracted to the idea of a permanent endowment, enabling their influence and generosity to be extended far into the future. However, they also need assurance that their funds will be safe, well managed and used appropriately. The CBT is uniquely designed not only to fulfil those requirements but also to offer much more in the area of donor services.

Our tertiary audience resides outside of the region but is united by their interest in the area and/or in the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust as an organization. They could be university researchers or students with study-based interests in our unique ecological systems, with interests in research or education partnerships. They may be affiliates of other community foundations, UNESCO biospheres or other social/environmental non-profit organizations.

New Website Objectives

Our website’s number one objective is to inform and engage our audiences. Our ability to deliver on our mandates depends on people’s understanding of our organization and what we seek to do. Our organization is multi-faceted and it can be difficult at times to explain concisely what we do. We need a website that can capture the audiences’ interest and succinctly explain who we are, and what part of our work might be relevant to different portions of the audience (not all audience members are going to be uniformly interested in all parts of our organization).

The second objective is to inspire action (and provide resources relevant to the given action) among audience members. One such action is applying for our grants; the website must communicate our granting areas, make it easy for audience members to access our online granting system (SaaS hosted by Foundant Inc). Another action is donating to the CBT; the website must be compelling to potential donors, explaining the positive impact contributions can have, and provide an easy to navigate pathway for donors to contribute.

Current Website

Our current website (www.clayoquotbiosphere.org) is nearly 10 years old and does not serve us well anymore. The design doesn’t reflect our brand and the navigation is clunky and not at all intuitive. Our organization has grown in size and complexity since the creation of the current website, and through these changes, it was managed and developed in a piecemeal approach by numerous employees (none of whom are technical/web developers) and external web developers. Employees in our own organization have a hard time finding things on the website. Overall, the website is difficult to navigate and does not clearly communicate who we are or what we do. The site is largely text-based and does not allow for modern visuals (images can only be added as embedded within text pages).

Updating the information is possible, but the design is dated and we have outgrown the site architecture. The back end is a jumble of outdated WordPress plug-ins and subscribed services from a number of different (and in some cases, competing) companies (e.g. hosting, domain registration, security, SSL certificates) that don’t integrate well and that staff do not understand. We are being billed for services that are not functional due to poor integration. It is highly unclear what staff can do to enhance SEO.

New Website Requirements

Our new website will need:

  • An easy-to-use content management system (CMS)
  • Intuitive navigation
  • Modern design with rich imagery
  • Approximately 30 pages
  • Current content can be modified as needed.
  • Space for an explanation of the CBT’s other branded programs (with links to separately branded sites)
  • Optimized with SEO best practices
  • Clear path to engagement (grant application, donation, or reaching out to staff)
  • Embedded videos
  • A blog
  • Social media integration (share buttons, follow buttons, embedding of CBT social media feeds)
  • Email update sign-up form
  • Clear integration of back-end services (hosting, security, etc.)
  • Integration of CanadaHelps donation page
  • Integration of Online Granting System, Donor Portal, and Site Skin
  • Inclusion our 2015 brand standards and visual identity
  • Archive of funded projects

Aspirations and Inspirations

We would love to integrate a few other concepts/ideas into our new website, depending on how these elements would impact timeline and/or budget.

  • How can we integrate the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in the new design (they are related to all aspects of our operations)?
  • How can we make our resource library (currently a list of hyperlinked text) more user-friendly and visually pleasing?

E-commerce Details

We currently receive donations online via an external organization, Canada Helps. Additionally, we are hoping to begin accepting donations via the SaaS from Foundant Inc. that we use as our online granting system. Foundant Inc has designed this software to integrate easily (inexpensively) into websites like ours, and we hope to explore options for this integration with the creation of a Site Skin.


We hope to convey the information housed in our current site in a more concise and intuitive way. While this will entail redesigning the information layout, we do not imagine a radical departure from the current site.

Proposal Requirements

Please include the following in your proposal response:

  • Overview of your company
  • Overview of how you will meet our objectives
  • Explanation of your proposed platform/CMS
  • Outline of your website design & development strategy
  • Proposed project timeline from kickoff to launch
  • Details about your team
  • Experience working with similar clients
  • At least 3 design & development examples from the past 2 years
  • References
  • Pricing with optional elements line-itemed
  • Terms & conditions

RFP & Project Timeline Details

RFP Sent: February 7, 2019

Responses Due: March 4, 2019 (11:59pm)

Finalists Selected & Contacted (if required): March 6, 2019

Winner Selected & Contacted: March 8, 2019

Project Kick-off: March 2019

New Website Launch Target Date: June 2019

Thank you for your interest in responding to this RFP with a proposal for our new website. We look forward to your response.

If you have any questions, please contact Colin at colin@clayoquotbiosphere.org or 250-725-2219.



A Collective Vision for the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association


From November 20-23,  representatives of Canada’s 18 UNESCO biosphere reserves in the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region on the east coast of Vancouver Island came together for a national gathering hosted by Kwalikum and Snaw-naw-as First Nations. The 2018 Fall Gathering of the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association (CBRA) had two key objectives: Building ethical space between CBRA’s board of directors and Indigenous Circle, and developing a collective and strategic vision for this important national UNESCO network. With the gathering so close to home, the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Region was well represented with Ahousaht elder Arlene Paul, board members Ashley Hawker and Cassandra Silverio, and CBT staff Rebecca (who serves as CBRA Chair), Laura and Colin all in attendance. 

 On the right, Tsumkwatun (Councilor Lawrence Mitchell, Snaw-naw-as First Nation) sings a song with his daughter (left) after hosting a meal for CBRA on behalf of the Nation.

Tsumkwatun (Councilor Lawrence Mitchell, Snaw-naw-as First Nation) sings a song with his daughter (left) after hosting a meal for CBRA on behalf of the Nation.

In a country as large as Canada, biosphere reserves are geographically, biologically, and culturally diverse, but all work toward achieving similar goals and addressing common challenges. CBRA’s 2018 Fall Gathering was designed for board members, staff, and Indigenous hosts of Canadian biosphere reserves to share knowledge, hear individual stories of struggle and success, and build trust. Truth, reconciliation and co-leadership with Indigenous Peoples are essential for Canada’s biosphere reserves to thrive with integrity.

The entire gathering was held in circle––large and small––allowing all 45 guests to speak and listen to each other. Participants learned about local First Nations customs around ceremony, such as welcome prayers, songs, dances, and gift-giving practices, making conscious space for Indigenous and western traditions of knowledge sharing to co-exist. Working in ethical space, a collective vision was communicated––a vision that will guide CBRA in its work to address national and global issues by supporting sustainable development, biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation, and social justice.

 Left to right: Monica Shore, CBRA Coordinator - Dr. Pam Shaw, Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute - Chief Michael Recalma, Kwalicum First Nation - Gord Johns, MP, Courtenay-Alberni - Dr. Dave Witty, Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region, Ashley Van Acken, Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region

Left to right: Monica Shore, CBRA Coordinator – Dr. Pam Shaw, Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute – Chief Michael Recalma, Kwalicum First Nation – Gord Johns, MP, Courtenay-Alberni – Dr. Dave Witty, Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region, Ashley Van Acken, Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region

Gord Johns, Member of Parliament, joined the gathering for one of the evenings and shared his sentiments:

Thanks to Snaw-naw-as First Nation for their warm welcome on Thursday during the CBRA Fall Gathering in their territory. We’re proud to have two biosphere reserves in Courtenay-Alberni and enjoy hosting the annual Biosphere Day on the Hill. Great comradery, food, dancing and singing. Congratulations both to the Nation and the CBRA for such a wonderful gathering and for such an important movement.

The CBT is grateful to have been a part of the gathering and participate in meaningful conversations about how CBRA (and the member Biosphere Organizations across the country) can grow in a direction driven by Indigenous perspectives and leadership.  


CBRA’s new strategic plan will be launched in early 2019.

 Members of the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association’s (CBRA) Board of Directors and Indigenous Circle, as well as biosphere reserve staff and guests.

Members of the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association’s (CBRA) Board of Directors and Indigenous Circle, as well as biosphere reserve staff and guests.

Eat West Coast – New Food Security Capacity Building Program!

Eat West Coast is a hub for food security action in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve region on the west coast of Vancouver Island that brings together community partners to build a healthy food system where everyone has access to the foods they need to thrive. We connect schools, local governments, communities, not-for-profits, food providers, and others.

Based out of Tofino, EWC supports eight remote communities with a combined population of about 6,000. We have a young population and more than a third reside in First Nations communities. Food is expensive and difficult to access for many, with some communities boat access only. We have no local agriculture, loss of traditional marine food as a dependable food source, and one of the highest costs of living in BC.

A just and sustainable food system in our region is rooted in healthy communities, where everyone has access to nutritious, culturally acceptable food. This means that we have the skills and knowledge about the ways food is grown, harvested, preserved, processed and cooked and that traditional hunting, fishing, gathering, and conservation practices are respected and enabled. These are an important part of our west coast history, culture and health.

With the help of the Maple Leaf Centre for action on Food Security, EWC will develop a region-wide program to help support the increasing local interest and activity in revival of local food knowledge and food preservation techniques (storing, canning, smoking, pickling, drying, etc.) so that our families can learn more about each season’s abundance and access a variety of healthy traditional foods year-round and in times of need (both economically and in emergency situations). Some of our biggest barriers have been needed for capacity to support knowledge sharing, lack of modern food-safe training, and lack of access to appropriate facilities.

Our project will address these needs through a ‘train the trainer’ local capacity building approach. We will grow local leaders and champions and support them to implement workshops and education across communities. Part of the backbone of support will be sufficiently equipping community and school kitchens and creating a regional network to share knowledge and resources.

EWC is funded by our regional health authority, Island Health, under their Food Security Hubs Network and hosted by the Clayoqout Biosphere Trust, a local organization that stands on two pillars as both a biosphere reserve and a community foundation. As the only organization in Canada that encompasses both of these internationally recognized mandates, the CBT is able to see the opportunities and challenges through a unique lens and collaboration with the CBT and its partners will allow our work to have a sustainable impact.


2018 Neighbourhood Small Grants Announced!

The fourth year of Neighbourhood Small Grants on the west coast has been a huge success, with a record number of projects funded, more diversity of project ideas, and more communities involved than ever before! In partnership with the Vancouver Foundation and the Westcoast Community Resource Society, 30 projects were funded, up from 23 last year. Congrats to the program leaders and keep an eye out for the following events happening near you!

Family Fun Night (Halloween) Complete!
Halloween themed family gathering with snacks and pumpkin carving
Philomena Duncan and Janey Thomas
Ahousaht, October 2018

Pumpkins in the Mist Complete! 
Halloween theme walk in the woods (Wild Pacific Trail)
Katherine Loiselle and Jenna Hopkins
Ucluelet, October 2018

Halloween house
Epic Halloween house on Bay St. for all of the Ucluelet community to come and enjoy
Mandy Oye and Tara Wood
Ucluelet, October 2018

Let the Ghoul Times Roll BBQ Pit Stop
Halloween BBQ on the street for Trick or Treaters and their parents
Sam Fyleris and Naomi Bruce
Tofino, October 2018

Health Oriented Medicinal Plants
Building a community greenhouse focused on health-related plants and traditional medicines
Ruth Charleson and Betty Lucas
Hesquiaht, November 2018

Providing for Community
Young men will go hunting and return to the community to share a feast with community members
Patrick Charleson III and Patrick Charleson Jr.
Hesquiaht, November 2018

Opitsaht Community Smokehouse
Salvaging and hand-milling wood to build and donate community smokehouse on Opitsaht reserve
Raymond Victor Brune and Sherann Nicole Findlay
Opitsaht, November 2018

Tluusma – Young Woman
Regalia creation workshop, focusing on engaging young women in culture and community
Darlene Dick and Ileisha George
Ahousaht, November 2018

Heshook Ish Tsawalk Women’s Group
Sharing, healing, learning meetings at the Hot Springs Cove health centre for local women
Betty Lucas and Ruth Charleson
Hesquiaht, November 2018

Weaving Group
Workshop and teach basket weaving and cedar weaving to community members
Delores Bayne and Vince Ambrose
Hesquiaht, November 2018

Chama Pii – Balancing
Bring together the ladies of our community for storytelling and writing workshops focused on balance
Nora Martin and Sandra Williams
Tla-o-qui-aht, November 2018

Rollerskate Dance Workshops and Disco Skate Party
Rollerskate dance instruction followed by a roller disco with a DJ at Seaplane Recreation Hall
Lyvier Rivera and Rebecca Hurwitz
Ucluelet, November 2018

Tonquin Park Villa Community Compost
Building an animal-proof composting system for the 36 units at Tonquin Park Villa
Simon Allison and Warren Rudd
Tofino, November 2018

Lovers, Lunatics & Poets — stage soiree & table read
Bringing together theatre and culture lovers for a “table read” of Tofino’s new history play
Greg Blanchette and Eileen Floody
Tofino, November 2018

Toquaht ladies craft evenings
Evening get-togethers for ladies of all ages to get creative and crafty
Lisa Morgan and Anne Mack
Toquaht, November 2018

Jensen’s Bay School Bus Shelter Workbee Party
Building a much-needed rain shelter for the students of Jensen’s Bay
Tom Stere and Nick Killins
Tofino, November 2018

Language and Cedar Weaving Nights
Practice speaking Ahousaht language and learn to weave cedar in community
John Webster and Janet Webster
Ahousaht, November 2018

Self care in Opitsaht
Bring Opitsaht residents together for community activities focusing on health and happiness
Margaret Thomas and Amanda Tom
Tla-o-qui-aht, November 2018

Slow Down Sign Painting Party
Bringing neighbours together to paint signs to remind drivers to be safe and respectful
Amorita Adair and Tanya Berger-Richards
Tofino, November 2018

Christmas Dinner at Ty Histanis
Gathering community to share a positive feast together around the holidays
Annie George and Elizabeth George
Tla-o-qui-aht, December 2018

Community Gathering Dinner at Hot Springs Cove
Bringing together community for a healthy and happy gathering after a tough summer
Marilyn Lucas and Heather Campbell
Hesquiaht, December 2018

Light up the Dark
Festive lights and community wishing tree in Ocean Park subdivision
Lora McNeil and Sheila Orchiston
Tofino, December 2018

Traditional Foods Supper
Take youth hunting and harvesting to provide a feast and cultural support for the community
Dwayne Martin and Chris Seitcher
Tla-o-qui-aht, January 2019

Youth Food Security and Culture
Bring youth into traditional Ahousaht territory to hunt traditionally and distribute food in community
Charles Thomas and Francis Campbell
Ahousaht, January 2019

Tli Chu Immersion Potlatch
Feast for community where only Nuu-chah-nulth is spoken
Levi Martin and Tsimka Martin
Tla-o-qui-aht, February (new moon) 2019

Mom Surf Club
Open group of mom-surfers of mixed abilities who practice and support each other
Faye Missar and Ashley Williamson
Ucluelet, February-May 2019

BatBiTats at Habitat
Building bat houses to support at-risk bat populations in Clayoquot Sound
Trevor Jurgens and Kaytlyn Durocher
Ucluelet, March 2019

Ucluelet Broom Cleanup
Community removal of Scotch Broom, an invasive plant that quickly chokes out native species
Rebecca Hurwitz and Liisa Neilson
Ucluelet, March 2019

Neighbourhood Bees
Installation of bee hives to pollinate local Food Forest with education on bee-keeping and food security
Leah Austin and Jennifer Smallwood
Tofino, April 2019

Beading and Loom work and around a glass bottle
Teaching youth how to do beading, loomwork, and crafting ideally at the Tofino Saturday Market
Elizabeth George and Annie George
Tla-o-qui-aht, May 2019


Just over one year ago, the CBT co-hosted a community gathering called “hišinqʷiił” at the Kwisitis Visitor Centre in Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ territory. It was the first time in a long time that representatives and members from all 7 communities in the Biosphere Region came together in the spirit of healing and reconciliation to talk about unique strengths, shared history, and cultural diversity. In order to commemorate the event, the CBT commissioned Robinson Cook, a skilled local carver, to create a piece that reflected the gathering. He unveiled the piece, called Hiłḥiyiis (“standing on the shoulders of”) at Carving on the Edge Festival earlier this month, explaining that while CBT is its steward and official owner, it belongs to all the communities in the region. Since moving it to the office after the festival, we have enjoyed having community members drop by to view the carving, and it̓s been interesting to hear individuals’ interpretations of it. In the spirit of the piece belonging to all the communities of the region, its first community appearance will be at the hišukniš c̓awaak histaqšiƛniš ʔiqh muut – Language Gathering at the Tin Wis resort on October 18-19.

Brooke, Rebecca, and Robinson together after he brought Hiłḥiyiis to the CBT office following Carving on the Edge Festival.

Robinson explains the carving below:

The woman figure represents all of us as residents of the west coast communities; the wolf represents the Nuu-chah-nulth ancestors. We are all standing on the shoulders of the ancestors of these lands. The name comes from the Frank family in Ahouasht and I am using it here with permission from my brother and elder, David Frank Sr.

The Qʷayac̕iik (wolf), the ancestors, are the foundation for this carving, the base of the totem pole, holding all things up. The Qʷayac̕iik speaks to natural law- respect for nature, ourselves, and each other. The Qʷayac̕iik is holding a Salmon to remind us of the interconnectedness of all things and of our responsibilities to take care of the environment and all that nourishes us. 

The human figure is portrayed as a woman to represent future leadership. She has a voice symbolized by the abalone shell on her throat. We need to listen to this voice, it has been silenced for too long. Her eyes, as painted by Deanna Lankin, represent all cultures. In one hand, she is holding a paddle to represent the tools we possess for moving ahead in life. Her other hand is holding the gunnels of the canoe to show leadership steadying the boat as we navigate the waters ahead.

Nuu-chah-nulth teachings use the Čapac (canoe) as an analogy for our lives. We choose what goes in and out of our canoes if we are living in balance. In the absence of balance, we lose control and choice. This Čapac is formed in the ƛaʔuukʷiatḥ (Tla-o-quiaht) style of the Martin family. The roughed out prow and technical advice was provided by Joe Martin. All the figures are inside the Capac to represent the fact that as residents of the west coast we are all in the same boat.

Lastly, the paddle has 7 abalone shells for each community. There is an Eagle carved on the paddle to represent vision. The gifts of the Eagle spirit are to see from above, the big picture, but also to be brave and use that vision to look deep within ourselves to affect humility, personal growth and change.

I am not the inventor of all these concepts. I am practising what reconciliation means to me, in part, to be a good listener. We have to reconcile our right to belonging.

Congratulations to the 2018 Education Award Recipients!

As summer moves into full swing, students in the region are enjoying a welcome break from their studies. For graduating high school students, this break involves preparing for a big transition into the next chapter of life, work, or education! Each year the CBT, with generous support from Genus Capital Management, funds two multi-year Education Awards: the Clayoquot Biosphere Education Award and the Central Region Nuu-chah-nulth Student Award. Investing in the “human capital” of our region and its communities is important; the CBT board is excited to continue improving the application and evaluation process to maximize accessibility and overall positive impact of the Education Award program.

The applications we received this year were impressive in both number and quality, and we are very pleased to share a little information about the two inspiring students who will be receiving financial support from the CBT to pursue their further education!

The Central Region Nuu-chah-nulth Student Award  is awarded to Colton Van Der Minne. Colton is a Tla-o-qui-aht student who graduated as Valedictorian of his class from Nanaimo District Secondary School. He will be entering the University of British Columbia’s Science One program in the fall, and plans to continue on to medical school after earning his degree. He is passionate about humanitarian work, which guided him to medicine as it opens many doorways for volunteer work locally and abroad.






The Clayoquot Biosphere Education Award is awarded to Matteo Ludlow, a graduating student from Ucluelet Secondary School. Matteo is very involved in his community through sport (as both and athlete and a coach for youth), and led a project to replace rotten and unmarked headstones in a local Cemetery.  Matteo wants to become a Physiotherapist, and has been accepted to the University of Victoria where he will be majoring in Kinesiology.




July Newsletter

Check out our July Newsletter at this link:


May-June 2018 Biosphere Research and Education Program Update

Laura Loucks, CBT’s Research Director, has been busy this spring working on a number of environmental research and education projects within the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Region, and presenting on CBT activities at two conferences on the east coast! Read more below:

The Clayoquot Sound Natural Area Conservation Plan:

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is working with local advisors to create a Clayoquot Sound Natural Area Conservation Plan. The geographic area of the proposed plan corresponds closely with the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Designation, extending seaward from HesquiahtPeninsula south and including provincial and federal protected areas with inland boundaries following the height of land along the watershed boundaries. Last month local team members Saya Masso,  Barb Beasely, Josie Osborne and Laura Loucks, met with NCC staff Jocylyn Wood and Tamara Baldwin to review ecological targets, threats and indicators for Clayoquot Sound. Once the background knowledge has been researched, NCC staff will return to Tofino and present the proposed conservation plan to achieve the following vision:

“The Clayoquot Sound Natural Area is a functioning, resilient, coastal ecosystem that provides for thriving plant, animal, and human communities. In the spirit of collaboration, conservation groups work together with community groups and Indigenous, provincial and federal governments to ensure ecological and cultural values are protected, while supporting sustainable use of natural resources to achieve greater well-being of communities and nature in this landscape”. NCC Clayoquot Sound NACP planning notes, May 18, 2018.


Community, Conservation & Livelihood Conference, May 27-29, Halifax, Nova Scotia:

The innovative West Coast NEST (Nature. Education. Sustainability. Transformation) attracted numerous viewers at a recent conference co-hosted by the Community Conservation Research Network (CCRN) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  The conference brought together indigenous, community, university, government, and NGO people from 52 countries to share important lessons on conservation livelihoods, build partnerships, and shape future linkages between community members, academics and policy makers. You can read more about the West Coast NEST and other west coast community conservation stories including the Clayoquot Sound Salmon Roundtable and the Nuu-chah-nulth Fishing Rights, on the CCRN website.

The conference also hosted a special session on Ecosystem Governance and Biosphere Reserves. CBT Research Director, Dr. Laura Loucks joined panel participants Dr. Liette Vasseur, President of Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and Dr. Esperanza Arnes, co-chair of the Biosphere Group for the IUCN Commission for Ecosystem Management, to discuss governing Biosphere Reserve designated areas. Several common challenges among Biosphere Reserve communities included: 1) the large scale of area to manage; 2) the need to build shared awareness of sustainability and what it means to be designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve; 3) the importance of ongoing funding support; and 4) the relationship between Indigenous language revitalization and sustainable governance models. For more information, check-out the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management Biosphere Reserve working group website.

Community Conservation Research Network Meeting, May 30-31, Martin’s River, Nova Scotia:

Over 50 researchers from around the world have contributed to the Community Conservation Research Network since its inception in 2011. Last month the core group met for the last time to share their knowledge on collaborative approaches to sustainable community governance. Much of their research and writing over the last seven years has focused on community resilience, including the ability to cope with and adapt to change. CCRN member Dr. Fikret Berkes, and keynote lecturer, highlighted the importance of understanding community conservation as a commons problem. Moreover, the attributes that contribute to social-ecological interdependency are also essential factors for successful conservation practices and sustainable community livelihoods. Several CCRN west coast members participated in the meeting, including Dawn Foxcroft, from Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Fisheries, Tawney Lem, Executive Director of West Coast Aquatic, and Laura Loucks, from the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust. Findings from the CCRN team of researchers are highlighted in their recent book, Governing the Coastal Commons: Communities, Resilience and Transformation, edited by Derek ArmitageAnthony Charles, and Fikret Berkes. Detailed case studies in the book explore how coastal communities are adapting to environmental change, and governing the coastal commons, emphasizing a social-ecological systems perspective, and the role of resilience and transformation.