For decades, Clayoquot Sound has been on the international stage. Conflict over the use of our natural resources created divisions that continue to heal. Confronted with declining natural resource stocks, but a continued need to make a living from forestry and fishing activities, local community members started seeking better and alternative ways of doing things.

In the 1990s, a small but passionate group of individuals began considering the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve model.

Biosphere Reserves have legally protected core areas (long-term protection to landscapes and ecosystems), buffer zones (resource extraction can take place, as long as it does not undermine the objectives of the core areas), and transition zones or zones of cooperation (people work together to use the area’s resources in a sustainable manner). At their core, Biosphere Reserves seek sustainable ways to work with our natural environments.

In January 2000, with the support of local First Nations, communities, and the federal and provincial governments, Clayoquot Sound was designated as the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (CSUBR). The CSUBR is a member of the international network of UNESCO World Biosphere Reserves. The CSUBR designation acknowledges aboriginal title and rights, and does not prejudice ongoing treaty negotiations.

To mark this designation, in May 2000 the federal government entrusted a $12 million grant to Clayoquot Sound communities through the creation of the Canada Fund. The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust manages this endowment fund to uphold the spirit and intent of the biosphere reserve designation through innovative education programs, research into sustainability and celebrating the unique ecosystems of Clayoquot Sound.

A detailed timeline of the steps that led to the creation of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve can be found here.

UNESCO Nomination
In January 1999, the communities of the Clayoquot Sound region, in partnership with federal and provincial governments, officially applied to UNESCO through the Canadian Commission for UNESCO to nominate Clayoquot Sound as BC’s first World Biosphere Reserve.

UNESCO Designation
In January 2000, Clayoquot Sound was designated for inclusion in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve 10 Year Review

This is the first periodic review done for the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Reviews are done every 10 years on every Biosphere Reserve in Canada. Check out more information on periodic reviews here.