Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Region Charter

The Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Region charter, including the vision and principles that guide the actions of the signing parties, was an integral part of the 1999 nomination. All signing parties agreed to uphold the charter and to encourage the participation of all parties in accordance with the vision and principles outlined below. As stated in the nomination, "the direct beneficiaries of legacies...are the people of the ʕaaḥuusʔatḥ (Ahousaht), hiškʷiiʔatḥ (Hesquiaht First Nation), ƛaʔuukʷiʔatḥ (Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations), tukʷaaʔatḥ (Toquaht Nation) and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government (Ucluelet First Nation), the people of Tofino and Ucluelet, and the people of Long Beach who reside within the territory of the Central Region" (p.60, 1999).

The principles and vision remain relevant as ever today.


A UNESCO Biosphere Region is established in Clayoquot Sound in recognition of regional initiatives that seek to balance protection of the environment with support for a sustainable regional economy. The designation is based upon recognition, respect and acknowledgement of:

  • the rights, interests and stewardship responsibilities of First Nations and other local communities;
  • the need for diversified local economies, including renewed and vibrant fisheries and forestry sectors, tourism, aquaculture and new opportunities, and for community access to local resources;
  • the need to better understand natural and economic processes through the application of traditional and local knowledge and scientific research, inventory and monitoring efforts;
  • the training and education requirements of local people, and opportunities
    for researchers and students from around the world; and
  • the role of youth and elders in designing a sustainable future.


  • The Biosphere Region and associated initiatives will be a positive focus for partnerships among First Nations, other local communities and all parties that support a sustainable future for the people of Clayoquot Sound, the surrounding region and the world.
  • The Biosphere Region will encourage the ongoing social, cultural and economic development needed to sustain healthy communities in the region. The designation, zonation model and any processes or initiatives associated with the Biosphere Region are without prejudice to the interests, rights and title of the nuučaan̓uł (Nuu-chah-nulth) Central Region First Nations and to ongoing treaty negotiations and outcomes.
  • The UNESCO Man and Biosphere zonation model will be used by all parties solely as a consideration in established or future land and resource planning processes or treaty negotiations, where decisions are appropriately made on ownership, jurisdiction and designations; the zonation model outlined in the nomination will evolve in accordance with decisions reached in these duly sanctioned forums and will not be construed to limit or direct decisions on land or resource designations.
  • The designation will support local decision-making initiatives and structures, including those of First Nations, local governments and regional authorities.
  • The designation will be used to promote a sustainable regional economy and environmental health; it will not be used by any party to supplant existing businesses, industries or institutions or to limit current or proposed economic activity or transportation or property rights in the region.
  • The designation will be used to promote new opportunities in research, education and training, and to support related initiatives and new partnerships among First Nations, local communities, institutions, businesses and other parties.
  • The Biosphere Region will benefit youth in the region, both directly through education and training initiatives and through associated community programs.
  • The designation will be used to create opportunities to develop appropriate infrastructure in the region in order to support a diversified economy and new institutional initiatives.
  • The designation will be used to promote the region and its products around the world.
  • The Biosphere Region and associated initiatives will recognize and support the authority of First Nations, local governments and provincial and federal governments; the designation relinquishes no authority to other bodies, and ongoing involvement in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves/Regions will be at the discretion of the signing parties.