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 model.
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 Region (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 region designation through innovative education programs, research into sustainability, and annual grantmaking organizations within the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Region.
Learn more about the creation of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Region by reading our timeline.
In 2012, CBT joined Community Foundations of Canada, an association of 191 community foundations across Canada that provides networking, resources, expertise, funding, and opportunities for its members. Since becoming the regional community foundation, CBT has worked with donors to create a diversity of endowment funds while gaining capacity as a grant-making organization, all with the goal of leveraging its invested funds for the region’s communities and ecosystems.