The Biosphere Centre is a place of sharing and learning in and for the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Region.

The globally unique Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Region is a living laboratory that provides an ideal context for cross-disciplinary place-based environmental education. The Biosphere Centre offers a world-class opportunity to explore the complexity of cross-cutting themes contributing to sustainable development and marshal the wisdom of the region to promote the health of individuals, communities, and the ecosystems upon which we all depend.

The Biosphere Centre will be a knowledge hub that will build relationships and connect people to the planet in a time when climate action and working together is critical, now and for future generations.

IMPACTS

Youth

In the Biosphere Centre, youth will gain the necessary skills and capacity to positively impact both their lives and the lives of others while contributing to community change and sustainability.

We believe that youth are the future of Clayoquot Sound and the Biosphere. Children who grow up here often choose to live and work here as adults. They will become the leaders and decision-makers determining the path of environmental stewardship, sustainable development, quality of life and culture. The Biosphere Centre will nurture and invest in youth, providing the resources they need to become empowered through vital youth programming.

Reconciliation

In collaboration with the five Nuu-chah-nulth communities on whose lands we serve, our initiatives marshal the wisdom of the region to promote the health of communities and the ecosystems upon which we all depend. The Biosphere Centre will be a culturally appropriate and permanent space for cultural art and exhibits connected to healing as part of ongoing reconciliation education for long-lasting change.

The Centre will be grounded in Nuu-chah-nulth principles hishukish ts'awalk (everything is one, everything is interconnected, and nothing exists without the other), Isaak  (respect with caring action) and uu-a-thluk  (to take care of).

Climate Action

In the last decade, it has become clear that climate change is one of the most pertinent environmental urgencies we must work on together. In the last few years, the extreme impacts of climate change are becoming more visible in Canada and have been described as a climate emergency.

The Biosphere Centre will be a beacon of hope that provides vital education, science, and research for climate resiliency and adaptation. In the Biosphere Region, all aspects of our collective well-being are intimately tied to the functioning of healthy socioecological systems, and the Biosphere Centre will bring people and knowledge together to work on Climate Action.

Photography: Jeremy Koreski

Sustainable Development

The Biosphere Centre will be the home from which many organizations, researchers, and communities come together to achieve the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It will be a space to advance Agenda 2030: a global action plan to reduce poverty, increase prosperity, ensure quality education, end hunger, protect the environment and shift our trajectory towards a sustainable future for our people and planet.

The United Nations have declared 2020-2030 a 'Decade of Action' and the Biosphere Centre will provide a permanent space to accelerate sustainable solutions.

GOALS

Learning & Education

  • Invite post-secondary institutions to collaborate and host new educational programs.
  • Enhance Education Tourism opportunities for a pathway to community sustainability.
  • Grow mentorships with youth, elders, experts, community members, staff, and other organizations.
  • Develop and deliver educational programs and events led by Nuu-chah-nulth instructors and knowledge holders, advancing the objectives of UNESCO and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Teach diverse workshops like cedar weaving, and create economic opportunities for Elders and other user groups.

Culture

  • Invite Elders to tea mornings whereby Elders can have ‘Vital conversations’ and share knowledge and culture
  • Display rotating art from each community to represent the region and culture 
  • Provide appropriate spaces for drumming, singing, an outdoor firepit for traditional cooking
  • Include more cultural practices in the day-to-day business operations led by an Elder in Residence 
  • Invite Elders to develop programming opportunities, which would develop meaningful ways for elders to teach, creating economic opportunities 
  • Provide permanent education on reconciliation to work towards healing and reconciliation

Community Resources

  • Provide a research library with archive materials organized in a dedicated and permanent safe space.
  • Create a shared teaching kitchen as part of a circular economy initiative, making the kitchen available to other organizations to use for their programs and providing kitchen training.
  • Provide shared equipment through a circular economy-based tools library of equipment stored in the building and accessible to all.
  • Provide shared field equipment and resources for students, youth and for education purposes.
  • Provide a space for community events where everyone feels welcome!