Fundy Biosphere Reserve
|Fundy Biosphere Reserve|
|Location||New Brunswick, Canada|
|Area||442,250 hectares (1,092,800 acres)|
The Fundy Biosphere Reserve is a biosphere reserve next to the upper Bay of Fundy, covering 442,250 hectares in New Brunswick, Canada. The area was designated as such by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2007.
Fundy Biosphere Initiative Inc. is an environmental non-profit organization that aims to ensure the conservation of biodiversity and the promotion of sustainable development in the upper Bay of Fundy.
The Fundy Biosphere Reserve is situated in south-eastern New Brunswick. It includes the watershed of the Bay of Fundy between Saint Martins and borders Nova Scotia. The central area of the reserve corresponds with Fundy National Park. The reserve also includes the city of Moncton, which is the only official bilingual city in Canada.
The Fundy Biosphere Reserve extends over an area of 442,250 hectares adjacent to the upper Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick. The reserve begins at Saint Martins, passes through Moncton, including almost all of Albert County, and stops at the Tantramar Marsh, close to Sackville. The borders of the reserve follow the limits of the watershed of the upper region of the Bay of Fundy.
The reserve is divided into three zones:
- Core area: 20,600 hectares: devoted to long-term conservation. In the case of the Fundy Biosphere Reserve, this central region is represented by Fundy National Park.
- Buffer zone: 26,124 hectares: Human activity in this zone is controlled to ensure the conservation of the core area. The buffer zone includes the protected natural areas of Little Salmon River, Dowdall Lake, McManus Hill, Point Wolfe River Gorge, Caledonia Gorge, Wilson Brook, provincial parks including the Fundy Trail and the Hopewell Rocks, and the National Wildlife Areas of Shepody and Tantramar.
- Transition area: 395,552 hectares: reserved for local activities that promote sustainable development.
The initiative to create the Fundy Biosphere Reserve came from a group of volunteers in 1999. The FBR was officially recognized by UNESCO on November 21, 2007. . It became a member of a family of 15 other Canadian biosphere reserves and one of the 531 biosphere reserves throughout the world.
At the beginning, the project was called The Fundy Biosphere Reserve Initiative (FBRI). The planning committee was the principal group responsible for the formation of the project and the proposition to obtain UNESCO official designation. The committee met several times to learn more about UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme and to discuss the basic concept of the project. The committee also contacted the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association (CBRA) to get additional information to guide their initiative. The committee then proposed their strategy to different groups such as conservation groups, resources sectors, academic institutions, scientists, etc.
The committee suggested that the region currently recognized be called the Fundy Biosphere Reserve. The unique ecosystems and communities within the limits of the reserve facilitated the categorization of a reserve zone as required by UNESCO. Throughout the process, the committee used the basic standards of UNESCO as guidelines. The principal intention of the planning group was to obtain UNESCO designation. In order to be designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve the committee needed evidence of unique ecosystems, landscapes, and heritage of the region. The committee also sought to enhance the image of the area regionally, nationally and internationally as well as encourage the development of a sustainable economy in the region. At this time, the objectives of the FBR were to encourage investment in the public and private sector, attract technical expertise, and enable scientists to participate in sustainable development strategies.
The planning committee’s proposition was based on the following:
- Identify the special landscapes in the region of the Bay of Fundy and its unique attributes,
- Identify the history and the culture of the region,
- Identify citizen initiatives and the various stakeholders’ engagement in the sustainable development of the region.
The document proposed by the FBR was subject to several changes and modifications before being approved. It was also revised by the communities, resource groups, scientists and other stakeholders. A temporary board of directors was also established in 2006 to manage the project. UNESCO then gave approval by its Board to continue with the appointment process. The review process was carried out by 16 communities within the reserve, 5 provincial government departments, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and a national review committee at the Head Office of UNESCO in Paris, France.
The final proposition was submitted to UNESCO in the summer of 2007, and official designation was obtained in the fall of 2007. A press conference followed, conducted by representatives of the FBR and the government of New Brunswick (represented by the Environment Minister) to publicly announce the news. Following the unveiling, the Board of Directors established the structure of the organization, the tasks of each individual board member, communication strategies and the means of financing the organization. Following the official designation, the project was renamed the Fundy Biosphere Reserve (FBR) and Fundy Biosphere Initiative Inc.
Fundy Biosphere Initiative Inc. is an environmental, non-profit organization that works in synergy with the local communities, conservation groups, natural resource sectors, tourism organizations, and academic institutions to ensure the conservation of the biodiversity in the upper region of the Bay of Fundy thereby promoting sustainable economic development.
The UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Reserve is dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity and the promotion of sustainable economic development. Its vision is to assist communities located in the upper Bay of Fundy to be more sustainable by working with various stakeholders while preserving the area’s natural heritage.
To accomplish its mission and vision, the Fundy Biosphere Reserve works in three spheres of activities:
- Conservation – Ensure the conservation of ecosystems, species and genetic diversity in the region of Fundy.
- Sustainable Development – Promote sustainable development in the region. Sustainable development is a development that is ecologically, socially and economically sustainable for further generations.
- Capacity Building – Provide an information-sharing network between the FBR and various stakeholders. Capacity building aims awareness, education, training and research.
Among other things, the objectives of the FBR are:
- Work with stakeholders in order to help communities become more sustainable.
- Exchange information with the public and stakeholders.
- Develop a governance model based on Research, Monitoring, Education and Outreach committees.
Projects and initiatives
Generally, the projects of the Fundy Biosphere Reserve revolve around three fields of activities: conservation, sustainable development, and capacity building. The Fundy Biosphere Reserve’s ongoing projects touch sustainable tourism, local knowledge and climate, trails and amazing places in the Biosphere Reserve and to educate the public on their own environmental footprint.