Now, more critically important than ever to human and natural system health, UNESCO Biospheres, including our own Niagara Escarpment Biosphere, help ensure the environmental, cultural, economic, and social sustainability of a region, by encouraging better linkages between nature and human wellbeing.
Biospheres, through their mandates, promote practical ways to conserve biological diversity, promote healthy, sustainable communities and businesses, facilitate outreach and education programs, encourage partnerships in research, and support and preserve cultural heritage. Through integrated and adaptive ecosystem management of lands, fresh waters and living resources, communities, organizations, and individuals are all contributing to protect biodiversity and sustainable use of nature’s contributions to people now, and for many future generations.
If you share these values and are interested in directly contributing to the improvement and preservation of natural resources, minimize adverse impacts on the environment, and improve the health and sustainability of your community, we encourage you to get involved!
The Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Network’s first action is to connect, and in many cases reconnect, with stakeholders to explain the new vision and organization of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Network. This will be followed by the development of networks of the various types of sectors (e.g., municipalities, non-governmental organizations, tourism, private sector) and for each, develop strategic priorities for the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere. To ensure continuous and transparent communication, the Network is convening meetings all along the Niagara Escarpment and has developed a website (NEBNetwork.org) to provide core information and network connections. We will also be publishing regular newsletters as our organization proceeds with the research and production of the self-study required by UNESCO in 2024.
It’s also important to discuss the significance of our relations with Indigenous peoples. We work in the context of Canada’s Conservation Vision: A Report of the National Advisory Panel, that “embraces Indigenous world views that acknowledge we are one species among many that share the Earth with the rest of life, achieves our collective conservation goals within a framework of reconciliation and the creation of ethical space, and affirms that a core strategy for conserving biological diversity is an interconnected network of protected areas and OECMs (Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures).”
As a new organization, but one with deeply experienced members and long-established partners, the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Network has been activated to fulfill the goals and actions listed above to secure biological diversity, and is now the official entity that is working on the UNESCO mandate and designation of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve.
We look forward to working with everyone who has an interest in preserving our precious Niagara Escarpment Biosphere!
President and Chair
Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Network