Bras D’Or Lakes Biosphere Association

The Bras d’Or lakes may be deemed a biosphere reserve if the Canadian Commission for UNESCO accepts the nomination document submitted today by the Bras d’Or Lakes Biosphere Reserve Association (BLBRA).

A biosphere reserve is an area which demonstrates a balanced relationship between humans and the environment. It’s an enlightened approach to sustainability, in that it doesn’t exclusively prioritize the so-called ‘natural’ environment over the socio-economic human one – which is no less natural.

I designed with this balance in mind. The aesthetic is “wilderness austerity”; the functionality is opposable-thumb-friendly.

What’s interesting about the designation is that it doesn’t confer any special powers to a governing organization over the area. The principal benefit is international recognition. And the main goal is education and the promotion of sustainable development – in a way that includes all those with an interest in the area:

  • The Biosphere Reserve may chose to expand the scope of existing conservation, research, monitoring, and education projects.
  • Local students might become more involved in research and monitoring projects.
  • College and university students could carry out projects in areas such as tourism or community development and ecosystem studies.
  • Governments, corporations and other agencies could help to finance these projects.

There are over 550 biosphere reserves in over a hundred countries, including 15 in Canada.