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The Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative team are excited to present the biosphere nomination package on December 2nd in Ottawa. Project Lead Ruth Simons and Working Group member Joyce Williams will be travelling together to deliver the 200-plus page by hand to the offices of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

The core team and many working group members have been working for more than a year compiling all the information required by the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere program. If successful, Atl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound would become Canada’s 19th UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Once the nomination document is delivered, Canadian experts appointed by CCUNESCO will review the document between January and April 2020 and provide the Canadian Commission with a recommendation as to whether or not the application dossier is ready to be sent to the UNESCO Secretariat in Paris for review, or if some further work is required. The aim will be to send the complete application dossier to UNESCO by the deadline of September 30, 2020. UNESCO’s decision will be announced in June 2021.

Meanwhile, the Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative Society will continue to develop operations and activities as an acting biosphere reserve which is to provide many logistic support functions in service to the Atl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound region.

To-date the initiative has been funding through numerous donations and a small grant. Funds raised have been spent on developing the nomination package over the past year, but most of the work has been “in-kind” from numerous volunteers. To get involved, find out more, or donate, contact howesoundbri@gmail.com. www.howesoundbri.org.

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