About UNESCO Biosphere Reserves
UNESCO World Biosphere Reserves are landscapes where communities try to balance conservation and sustainable development. There are currently 16 biosphere reserves in Canada in a world network of over 600 in 117 countries, whose overall goal is to improve the relationship between people and their environment by promoting the conservation of biodiversity and fostering sustainable development initiatives.
Biospheres are nominated by the community, not by UNESCO, and carry no laws, powers or authority. In Canada, all UNESCO Biospheres are non-government, community-led organizations, without support from federal or provincial governments. Instead, each works to accomplish its mission of improving sustainable development by raising money and seeking volunteer involvement from the community.
For more information:
Long Point World Biosphere Reserve
The Long Point World Biosphere Reserve is located at the heart of many rare ecosystems thanks to unique sand deposits from the Great Lakes, and remnants of the Carolinian Forest. It offers a unique blend of habitats including: long uninterrupted beaches, undisturbed sand dunes, grassy ridges, wet meadows, woodlands, marshes and ponds, coldwater streams, and the shallow inner bay. It is a world-renowned refuge and stopover for migrating birds in fall and spring, and waterfowl viewing is
excellent in March and April. Its delicate dunes and marshes teem with songbirds, spawning fish,
turtles and frogs. Long Point was designated by UNESCO in 1986 as an example of a Great Lakes coastal ecosystem.
Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve
To someone driving across the land, an otherwise flat countryside is suddenly interrupted by rolling hills and rugged cliffs, topped with windswept pines, and with tranquil lakes and wetlands below. The Frontenac Arch connects five great forest regions of the eastern continent, with many species at range limits, and with many as remnant populations from forests altered by millennia of changing landscapes. This region has, arguably, Canada’s greatest diversity of plant and animal communities. The Frontenac Arch Biosphere was designated by UNESCO in 2002 as a globally significant and unique treasure in an ecological and cultural crossroads.
Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve
Visitors can explore a mosaic of open waters, sheltered bays, coastal wetlands, exposed bedrock shores, sand and cobble beaches, and quiet inland lakes. The barren rock islands and iconic west wind pine are matched by crystal clear outer waters that are loved by boaters, campers, and sailors. The Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve was designated by UNESCO in 2004 as an area of geological and biological importance and is considered the world’s largest freshwater archipelago.