UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Reserve Announces Funding and Amazing Places Initiative

Posted October 14, 2011

The UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Reserve is excited to acknowledge that the federal government will contribute $57,000 per year for 2009-2013 to their community support programs.

Moncton, NB – The UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Reserve is excited to acknowledge that the federal government will contribute $57,000 per year for 2009-2013 to their community support programs.

“The federal government contribution of $285,000 is a major source of funding to the UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Reserve,” says Robert Goguen, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Member of Parliament (Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe). “The federal government recognizes that this funding commitment allows the UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Reserve to develop and operate programs that reach significantly into the regional economy in the areas of sustainable development and tourism, food production supply and demand, and natural and cultural heritage education and experience programs.”

“The federal contribution also provides an excellent platform from which to develop other funding sources – especially as leverage in project grant applications,” says Dr. Yves Gagnon, Chair of the Fundy Biosphere Reserve. “Since 2009, the UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Reserve has been able to leverage 2 to 3 times as much funding each year to develop, fund and manage community support programs.”

One of those natural education and experience programs is also being highlighted today. The UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Reserve is encouraging people to get out and explore the Amazing Places in our region through a new and innovative initiative called Trail Amazing Places. As part of a collaborative trail mapping initiative, Trail Amazing Places uses GPS technology to create an inventory of hiking trails throughout the region, where Amazing Places are identified as places of environmental significance such as biodiversity, topography, landscapes or views that depict the unique environment of the region.

“Many of the Amazing Places featured in this project will be familiar to people, such as the Sea Caves in St. Martin’s and the Hopewell Rocks”, said Megan de Graaf, Executive Director of the UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Reserve. “But others are equally spectacular but less well-known, and we wanted to showcase them all to the people and communities in the UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Reserve”.

Designed as an engagement and education tool, Trail Amazing Places is based on Google Earth and other web resources. “We’re using smartphone technology on the signs at each of these Amazing Places to make the experience truly interactive for those who get active and explore in the UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Reserve,” says de Graaf. “We’re really looking for people and communities to get involved and to explore our unique region. We’ll be adapting the website to reflect the feedback we get, as people explore and suggest new Amazing Places to add to the list.”

Dr. Gagnon points out that the Amazing Places project has already elicited a great deal of interest nationally: “A presentation on the project was requested for the Ontario Trails Conference and the initiative was also showcased nationally in a special July 1 insert of Trans Canada Trail featured on the Globe and Mail website”. Trail Amazing Places was funded by Trans Canada Trail, Loblaw, Environment Canada, Business New Brunswick, and New Brunswick Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport.