Past Projects of the Fundy Biosphere Reserve
Over the past five years, the FBR has completed several projects that we are proud to reflect upon and share. Some of these include the Fundy Biosphere education program, the Fundy Biosphere Trails Initiative, the promotion of local food, the Natural Resource Atlas, sustainable tourism workshops, as well as many other projects and initiatives. We revisit these projects as funding permits, and as we develop new partnerships. Click on the following links to learn more about what we have been up to.
Outreach in the FBR
Every summer, the Fundy Biosphere Reserve participates in festivals, markets, and summer camps throughout the biosphere.
Markets & Festivals
The Sandpiper Festival along with Sackville, Dieppe, Moncton, Sussex and Harvey were some of the local Farmer's Markets and festivals the FBR team visited this summer. Information was handed out specifically on the Fundy Biosphere Reserve's vision, goals, designation, territory and zoning as well as its various ongoing projects. Along with information, FBR t-shirts and bags can now be seen around the region after being sold at the different markets. The turnouts varied from location to location, but there seemed to always be interest in the Fundy Biosphere Reserve.
The UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Reserve has been visiting day camps and other events throughout the summer looking for young explorers. With the launch of their summer education program, the Fundy Biosphere Explorer, the organization has been talking to children throughout the region about our special and unique environment, and encouraging them to get out there and explore it too.
This Fundy Biosphere Explorer program will introduce children to the UNESCO-designated Fundy Biosphere Reserve and what this special designation means to the region in which they live. Presentations and activities will focus on the unique ecosystems and species found in the region and discuss ways they can act to help protect it. One major outcome is to encourage children to get outside and explore their own backyard in search of biodiversity and the unique species of their biosphere.
To help these young explorers, part of each day camp presentation every child will receive information about how and where to go exploring in their region. This brochure, along with the Fundy Biosphere Explorer website (http://fundy-biosphere.ca/en/explorer), will contain a map of the Fundy Biosphere Reserve with twenty-two locations which showcase the region’s natural wonders as well as information on what to see, and guidelines for exploring.
As part of being a Fundy Biosphere Explorer, children are asked to take photos, draw pictures or write stories about their adventures in the Fundy Biosphere Reserve. To help encourage these young explorers, the Fundy Biosphere Reserve is offering prizes for some of the work submitted by participants. Prizes include t-shirts, backpacks and much more.
In addition, the Fundy Biosphere Explorer Facebook page has been created to update explorers on upcoming events and bonus activities for them to do in the area. “The Fundy Biosphere Explorer program is a great chance to interact with our youth and encourage them to get outside and explore the natural world around them” say Andrew Spring, Executive Director of the Fundy Biosphere Reserve. “We live in a very special place and we want our children to experience it and learn about protecting it for the future”.
The Fundy Biosphere Explorer program is offered free of charge and in both official languages. If you would like more information on this program, or you would like the Explorer program to visit your camp or organization please contact us at [email protected] .
Sustainable Tourism has been a key project for the FBR as tourism is a major industry in the area, and enhancing the industry to make it both economically and environmentally sustainable fits well with the mission of the FBR. The goal of the conference was to serve as a meeting place for representatives of the government, both provincial and municipal, as well as tourism operators and other organizations to learn about the idea of sustainable tourism and discuss how the idea can become practice within the Biosphere region.
Experts from around the region, and other parts of Canada, were identified and asked to give presentations at the conference. Most notably Gary Clarke, from the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve in Ontario, confirmed his attendance and willingness to participate. He is known as the father of Sustainable Tourism in Canada and has been very active in his region promoting the grassroots initiative of Sustainable Tourism. Presentations from the New Brunswick Department of Tourism and Parks officials, including a keynote speech from the Minister, as well as from academics and municipal and tourism representatives were also incorporated into the schedule.
In addition, guest speakers were invited to attend and share their experiences with the members of the tourism industry.
Chris Aerni from the Rossmount Inn in St. Andrews
The goal of Mr. Aerni's presentation was to provide education and information on purchasing local foods. Mr. Aerni's presentation was complemented by using an example of his own accommodation in which he serves food taken from his own garden and other local establishments to fill his daily menu. Mr. Aerni pointed out several advantages to using locally grown food in your establishment; whether it may be directed towards the community, your staff, local farmers and fishermen or the tourism industry. He also touched upon the globalization of food versus buying local. Finally, he also pointed out that eating and serving locally grown food is not only a way to connect and give back to the community; it is also a way to conserve our heritage, culture and environment.
Bouctouche's Lessons Learned by Rachelle Collette
Rachelle Collette shared her experience in building sustainable tourism in the coastal community of Bouctouche. She spoke of strengths, weaknesses and of challenges that needed to be overcome in order to reach their goal. The 3 key aspects they needed were leadership – creating a real vision and a realistic approach, resources – leveraging co-ordination and cooperation and finally action – a focused approach results in goals being achieved.
The Sustainable Tourism Conference was a success, not only for the Fundy Biosphere Reserve but for the tourism industry in the area. The idea of Sustainable Tourism was embraced by the participants as a necessary step in economic development of the region. The conference resulted in the formation of new networks, ideas, and projects.
Sustainable Tourism Workshops
A series of workshops to carry forward the message of sustainable tourism and give the tourism industry the information it needs to make environmentally sustainable choices to ensure the sustainable development of the industry have been implemented. By taking the ideas and feedback provided during the Sustainable Tourism Conference, a workshop was designed responding your input.This workshop was the first of several that the Fundy Biosphere Reserve will be planning throughout the upcoming months. This workshop took place on June 18th, 2009 at the Alma Activity Center. Here are the four projects that were launched during the workshop to various members of the tourism industry.
Certification, Signage, and Sustainability
More and more tourism businesses are voluntarily undergoing audits by certification programs that grant a seal of approval for demonstrated environmentally or socially sound practices. Not only do these labels serve as useful marketing tools, but they can motivate the industry to develop more environmentally-friendly products and services. They can also help consumers make more informed travel choices. The ultimate success of Sustainable Tourism rests on whether or not it is based on a trusted, reliable standard, and on the degree to which the industry and consumers demonstrate their support. Making tourism more sustainable requires careful planning at many levels and the participation of all potential stakeholders, particularly of local communities in and around destinations. The Fundy Biosphere Reserve will provide the opportunity for all stakeholders involved in the tourism industry to come together and establish a set of criteria that can be used to determine the sustainability of all tourism-related businesses in region.
Sustainable Tourism Research Initiative
Research initiatives and activities can play a vital role in ensuring the success of a grassroots initiative. Academic institutions, their researchers, staff and students can assist communities and local businesses by providing the information, tools, and resources required to answer the questions and do the work that these groups may not have the capacity to do. This work will not only produce high quality research, but enhance the educational experience of students, who can apply their knowledge to benefit the community.
The Fundy Biosphere Reserve wishes to support and facilitate a multidisciplinary network of research partners who have the capacity to support the Sustainable Tourism initiative. This initiative is a way to showcase the Fundy Biosphere Reserve as a living laboratory, promoting world-class research that supports the needs of local communities.
"Tastes of the Fundy Biosphere"
Eating locally produced food has gained popularity over the past few years as an environmental and community development initiative. Eating locally produced food, and in particular, buying food from local markets, cuts down dramatically on the transport of these goods from around world and therefore reduces the environmental impact of the food.Furthermore, supporting local farmers keeps money in the community and helps communities develop.
For the tourism industry, being able to provide visitors with unique meals made from local ingredients adds to the overall experience of their trip. The Fundy Biosphere Reserve aims to help the tourism industry provide an authentic experience to their visitors by encouraging them to prepare traditional recipes made with locally produced ingredients. This initiative will not only have a positive impact for the tourism industry but for local producers and the community as a whole.
Culture & History Research Initiative
The communities within the Fundy Biosphere Reserve have a unique culture and history that has yet to be comprehensively documented. Many stories exist, each one with many different interpretations and some information is not known or readily available. In order to provide visitors with accurate and detailed information about our culture and heritage, to promote the best experience possible, an inventory of stories and information needs to be assembled. This exercise will not only benefit the tourism industry, but will be a valuable resource for the region and will serve as an educational tool for the community at large.
Fundy Biosphere Trails}
The Trans Canada Trail is a 21,500-kilometre recreational trail winding its way through every province and territory, from the Atlantic to Pacific to Arctic Oceans. When completed, it will be the world's longest recreational trail, linking close to 1000 communities and over 33 million Canadians. Today almost 70 percent (14,500 kilometres) is developed. Thousands of people are taking to the Trail to walk, hike, cycle, ski, horseback ride, canoe and snowmobile.
The Fundy Biosphere Trail will build on the UNESCO designation and become a marquee outdoor experience for hikers and bikers, highlighting the natural landscape, culture and history of Fundy Biosphere Reserve. The Vision is that this Trail will be a collaborative initiative of the trail organizations and municipalities within the Fundy Biosphere Reserve as well as the provincial Trail Council. The Trail will link the communities of St. Martins and Sackville, traveling through the Biosphere Reserve and be designated as TransCanada Trail, but will remain under the jurisdiction of each individual trail council or municipality.
The Local Food Project centers around our Local Food Forum that took place March 21st, 2010. This forum was a one day event that brought together farmers, restaurants, tourism operators, NGO's and other interest groups to discuss the local food issue. This Forum had a great turn out, and brought excellent discussion to the table.
The Local Food Forum aimed to educate the attendees on Local Food issues, such as access, education, distribution, food security as well as what initiatives that are taking place in our communities plus what still needs to be done. Another discussion included ideas on what could be done to promote and distribute local food throughout the Fundy Biosphere Reserve. The presenters of the Forum shared knowledge and promising practices regarding activities supporting our local food system, and addressed strategies and opportunities surrounding local food.
Moose Monitoring in the Fundy Biosphere Reserve
In partnership with the Maritime College of Forest Technology and Fundy National Park, the Fundy Biosphere Reserve (FBR) has been participating in a project aimed at assessing the moose population through aerial moose surveys in the FBR, and sharing moose population information with the public.
This year will be the third consecutive year that aerial moose surveys have been conducted in the FBR. Not only will the data collected from these surveys help to inform our understanding of the status of moose in our region, the surveys also provide an important training and capacity building exercise in the FBR. By defining and testing aerial survey protocols, and training the next generation of forest technicians and biologists, we are ensuring that our moose population will be well looked after for many years to come.
Ensuring the future of moose in the Fundy Biosphere Reserve not only depends on the collection of accurate population data, but also on the interest and support of the public. With funding from the Wildlife Trust Fund, our goal is to engage as many New Brunswickers as possible through our moose education and outreach program. To that end, we give presentations to naturalist and hunting clubs, we visit classrooms, and we write articles for a variety of special and general interest journals. We believe that an informed and engaged public is vital to the persistence of moose in our region. After all, it is our social, political, and economic interests that ultimately decide what a healthy moose population looks like! Check out the information provided in our online brochure, below.
The ecological role of moose
Moose are BIG animals; in fact, at 350-400kg on average, they are one of the largest land mammals in North America, second only to the bison by weight. Intuitively, moose are expected to play a significant ecological role in their surrounding environment, by virtue of their huge size. We can consider this role from two perspectives: first, their role in the ecosystem as consumers; and secondly, the role they play as food for other animals. If we consider these two roles together, we can think of moose as being an important 'go between' species that converts energy from plants into a usable form of energy for predators and scavengers. In other words, they move energy through the food web.
Moose as consumers
As herbivores, moose consume an incredible amount of plant material throughout their life time. In order to meet their energetic requirements, a single adult moose will eat up to 30kg of plants each day (1). This represents about 10,000 calories per day (1); which is a lot, considering you probably eat somewhere between 1500-2000 calories per day.
It's not just the quantity of food that moose eat each day that make them important consumers, however; they are also selective eaters, meaning that they prefer to eat certain kinds of plants over others. This is important because their food preferences can shape the distribution and abundance of plant species in the forest ecosystem. In the Acadian forest, moose prefer the tasty young shoots of maple, birch, and pin cherry in the summer and young shoots of balsam fir in the winter (2). The food preferences of moose can reduce- or eliminate- the occurrence of these species throughout their habitat. In this way, moose can directly affect forest regeneration processes and patterns of forest biodiversity (3).
Moose as prey
All of the plant energy that is consumed by moose will eventually work its way up the food chain, as moose themselves are an important food source for predators and scavengers. The greatest predator of moose in the Acadian forest- the wolf- has long been extirpated (locally extinct) in our region; the last wolf was killed in New Brunswick in 1876. Though the wolves are gone, there are black bears and coyotes in the Fundy Biosphere region, and these animals consume moose as both predators and as scavengers (2).
As predators, black bear are known to kill and eat newly born moose calves. About 10% of black bears in New Brunswick consume young moose in their diet, though the diet of bears varies regionally. For example, around Caraquet, New Brunswick, 80% of bears regularly consume moose calves. Most calves that are eaten by bears are less that 1 week old.
Coyotes are less important predators of moose when compared to bears. There is little evidence that coyotes hunt and kill moose, though it is possible that young calves or sick individuals are occasionally attacked.
Coyotes and bears alike will consume moose carcasses opportunistically, and moose that have died from other causes are an important source of food for these animals throughout the year. Besides bear and coyote, moose carcasses provide food for a variety of scavengers in the Acadian forest, including foxes, vultures, crows, marten, and fisher, to name a few.
Defining a 'healthy' moose population
Since moose play an important role in the ecosystem as both consumers and as food for other animals, it's important for us to maintain a healthy population of moose in the Fundy Biosphere Reserve. But what does that mean? How do we decide what a healthy population looks like? Like most good questions, the answer is complicated! There is no magic number; instead, the 'right' number of moose depends on achieving a balance between the biological needs of the population, and our own interests. Since our interests are varied (and sometimes conflicting), and the biological needs of moose populations are poorly understood, defining what a 'healthy' population means is surprisingly difficult.
To start, it is helpful to ask a question: how many moose do we want? In Southern New Brunswick, we want enough moose to ensure that our children and our children's children will know the thrill of spotting a moose neck deep in a lake. We want enough moose so that hunters can enjoy their sport, and so that moose remain a Canadian cultural icon. On the other hand, we don't want so many moose that they pose a threat to our safety on the roads, or that they reduce the amount of habitat available to other species. Maintaining a healthy moose population is a real balancing act!
New Brunswick does not have a target density estimate for its moose population. In other provinces like Ontario4, an 'ideal' moose density is calculated between 0.2-0.4 moose/km2. We can use this estimate to guide our management decisions, at least until we generate our own targeted density.
Moose populations in New Brunswick and the Fundy Biosphere
Currently, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) estimates that there are ~30,000 moose in New Brunswick5. This number represents our 'best guess' and is not a true count of the population. In other words, nobody has gone out into the all the woods and bogs in New Brunswick and counted heads.
The DNR gets their information primarily from hunters, and the number of moose that they shoot each year. From this data, we can speculate whether the population is increasing or decreasing. The annual moose harvest is set at about 12% of the moose population each year, and therefore the exact number of licenses sold changes each year, based on the previous year's harvest. In order to better manage moose populations throughout their New Brunswick range, the province is divided up into 25 'Wildlife Management Zones' (WMZs). This system allows the DNR to respond to changes in moose populations that may be localized within one region of the province. The primary management tool used by the DNR to respond to changes in the moose population is the annual moose harvest quota.c
In some WMZs, it is thought that there are too few moose. Symptoms of too few moose in the population include: declining hunter success, declining age of the moose harvested, and an increasing ratio of cows to bulls harvested. The DNR's response to these changes may be to decrease the number of licences sold in the affected areas, or to close the hunting season completely. For example, WMZs 18 and 24 were closed from 1990-1993 before being reopened, while zones 26 and 27 have never been open for moose hunting since the implementation of the WMZ system (5). There are just too few moose to support a recreational hunt in these areas.
In other zones, there are thought to be too many moose. When the number of car-moose collisions increases, or when moose begin to impose on farm land and crops, the DNR can increase the number of licences in a specific WMZ, to manage for an overabundance of moose. This year for example, in 8 WMZs across the province including those within the Fundy Biosphere, the moose quota has been raised from a 12% harvest rate to 16%, in an attempt to reduce the number of moose-vehicle collisions. A 16% harvest rate is predicted to stop the moose population from increasing in these areas, without causing a population decline.
Factors that affect moose populations in the Fundy Biosphere
There are several causes of moose mortality that are important determinants of the overall size and health of the population. Since we don't know the exact number of moose in the province, it is difficult to speculate how many moose are killed each year by any one of these factors. The following is a list of factors that limit moose populations, in order of relative importance:
Hunting: regulated + unregulated
Regulated hunting is the only source of moose mortality for which we have an accurate estimate of the number of moose killed. Each year, about 12% of the moose population in New Brunswick is allocated to the regulated hunt5. Taken alone, this regulated hunt is not considered to be a significant contributor to moose mortality; however, the sum of all hunted animals (which includes those harvested by DNR regulated hunters, Aboriginal hunters, and poachers) is probably the most significant source of moose mortality in the province.
Interactions with white tail deer
While competition for resources between deer and moose may occur, the primary concern over moose-deer interactions is the transmission of a parasitic nematode Parelaphostrongylus tenuis (7). The 'brain worm' as it is called, lives without symptom in its native host the deer; when transmitted to moose, P. tenuis causes a variety of symptoms that eventually lead to death. Since upwards of 90% of deer are thought to carry the parasite, there is a high potential for moose to acquire it in areas where moose and deer distributions overlap. Current research at the University of New Brunswick is attempting to quantify moose mortality due to P. tenuis in our region.
Predation by bear
It is speculated that predation of new born calves by black bears may be an important factor limiting juvenile moose survival. Depending on location, between 10-80% of black bears in this province consume moose calves as a part of their diet. Since we do not have an accurate estimate of the number of bears in the province, it is difficult to speculate exactly how many moose calves are predated each year.
Despite our best efforts, 400-500 moose are reported killed by vehicle collision each year (6). Though the continued use of highway fencing is thought to have reduced the number of vehicle collisions with moose in some regions, there continue to be a high number of collisions. In addition, only moose that die on the road are recorded; thus moose that are struck and wonder off into the woods before dying are not included in this estimate. In some areas where the number of moose collisions is high, hunting quotas have been increased in hopes of reducing these events.
Habitat loss and fragmentation
The effect of habitat change through industrial forestry on moose populations is complex. On one hand, wide spread clear-cutting practises have created ideal foraging habitat for moose; forest regeneration after clear cutting provides moose with access to large quantities of their favorite leafy browse. On the other hand, moose require large tracts of closed canopy forest, to keep cool in the summer, and for shelter in the winter. A reduction in old-age forests is thought to have contributed to the decline of moose in mainland Nova Scotia (7). Our industrial forestry practises can indirectly effect moose populations as well, both by increasing human access to moose, and by increasing the frequency of moose-deer interactions. The direction and magnitude of forestry effects on moose populations are largely unknown.
Collaborative aerial moose surveys in the Fundy Biosphere
If it seems like the answer to most moose-related questions is "we don't know", you're right! Despite our love of moose, there are many basic questions that remain unanswered. The Fundy Biosphere Reserve is trying to answer at least one good question: how many moose are in the Fundy Biosphere region? Since aerial surveys were last conducted by DNR in our region in 1995, there is a need for a current, up-to-date estimate.
Working together with the Maritime College of Forest Technology8, Fundy National Park9, and with funding through the New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund10, we have been conducting aerial moose surveys within and around Fundy National Park. These surveys are important for several reasons: they will help us to generate accurate moose density data; they will allow us to test and refine protocol for future aerial moose surveys; and they help to build the research and communication capacity of our future biologists and resource managers. This year (2012-2013) will be our third and final year of aerial moose surveying, and we are eager to get back up in the air this winter.
Through our aerial surveys, we estimate the moose density in and around Fundy National Park to be approximately 0.174 moose/km2. Given that a 'healthy' population density is around 0.2-0.4 individuals/km2, this estimate might seem a little low; especially since National Parks are supposed to provide protection to wildlife and their habitat. Does this mean that our moose population is unhealthy? In short, no! There are several factors that are important for the interpretation of this density estimate.
First, since logging activities are prohibited in Fundy National Park, and forest fires have been suppressed for over 60 years, much of the Park is mature forest cover. Mature forest cover provides moose with essential habitat for thermoregulation in both the summer and winter months (7); however, it does not provide the quantity of young, regenerating forage necessary to feed high densities of moose. Given the Park's close proximity to large, industrial clear cuts, it is likely that moose use the Park as a sort of home base: they feed in nearby clear cuts, but return to the dense, old-growth forest when needed. Thus on any given day, the moose density in the Park may be low, but its importance or value as a refuge for the Fundy biosphere's moose population cannot be underestimated. In fact, access to large tracts of mature wilderness like Fundy National Park may be one of the differences between the health of Nova Scotia's and New Brunswick's moose populations.
The future of moose
The future of moose in the Fundy biosphere depends on the balance that we strike between our own interests, and the biological (e.g. habitat) needs of the moose population. If we collectively decide that moose are important to us, for their value as a game species, a provincial icon, or simply because we like having them around, then the future of moose looks bright. Public interest fuels political interests in funding research and preserving habitat. By staying informed and by engaging younger generations, we are ensuring the future of our moose.
For more information
1. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 2009. Moose Biology. Ministry of Natural Resources, Wildlife Management. http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/FW/2ColumnSubPage/STDPROD_090559.html
2. Parker, G. 2003. Status report on the Eastern Moose (Alces alces americana Clinton) in Mainland Nova Scotia. Report prepared for the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
3. Risenhoover, K.L., Maas, S.A. 1987. The influence of moose on the composition and structure of Ilse Royale forests. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 17(5): 357-364.
4. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 2009. Moose Population Objectives Setting Guidelines. http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/stdprodconsume/groups/lr/@mnr/@fw/documents/document/263993.pdf
5. New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources. Big Game Harvest Reports 2011. New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Branch, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.
6. Think Moose. 2011. New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure. www.gnb.ca/0113/moose/think-moose-e.asp
7. Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resrouces. 2007. Recovery Plan for Moose (Alces alces Americana) in Mainland Nova Scotia
8. Maritime College of Forest Technology. 2012. www.mcft.ca/en
9. Fundy National Park. 2012. www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/fundy/index.aspx
10. New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund. 2012. www.nbwtf.ca/eindex.asp
Development Forum for Municipalities
Municipalities are increasingly developing green plans and sustainable development plans with the aim of decreasing the ecological footprint of their communities. This is due, in part, to regulatory obligations as large amounts of infrastructure and development funding is, or will be tied to such plans. Also, more and more citizens are requesting green plans and putting pressure on municipalities to improve their environmental performance. Therefore, there is a need for a forum that would allow municipalities to share ideas, discuss new and innovative projects and learn more about the importance of sustainability plans, on local and regional scales.
For this project, the FBR is building on the outcomes of a recent conference called Adaptations and Actions, held in February of 2009. This conference identified the need for municipalities to develop sustainability plans, and highlighting the lack of information provided to the municipalities on the contents of these plans. The objective of the Sustainable Development Forum for Municipalities is to provide the opportunity for municipalities in the FBR to learn about sustainability planning.
The Sustainable Development Forum for Municipalities was a one day event reserved for municipal governments and community planners within the FBR to learn about Integrated Community Sustainability Planning. Each municipality had the opportunity to present and discuss their own sustainable development initiatives, and learn from others best practices. Through presentations, discussions and networking activities, it was hoped that municipalities with common objectives would generate new ideas and launch new projects together with shared resources. One of the main outcomes of this exercise was the building of a consensus between municipalities that more resources need to become available as well as information pertaining to the obtaining the access to funding.
Denny Richard also presented “Thinking Green”, a presentation on how the town of Bouctouche conceptualized a series of environmental initiatives within their communities. Mr. Richard spoke of challenges, strengths and weaknesses as well as the general steps needed to build such plans. He also explained several of the initiatives taking place in Bouctouche in addition to demonstrating where the town was headed in terms of sustainable development.
Kuli Malhotra from Antigonish Sustainable Development also provided a presentation on the process of implementation as well as available funding sources to conduct initial studies. Some discussions on the importance of a regional approach for sustainability plans occurred, as the activities in one municipality will have significant impacts on the surrounding areas.
All in all, the day was a success. Many issues and concerns were highlighted and the most pressing problems were established. The day ended with a general feedback that the FBR needs to provide more resources to the communities in the biosphere region as well as the methodology on how to get funding for Intergrated Community Sustainable Planning and other sustainable development initiatives.
OUTCOMES OF THE EVENT
- Sharing of knowledge, experiences on best practices.
- Provide municipalities with information on sustainability plans.
- Discuss regional cooperation in sustainability plans.
EVENT LOCATION AND TIMELINE
The Sustainable Development Forum for Municipalities was held:
June 25th, 2009 starting at 9:00 AM and ending at 4:00 PM.
Memramcook Institute,Memramcook, NB.
ADVISORY PLANNING COMMITTEE
- Yves Gagnon, Chair – K.C. Irving Chair in Sustainable Development, Université de Moncton
- Andrew Spring, Executive Director, FBR
- Paul Bogaard, Vice Chair, Fundy Biosphere Reserve
- Yolande LeBlanc, Memramcook
- Tania Kotyk, Project Assistant, FBR
- Heather Hawker, City of Moncton
CHAIR OF THE EVENT
Paul Bogaard, Vice Chair, Fundy Biosphere Reserve
The Sustainable Development Forum for Municipalities was reserved to the 14 municipalities in the FBR, represented by the mayor (or other elected official) and/or an employee (responsible for the environment).
- City of Dieppe
- City of Moncton
- City of Riverview
- Fort Folly First Nations
- Town of Sackville
- Town of Sussex
- Village of Alma
- Village of Port Elgin
- Village of Dorchester
- Village of Hillsborough
- Village of Memramcook
- Village of Petitcodiac
- Village of Riverside Albert
- Village of Sussex Corner
- Village of St Martins
- Village of Elgin
- Village of Salisbury
Additionally, other New Brunswick Agencies, local Community Economic Development Agencies, and other stakeholder groups were invited to attend.
The mandate of the Fundy Biosphere Reserve (FBR) is to enhance community sustainability and resource decision-making capacity through education, outreach, environmental and socio-economic monitoring and research. The overall goal is the conservation of the cultural heritage and natural resources of the NB upper Bay of Fundy region while helping to reconcile changing human-environmental issues and concerns. In order to achieve this, the FBR works with a cross-sectional diversity of stakeholders in the region to promote sustainable development and the conservation of biodiversity through its outreach and communication activities.
NGOs play an important role in our region by promoting awareness, educating the public and conducting research on a wide range of environmental, economic and social issues facing our communities. A large quantity of information and resources are made available by these organisations through various outlets such as public meetings, seminars, reports, brochures and websites. Such information, resources and knowledge could be used more efficiently through partnerships and collaborative projects between NGOs. The Sustainable Development Forum for NGOs is a one day event reserved for NGOs who wish to briefly present their projects and activities to other organisations, while at the same time learning about other’s activities. The goal is to share knowledge and ideas with similar organisations in the FBR region. Through discussions and networking activities, it is hoped that organisations with common objectives or initiatives will generate new ideas and launch new projects together, with shared resources.
OUTCOMES OF THE EVENT
- Enhancement of dialogue between NGOs with a mandate aligned with the objectives of the FBR.
- Sharing of knowledge, experiences and operating practices.
- Be a catalyst for new collaboration and synergies on common ideas and projects.
Start Up Projects}
Growing the Fundy Biosphere Reserve
In early 2008, the FBR implemented many projects to develop the internal structure of the organization. Projects consisted of completing governance structures, refining administrative processes, strengthening the stakeholder group, initiating outreach activities and to continuing to evolve communications and fundraising strategies for the FBR organization. One key initiative was the development of a website which improves the outreach and awareness capacity of the FBR. The FBR is dedicated to maintaining and improving the website as it has been identified as a key operating tool for the organization.
The FBR was also able to send a representative to the Canadian Biosphere Reserve Association (CBRA) meeting in Tofino, BC in June 2008. As a new member of CBRA, the FBR was able to learn from the experiences and projects from other Biosphere Reserves and apply them to our biosphere region. This meeting was a key capacity building event for the FBR.
Also in 2008, through a part-time Excutive Director, the FBR was able to plan and organize FBR events and maintain communications with various FBR collaborators as media and other outlets. The FBR was able to develop the Sustainable Tourism Conference, as well as to conduct the initial planning of the Sustainable Development Forum for Municipalities and the Sustainable Development Forum for NGO’s.