• National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

    This year Canada instated a National Day for Truth And Reconciliation. Today, on Sept 30 we honour the lost, and the survivors of residential schools, their families and their communities. Reconciliation and reparations for the tragedy of residential schools and how indigenous peoples have been overtly treated for decades will not happen overnight. It’s an ongoing effort to overcome the systematic racism in this country and despite the province New Brunswick choosing not to recognize and honour the day we wanted to take the opportunity to allow some voices to be heard.
    Now, Desmon and Raven in no way represent all indigenous people in New Brunswick. There are a number of Wabanaki communities throughout New Brunswick that, I’m sure, would love for you to join them with an open heart and an open mind if you’re interested in learning more. For online resources I’ll include a few links below and I’d encourage everyone to ask for themselves:

    "What does Sept 30th mean to me?"



    Video Credits: Desmond Simon
    Huge thank you to: Desmond and Raven!
  • Ocean Conservation Expedition

    SOI Expedition

     

    This September the Students on Ice Foundation set off on their Ocean Conservation Expedition. The expedition brought together experts, researchers, artists and indigenous youth aboard the icebreaker the Polar Prince, to build awareness and education around ocean conservation and the amazing ecosystems around the Bay of Fundy. Fundy Biosphere conservation manager Clarissa Hoffman was lucky enough to join the expedition for 4 days to share the story of our biosphere and the work being done to protect our unique ecology. 

     

    The first day began overcast and early at the Port of Saint John. After a quick tour and safety demonstration it was off to our first event. Port Saint John was showing a screening of the documentary “The Last of the Right Whales”, which documents the plight of the North Atlantic Right Whale, and what is being done to protect them. Danielle Dion, Senior naturalist and marine biologist with the Quoddy Link Marine Whale Watching Vessel, also joined to discuss the film, and offer updates on some of the featured whales. It was emotional to see and hear about the harm being done to these animals, but heartening to learn about the actions being taken by industry to reduce risks, right here in Canada. At the end of the evening we all convened in the hangar to discuss what we had learned that day, and discuss our plans for the next day. Each of us was also asked to share what the ocean means to us. Answers ranged from discovery and mystery to connection to relaxation; each person with a unique answer and their own unique region for being so passionate about ocean conservation.  

     

    On day 2 we visited the Minas Basin. Early in the morning we passed through the stunning cliffs of Cape Split, and witnessed the power of the tides as the ship was slowed to a crawl as it fought the current out of the Minas channel. We hopped on the zodiacs for a short ride over to a pebble beach at Scots Bay. Here we got to observe some interesting geological formations, and do a small beach cleanup. After a quick lunch back on the ship it was back out on the zodiacs. This time we went to Cape Blomidon, where we got to view the stunning cliffs, help the researchers from the Huntsman aquarium to gather samples for their DNA barcode library project, and some of the braver among us took a swim in the bay.

     

    For the 3rd day we were back in the Fundy Biosphere Region! We started off the morning bright and early with a wet and wavy ride in the zodiac up the Point Wolfe River. We were all so lucky to be able to enter Fundy National Park from this unique perspective. We all disembarked at Point Wolfe beach. At this Fundy Biosphere Amazing Place we were able to witness the famous Fundy tides, as the water receded almost a kilometer from where we first parked the zodiacs. Parks Canada representatives then took us on a short hike, and shared about the ecology of the region, and some of their projects to protect it. Next we hopped back on the zodiacs, and the developing storm made for a very exciting ride back! Unfortunately the rough weather prevented us from making our next stop in the biosphere, Amazing Place Martin Head. Luckily for us some of the participants were able to come up with last minute games and presentations to keep us entertained and educated during our rainy afternoon on the ship. It was the last night aboard for many of us, so we stayed up late singing, dancing and playing games, which was a perfect ending for a trip so focused on connection. 

     

     

    Photos by Jenna Savoie-Joy

  • SDG Report

    The Sustainable Development Goals and Fundy Biosphere Region

    The United Nations’ Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is one of the most important global agreements in recent history. The agenda, with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at its core, is a guide to tackling the world’s most pressing challenges – including ending poverty and bringing economic prosperity, social inclusion, environmental sustainability and peace and good governance to all countries and all people by 2030.

    The SDGs cover a wide range of complex social, economic, and environmental challenges and addressing them will require transformations in how societies and economies function and how we interact with our planet. UNESCO Biosphere Reserves have a critical role to play in the implementation of SDGs, utilizing both their mandates, and their connection to both their own region and the worldwide network of Biosphere Reserves can play an important role in SDG implementation and research.

    Engaging with the SDGs will also greatly benefit Biosphere Reserves by helping them demonstrate regional impact, capture demand for SDG-related projects, build new partnerships, access new funding streams, and define a Biosphere that is sustainable and responsible within its own region and globally aware.

    Biosphere regions

     

    Conservation is one of the central features of the SDGs. Conserving the worlds natural wonders is an essential precondition for social justice and economic development. If we do not achieve the goals related to clean water and sanitation, life below water, life on land, and climate action, the world will fail to achieve the remaining goals.

    Conservation also concerns cultural wellbeing, although no specific goal concerns only culture, goals that focus on quality education, sustainable cities, economic growth, gender equality, and sustainable growth will allow for the continuation of local cultural practices within biosphere boundaries.

    What can biosphere regions do?

    Utilizing the goals and targets that are specifically related to conservation, biosphere regions have an important role to play within their communities. Some specific examples of how biospheres can contribute include:

    • Provide public with the knowledge, skills, and motivation to participate in environmental issues
    • Increase awareness of biodiversity loss
    • Seek out funding and government policies and actions that conserve valuable ecosystems
    • Become role models and educators as stewards of the environment
    • Empower and mobilize young people for future conservation efforts•Habitat stewardship

      Economic Development

    The SDGs promote sustained economic growth, higher levels of productivity and technological innovation. Encouraging entrepreneurship and job creation are key to this, as are effective measures to eradicate forced labour, slavery and human trafficking. With these targets in mind, the goal is to achieve full and productive employment, and decent work, for all women and men by 2030.

    Within biospheres, economic development plays an important role in involving stakeholders in projects and balancing the economic needs of local communities with a high level of protection of the natural environment.

    What can Biosphere Regions do?

    Utilizing the goals and targets that are specifically related to economic development, biosphere regions have an important role to play within their communities. Some specific examples of how biospheres can contribute include:

    • Ensure all events held are accessible to all
    • Promote economic growth through youth employment, entrepreneurship, and sustainable tourism
    • Assist and promote marginalized communities living within their regions
    • Apply for funding to strengthen the sustainability of the region
    • Ensure the community benefits, and the projects conducted by the biosphere region benefit the community for years to come.

      Climate Action

     

    Climate change presents the single biggest threat to sustainable development everywhere and its widespread, unprecedented impacts disproportionately burden the poorest and most vulnerable. Urgent action to halt climate change and deal with its impacts is integral to successfully achieving all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Sustainable Development Goal 13 aims to “take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact”, while acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change. Other goals of the Global Agenda also focus on the changing climate and both mitigating effects while also promoting resiliency and general awareness on the topic.

    Biosphere regions may already researching climate change within their region, or at the very least are aware of the adverse effects that their communities are facing. Providing knowledge on what the region can expect, developing projects that look into the effects of climate change are an important part of what makes a biosphere a “living lab”

    What can biosphere regions do?

    Global warming is unequivocal. The average global temperature is rising and the consequences present enormous challenges for humankind. In some biosphere reserves the effects of climate change are already visible. Although climate change extends beyond the borders of the biosphere there are several things a region can do to assist in mitigating effects:

    Advocate for local legislation to support mitigation efforts•Support and apply for funding that directly relates to climate change•Provide public with the knowledge, skills, and motivation to understand and address the challenges of climate change•Provide training on native species•Enhance opportunities for capacity building of communities to address challenges

    pdfSDG Report 2021.pdf

  • Swimathon 2021

    swimathon

     The first ever Swim-a-thon for a cleaner ocean is a partnership between many organisations to engage the community in a fun active way while also contributing to cleaner oceans and a dedication to sustainability. We will start off with a huge kickoff event with booths from organisations who will inform participants on different ways to reduce plastic usage a long with a fun game where swimmers can collect clean garbage from the pool for a chance to win a gift basket!

    Then comes the actual swim-a-thon. Swimmers will sign up to swim however many kilometers of "coast" that they can. Then members from the community will pledge them however many dollars for however many meters.

    Ex: I pledge to swim 3km in the 2 weeks. My neighbor pledged me 10$ for every km I swim.

    The proceeds from this will go towards supplies for a beach cleanup to happen later in the summer. This is a super cool way for the community to get active, while also making a positive difference on the world stage, and spreading awareness on a serious global issue!
    Sign Up Now!

    Download Pledge Sheet

  • Top 5 Things to Do in St Martins, NB

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    St Martins, NB is one of my favourite coastal towns in the Fundy Biosphere. Here's why!

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    Who doesn't like hard ice cream?

    With sprinkles you say?

    There's nothing quite like a scoop of moon-mist ice cream with sprinkles to make you feel like a child again! Octopus Ice Cream is a must stop on any summer road trip through the village of St Martins. Their ice cream and vast selection of toppings are refreshing on a hot summers day as you walk the beach or traverse the sea caves; and might I recommend a bowl? No one likes sticky fingers!

    Be sure to stop in to Octopus Ice cream next time you're in St Martins. You'll be glad you did!




     

     

     

     

     


    Arguably the most accessible, and family friendly, way to visit the Fundy Coast.

    The Fundy Trail may not be exclusive to St Martins, but the views are exceptional and allow easy access to sights via pull offs just off the road. The trail now easily connects St Martins with Alma making it easier than ever to visit the coastal communities of the Fundy Biosphere.

    Whether your looking for an easy way to see the sights or out for a quick road trip the Fundy Trail should definitely be on everyone's "To Do" list every summer and fall to see the sights and the change of seasons! 


     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    There's no wondering why the chowder is world famous... It's delicious!


    Located Just before the sea caves The Caves Restaurant is certainly one of the best places to eat in St Martins, and maybe New Brunswick.

    The chowder is amazing, but they have plenty of other things on their menu if that's not your style. Enjoy their patio seating and watch the tide come in over the sea caves!
     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Exploring the Bay of Fundy at low tide is one thing but seeing it at high tide? That's special!

     

    If you've never had the opportunity to see the St Martins coast at high tide you're missing out! For less than $100/person you can embark on a memorable tour of the sea caves or enjoy a boat tour of the picturesque cliffs. For those more adventurous you may want to check out their multi-day offerings of sea kayaking or supported, guided hike of the fundy footpath!

    Check out the Red Rock Adventure Facebook and Instagram pages or visit their website (https://www.bayoffundyadventures.com/) for more information or to book a tour!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    There's so much history and geology stored in these cliffs that's different every time you visit!


    Many are familiar with the primary sea caves that you can see at high tide, but did you know that there is an entire beach and secondary caves accessible for only a few hours at low tide? The sea caves are certainly a sight to see and incredible to walk into too!

    The St Martins sea caves are part of the Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark with plenty of geological lessons to be learned from these cliffs that are hundreds of millions of years old.

    To learn more about the Stonehammer Geopark and the geology of the St Martins sea caves visit: https://www.stonehammergeopark.com/

     

  • What is a Biosphere

     

     

    What is a biosphere reserve?

    Biosphere Reserves are United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated regions that form a World Network of Biosphere Reserves established by the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB). Biosphere Reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems promoting solutions to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use, by bringing together research, education, tourism and human settlement. The programme began in 1970 and now there are over 700 designated Biosphere Reserves around the world in more than 124 countries and 21 trans-boundary sites, which are home to about 257 million people. Eighteen of these Biosphere Reserves are in Canada, however the CBRA has decided to change all sites in Canada to “biosphere regions” out of deference to indigenous peoples . These regions are significant to sustainable development initiatives for many reasons, including their unique governance structure, their ecological and cultural significance, and the presence of strong community leaders and participatory action that occurs within them. Biosphere Reserves are independently managed, and thus take many different forms and approaches to pursue the MAB goals. Despite the individual uniqueness of each Biosphere Reserve around the world, they all share in common a three-pronged mandate established by the MAB that is dedicated to the sustainable development of the regions that includes:

     1) Establishing and facilitating research and education through logistical support,

     2) Implementing ecological conservation efforts,

     3) Encouraging sustainable economic growth

    Together they make up a network that facilitates knowledge sharing and best practices for conservation, sustainability and community development.

     

    Who is the Fundy Biosphere?

    The Fundy Biosphere Region received the MAB designation in 2007 after a lengthy nomination period. The biosphere spans the Bay of Fundy watershed area, from St. Martins to Sackville, and inland to Moncton. Fundy Biosphere Region holds this prestigious UNESCO designation because this region uniquely showcases initiatives to preserve outstanding natural and cultural heritage, and for sharing ideas and research for biodiversity conservation, climate action, developing quality sustainable tourism infrastructure, delivering educational programs, and ensuring responsible human development. We believe in local solutions to global environmental challenges. Our vision is a world where Canadians are leaders in adapting, nurturing and financially supporting our sustainable communities that thrive alongside unique, biodiverse ecosystems. We pursue our goals by implementing a range of environmental and educational programs, but more importantly by bringing together local stakeholders and community groups to solve local problems.

     

    Why Here?

    The UNESCO-designated Fundy Biosphere Region is a 440,000 ha area of land in the upper Bay of Fundy region that stretches from the Tantramar Marshes near Sackville, around the cities of Moncton, Riverview, and Dieppe, to the coastal village of St. Martins. Fundy Biosphere Reserve boundaries exist as the upper Bay of Fundy watershed to the Petitcodiac River (the major source of freshwater draining into the upper Bay of Fundy), as well as several other smaller rivers and creeks. The Biosphere Region includes many communities and cities, different land uses including industrial, agricultural, forestry, urban and rural settings. FBR spans a variety of ecosystems and natural habitats including inland and coastal environments. This area has a rich cultural heritage, given that there is a long history of First Peoples, principally Mi’kmaq, inhabiting the area followed by French settlers from Europe beginning in the early 17th century and English settlers beginning in the mid-18th century. This diversity of culture and language is still strong today; French and English are both commonly spoken in our biosphere, and Moncton is the only officially bilingual city in the province. We are also increasingly becoming home to newcomers to Canada, who are bringing with them a new infusion of cultures and ideas to our community. The area is also ecologically diverse, with a number of natural ecosystems found in a relatively small area. It is this vibrant cultural and natural heritage, as well as the presence of the world’s highest tides that contributed to the designation of the area by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve.

     

    Governance and Operation 

    The Fundy Biosphere Region is managed by an incorporated non-profit organization called the Fundy Biosphere Initiative Inc. The FBR is overseen by a Board of Directors composed of directors from various government, industry and community stakeholders while day-to-day operations and projects are administered by a small staff. FBR receives no funding from UNESCO, nor direct core funding from any federal, provincial, or municipal government. FBR solicits annual funding for individual projects, and receives some funds from its Membership Program, as well as from donations. Our work is guided by the Lima action plan for Biosphere Reserves, the CBRA guiding documents, and our own strategic plan. We also work to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals in all our projects. 

     

    Our Work

    The projects we pursue at within FBR are centered around our four high level goal areas:

    1.Biodiversity conservation and protection of ecosystem services

    • Restore and maintain the ecological integrity of the region by engaging visitors, residents, communities, businesses and decision makers, participating in the development of policy, resources, and programming for promotion of land stewardship and protection and connectivity between protected areas.

    2. Sustainable relations between people and nature

    • Support, promote, and celebrate sustainable development, initiatives, and innovation in the region in all sectors,
    • Build a culture of sustainability through education, stewardship, and awareness of the region's natural assets as well as individual and community ecological footprint.

    3. Celebration of natural and cultural heritage

    • Enhance awareness of the regions natural and cultural heritage through education, programming, and storytelling

    4. Knowledge Sharing

    • Support opportunities for information and knowledge sharing at the local, provincial, national and international levels through partnerships, networking, and collaboration

    Under these strategic priority areas, we create and contribute to a variety of programming in the region. A few of our most significant projects include our Amazing Places program, which was created by FBR and has since been adopted by biospheres in Ontario and BC, Canada. Another of our flagship programs is Forests of the Future, which identifies naitve Wabanaki-Acadian Forest tree species that will suffer, tolerate or thrive during the climate crisis, and subsequently share that knowledge with stakeholders and the community. We also play a role in regional tourism through partnerships, hosting tours and attending and hosting outreach events, festivals and workshops.

More From Our Blog

What is a Biosphere

Sep 21, 2021
What is a biosphere reserve? Biosphere Reserves are United Nations Educational,…
The Sustainable Development Goals and Fundy Biosphere Region

SDG Report

Sep 09, 2021
The United Nations’ Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development…
swimathon

Swimathon 2021

Jul 27, 2021
The first ever Swim-a-thon for a cleaner ocean is a partnership between many…
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