CANADIAN BIOSPHERE AWARDED
3-YEAR RESEARCH GRANT
Paris, February 16 (No.
2001-21) - A three-year grant of Canadian $600,000 by the government of Canada
earlier this month will make possible new research, education and training
projects in the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Reserve of Clayoquot Sound
(Canada), through a partnership between the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust and the
University of Victoria with the participation of the local First Nations
The research to be led by the
Clayoquot Alliance for Research, Education and Training partnership will focus
on the interests of local communities and its first phase will concentrate on
the identification of the First Nations’ needs and priorities.
The Clayoquot Sound Biosphere
Reserve was established in 2000 in British Colombia, Canada. Its designation was
prepared with the active support of local First Nations and local communities
after many years of conflict over the logging of relatively undisturbed forests.
Biosphere Reserves are areas of
terrestrial or marine ecosystems which are internationally recognized within
UNESCO’s MAB Programme for promoting and demonstrating a balanced relationship
between people and nature. The World Network of Biosphere Reserves presently
consists of 391 biosphere reserves located in 94 countries.
Thomas C. Esakin, Executive
Director of the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, said that “First Nations and local
communities in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve region will benefit from
the CURA [Community University Research Alliance] research project through the
building of knowledge in areas of locally-identified need, the creation of some
short-term employment opportunities, and through helping the Clayoquot Biosphere
Trust in its own foundation-building”.
Dr Rod Dobell, a Professor at
the University of Victoria’s School of Public Administration and the Director
of the project, commented: “The University will be in a position to benefit
from the substantial knowledge and information available in the region, compiled
for and by the many local First Nations, communities and non-profit
organizations in the area.”
The project funds were
allocated to CURA, which was initiated by the Social Sciences and Humanities
Research Council of Canada as a pilot programme to help organizations within
communities and universities to combine forces and tackle issues they have
identified as being of common priority concern. CURA provides universities with
research opportunities within communities and with community organisations.
For more information, contact
the MAB Secretariat, UNESCO (firstname.lastname@example.org)
or Tom Esakin, Clayoquot Biosphere Trust: email@example.com