Howe Sound now a UNESCO Biosphere Region

Howe Sound

Oct 5, 2021

Last week, the Georgia Strait Alliance shared the wonderful news that Átl’ka7tsem, also known as Howe Sound, is now a UNESCO Biosphere Region. It is the third UNESCO Biosphere Region in British Columbia – and the first on B.C.’s Mainland. These areas hold global ecological significance because they represent an ongoing commitment to strive for sustainability, however, they have no legal authority.

Átl’ka7tsem, pronounced “At-KATsum,” is located within the unceded territory of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), who have been stewards and caretakers of these lands and waters since time immemorial. Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw Councillor Joyce Williams is co-chair of the Board of the Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative Society, which manages the Biosphere Region in ways that balance development, conservation and equity.

The area’s new UNESCO designation helps to protect Átl’ka7tsem for future generations, and supports the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

We congratulate everyone for their years of effort that has made this a reality.

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