Brock University is part of the UNESCO Niagara Escarpment Biosphere, which currently runs west from Niagara, and then north to Tobermory, extending more than 700 kilometres. To maintain its designation, a Transitional Leadership Committee was formed in 2019. As it was no longer appropriate to have oversight nested within a government agency, the committee would direct a renewed Niagara Escarpment Biosphere model. In 2017, the Transition Leadership Committee and Plenty Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together on the development of this new co-governance structure. In March of 2022, the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Network (NEBN) was officially incorporated under provincial regulations.
The Network is now the official entity working on the mandate and designation of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Region and over the next year, the strategic plan and key priorities will be established. These will relate to the mandates of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program and the Lima Plan, which include conservation, ecosystem services, climate change, education and outreach, and sustainable development.
One of the visions of the NEBN is to be a “network of networks,” and one of these networks will be in research and education. The UNESCO Chair, along with several Brock faculty and staff, will contribute to this network through their research on various topics such as biodiversity, conservation, restoration, education, Indigenous collaboration, social wellbeing and justice, climate change, ecosystem services, sustainable development, and more. Everyone is invited to contribute according to their interest.
The UNESCO Chair is currently the Treasurer on the interim NEBN board. She has also been involved in collaboration with Plenty Canada on The Native Plants on the Laura Secord Legacy Trail, Healing Gardens, and the current Environment and Climate Change Project.
About the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere
The Niagara Escarpment Biosphere represents an extensive stretch of forested land in south-central Ontario which includes two major biomes, boreal needleleaf forests and temperate broadleaf forests. The Biosphere remains one of Ontario’s most scenic landscapes and offers a mix of both natural and urban environments. The main goals of the Biosphere are to preserve the region’s ecological diversity, to encourage stakeholders to use sustainable practices, and to uphold socio-cultural relationships through educational programs and tourism.
News and Events
About the Event:
On September 11,2021 as part of the Celebration of Nations, the presentation included officials of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Network and representatives of network organizations explaining the importance of preserving the Niagara Escarpment. It featured stunning never-seen-before photography, aerial and drone video of the Niagara Escarpment in an effort to address profound and increasing environmental challenges.
Watch the presentations: