Waterton Biosphere Reserve is a special place where people work together to build resilient landscapes and communities, and where natural and cultural diversity are valued and sustained for current and future generations.
By working collaboratively with individuals, organizations, governments and others, the Waterton Biosphere Reserve strives to achieve a balance between conserving biological diversity, promoting sustainable use of resources, and building the capacity of local people and organizations to positively affect their communities and the environment.
Listening to the Community
The Waterton Biosphere Reserve Association (WBRA) acts as the convenor organization for the WBR, bringing together local community members with government, non-government organizations, and others in carrying out the mission of the WBR.
In 2015, WBRA undertook a cooperation planning process to guide the future work and direction of the biosphere reserve. Area stakeholders including residents, businesses, industry, government, land managers, First Nations, educators, and other organizations and agencies were invited to discuss common areas of interest and opportunities for collaboration. The WBRA held public Cooperation Planning forums on January 28, 2015 in Pincher Creek and January 29, 2015 in Cardston. In addition to these meetings, the public was also invited to complete a questionnaire regarding the future of the Waterton Biosphere Reserve.
Stakeholders were asked to identify how WBRA could best support, facilitate, and enhance conservation, sustainability and education initiatives throughout the region, focusing on the three core functions of biosphere reserves:
Strategic Priorities for Waterton Biosphere Reserve
Following completion of the cooperation planning process, nine strategic priorities were identified. WBR will focus on the following six priorities within the biosphere during 2016-2021:
The three remaining priorities will be the focus of efforts in future years as capacity and funding allows:
Cooperation, collaboration and Community Partnerships: Action Plan 2016-2021
A five year action plan was developed to guide work on the strategic priorities and can be found in the WBR Cooperation Plan 2016-2021.
Like other biospheres in Canada, the WBR has no authority over land or water use. Everything we do depends on cooperation, collaboration and community partnerships. The WBR Cooperation Plan will serve as a starting point for moving ahead to address priorities identified by area stakeholders in a coordinated way, with a wide range of partners and potential partners as highlighted in the plan.
We will continuously seek input from area stakeholders and partners and the WBR Cooperation Plan will be periodically reviewed and updated as available resources and opportunities are identified. If you or your organization would like to get involved in the discussion or have ideas for collaborative opportunities, please let us know at:
Waterton Biosphere Reserve Association
P.O. Box 7, Pincher Creek
Alberta T0K 1W0