2017 Events (Past)


APRIL 4 TO 7, 2017

EuroMAB is an extensive network of 302 biosphere reserves in 36 countries. The network gathers every two years to share knowledge and experience and the MABR attended the 2017 gathering in the Dordogne Basin Biosphere Reserve in Sarlat, France.

At EuroMAB 2017, participants worked to define how and with what means the biosphere reserves can contribute to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), to multilateral agreements on the environmental agreements (MEA) and to the Paris agreement on climate change. 

The MABR presented on our development and launch of the International Journal of Biosphere Reserves and on our collaboration with Indigenous communities to meet our Reconciliation mandate.


THURSDAY, MARCH 30 AT 6:30PM in Parksville

At this event, attended by over 100 community members and project partners, we celebrated the end of Year 1 of the Amazing Places project and announced plans for Year 2. Promotional and educational materials, as well as great prizes were shared, and the evening refreshments were provided by Pacific Brimm Cafe & Catering. The Amazing Places launch event was hosted by the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region in collaboration with Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism.

To learn more about the MABR's Amazing Places, visit mabr.ca/amazingplaces.



On March 12, 2017, the MABR celebrated Water Day in Parksville, a free, all-day community event at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre.

There were workshops, demos, interactive community displays, children’s activities, food vendors, and live music all honouring our precious resource – water.

The MABR hosted an interactive booth with information about the water-related projects coordinated by MABRRI, our research institute at VIU.

Free Public Lecture: Student Research in the MABR

Wednesday, March 1 at 7pm at VIU's Nanaimo Campus

VIU student research assistants from the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute (MABRRI) presented on the work they are pursuing in the region, and how their work aims to increase economic, environmental, and social and cultural sustainability. Student presentations included an overview of the following projects: Wetland Mapping and Monitoring in the RDN, Coastal Forest Plant Phenology Research, Bull Kelp Sample Collection in the Salish Sea, and the 2017 MABR BioBlitz.

Presented by Pamela Shaw, PhD, MABRRI Research Director, and VIU Students Graham Sakaki, Ashley Van Acken, Kayla Harris, Ryan Frederickson, and Kidston Short.



OCTOBER 1, 2016 at SFU's Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Vancouver, BC

Building capacity for collaboration and watershed governance in British Columbia - this was the theme of Watersheds 2016, a two-day event (September 30th & October 1st) on freshwater decision-making in the province of BC. 

On Saturday, October the 1st, MABR Coordinator Monica Shore co-facilitated a session entitled Canadian ICCAs & Biosphere Reserves: Indigenous governance applications for watershed governance innovation. This session explored the application of traditional governance values and principles ‎in a modern context of Watershed governance by looking at emerging trends in collaboration between ICCAs (Indigenous Peoples and Community Conserved Territories and Areas) and UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. These initiatives were be considered through a discussion about reconciliation between diverse communities within Canadian society, and reconciliation between society and the environment. 

Leads: Eli Enns, Regional Coordinator, North America ICCA Consortium and Monica Shore, Coordinator, Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region


SEPTEMBER 16 to OCTOBER 7, 2016 at VIU Eldercollege

Class photo on our final day together

Class photo on our final day together

This 4-week course covered a broad introductory curriculum about the UNESCO-designated Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region. Students discovered what it means to be a UNESCO biosphere reserve and what makes this particular region so unique. Interactive workshops included mini-lectures, lively discussions, and hands-on activities that explored the diverse relationships between people and nature.

Students identified plant species that can be found in the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region

Students identified plant species that can be found in the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region

Class 1 - Friday, September 16 - “Biosphere Basics”

  • UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme and the World Network of Biosphere Reserves
  • History of the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region (MABR)
  • Introduction to MABRRI, the research institute at VIU

Class 2 - Friday, September 23 - “Amazing Places in the MABR”

  • Canada’s 18 biosphere reserves
  • National initiatives with regional significance
  • Amazings Place in the MABR

Class 3 - Friday, September 30 - “All about Research at MABRRI”

  • Projects and partnerships
  • Community-based research
  • How to get involved

Class 4 - Friday, October 7 - “A Collective Vision of the Region”

  • Envisioning 2030 in the MABR
  • Review through a game of Jeopardy

This course was facilitated by faculty, staff and student researchers from VIU’s Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute, including Dr. Pam Shaw, Monica Shore, and Graham Sakaki.

Amazing Places Nomination Period

September 10-30, 2016

Visit mabr.ca/amazingplaces to find out which locations were selected as Amazing Places!


Friday, July 29 - Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park

On a beautiful sunny day in the biosphere, we celebrated the 2nd anniversary of MABRRI, VIU's research institute affiliated with the MABR. Staff, student researchers, partners and community members gathered at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park and shared wild biosphere salmon, burgers, cake, and stories. It was a great chance to connect with the community--hopefully an annual affair!

Guest lecture for the nanoose naturalists

Thursday, May 12 - Nanoose Library Hall

MABR staff spoke to members and friends of the Nanoose Naturalists about research being pursued at MABRRI, VIU's research institute dedicated to increasing collective knowledge about the biosphere region. "Nanoose Naturalists is a Vancouver Island naturalist club dedicated to the study, enjoyment, and preservation of our local bio-diverse ecosystems. The Club was founded in 2002 and is one of 53 nature clubs in BC with a total of over 5,000 members. These nature clubs are all affiliated to the Federation of BC Naturalists" (www.nanoosenaturalists.org).

GUEST LECTURE for the friends of french creek

Thursday, April 21 - St. Columbia Presbytarian Church, Parksville

The Friends of French Creek Conservation Society welcomed Monica Shore and Dr. Pam Shaw for a guest lecture on the background of UNESCO biosphere reserves and on the significance of this designation for the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region (MABR). We shared highlights from the MABR's history, key changes since the designation in 2000, and information about current projects at MABRRI--our affiliated research institute at Vancouver Island University

Fore more about the Friends French Creek Conservation Society, click here.

MABR 2016 Bioblitz

Sunday, April 17 - Milner Gardens & Woodland, Qualicum Beach

Over 80 people participated in the MABR's 2016 inaugural BioBlitz. Citizens of all ages and scientists come together to count species and contribute to research on biodiversity in the region. The BioBlitz was the final event of the 2016 Brant Wildlife Festival and received sponsorship and in-kind support from the Brant Wildlife Festival, Vancouver Island University, and Milner Gardens and Woodland. 

RDN Water day

Sunday, April 3 - Qualicum Commons, Qualicum Beach

The MABR took part in the region's first Water Day celebrations as part of Canada Water Week. The Regional District of Nanaimo, the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region, First Nations, the City of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island University, and other participating organizations worked together to organize two all-day events in the region that focused on the importance of water. Speakers, workshops, interactive displays, family-friendly activities, and live music were part of the fun.

On April the 3rd at 11:45am in Qualicum Beach, Dr. Pamela Shaw and Monica Shore gave a lecture about the "Interconnectedness of Water and Life in the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region."


March 14-17 - Lima, Peru

The goal of the 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves was to discuss common issues of sustainable development, economic viability of nature conservation systems, biodiversity, protection and sustainable use of natural resources. Participants explored the challenges faced by the World Network of Biosphere Reserves and endorsed a new (Lima) Action Plan for 2016-2025.

The MABR gave three presentations on the following topics: (1) climate research in high alpine areas; (2) biosphere reserve-related curriculum in post-secondary institutions, and; (3) strengths and gaps on existing research about UNESCO biosphere reserves.