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Paper Excellence lauds UNESCO’s decision to establish biosphere region in B.C.


September 20, 2021
By P&PC Staff

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Photo: Paper Excellence

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Man and the Biosphere has included the Howe Sound Biosphere Region in B.C. into its Biosphere Reserves family. Paper Excellence lauds this step taken by the organization. The Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative Society submitted the application to be included. The Biosphere Reserves network currently consists of 701 sites in 124 countries around the world.

UNESCO Biosphere Regions offer opportunities to learn about sustainable development. These regions serve as testing grounds for interdisciplinary approaches to gain a comprehensive understanding of changes and interactions between social and ecological systems.

Each region has three complementary and balanced functions including:
1. Conservation of biodiversity and cultural diversity;
2. Economic development that is socio-culturally and environmentally sustainable;
3. Logistic support, underpinning development through research, monitoring, education and training.

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“This is an important project that recognizes the ecological uniqueness of Howe Sound. We have been operating in and working hard to protect this area for many decades now and we’re proud of our state-of-the-art emissions controls equipment and our facility’s salmon hatchery which hosted salmon fry from the Sunshine Coast Salmonid Enhancement Society again this summer. We look forward to building new partnerships as Howe Sound becomes a learning place for sustainable development,” said Graham Kissack, vice-president of environment, health, safety and communications at Paper Excellence.

Paper Excellence’s Howe Sound Pulp and Paper facility used 91 percent renewable energy in 2020. Since 1990, the facility has cut down its greenhouse emissions by 49 percent. It also generates biomass-derived electricity onto B.C.’s grid. The facility is certified to the independent ISO 14001 environmental management standard.