Last evening I attended the AGM of the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve.
We are honoured in this region to have this United Nations designation. It sets our area apart as a potential model of sustainability within our human diversity and biodiversity.
In other Canadian biospheres, great strides are being made to include school children, businesses and community planning, to name a few. These organizations see the biosphere as a resource and are in consultation with it in planning for future events, sustainable business expansions, local development and special educational occasions.
However, last evening’s meeting was lacking in mutual respect and collaboration. The tone was set at the beginning when, following a historical overview of the biosphere, a retired lawyer jumped up and aggressively demanded to know what the presenter’s position was within the biosphere and why she was presenting and not him.
The meeting went downhill from there, with largely three individuals grandstanding, conducting stalling and delay tactics. The meeting couldn’t be concluded in the allotted time.
The majority of people present seemed to be supportive of the biosphere and its mandate. That mandate is to be a non-partisan, educational and research society built on the four pillars of culture, environment, economy and society. There is no room for personal agendas and partisan activism within its framework.
We have had a very dedicated and exceptionally talented board and staff member who have worked very hard to follow and implement that mandate.
Will those people who uphold the spirit of the biosphere, step forward to help our area to keep this very important designation? May we all find the goodwill to collaborate and make this community one to be proud of and one that the UN can use as a model of successful biodiversity conservation and sustainable community development.