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Biosphere Letter of Committment

Canim Lake | Michael Bednar

To commemorate World Earth Day, on April 22nd, 2021, the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (CCCTA) formally committed to a new path forward to support future planning and a more sustainable visitor economy as we work to rebuild the post-COVID-19 tourism economy. Signing of the Biosphere Letter of Commitment solidifies a long-term commitment to achieving the internationally recognised Responsible Tourism Institute’s Biosphere Certification.

In embarking on this journey, the CCCTA looks forward to building collaborative new partnerships, setting new strategic goals and objectives to support stewarding and regenerating the region’s tourism assets, supporting responsible growth of the sector to ensure a sustainable equilibrium between the socio-cultural, economic and natural environment. At the heart of this is inclusion and ensuring residents, local businesses, Indigenous Nations, communities and the region thrive today and into the foreseeable future.

The certification aligns with 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations in areas that include climate change, environment, social, economy and culture – and guarantees compliance and continuous improvement through a private, voluntary and independent certification system which is evaluated on an annual basis. The certification allows a region to demonstrate how they take sustainability seriously, but also keeps them accountable to make necessary and ongoing improvements.

We join three other regional destination management organizations (Tourism Vancouver Island, Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association and Northern BC Tourism Association) who, together with the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA), operate under the umbrella of the BC Regional Tourism Secretariat, officially declaring their commitment to pursue the Biosphere Certification, granted by the Responsible Tourism Institute. If successful, we will join TOTA which is among only 34 destination management organizations in the world, and the only one in Canada, to achieve this status.

BC Regional Secretariat Press Release Here

CCCTA Biosphere Press Release Here

What is Biosphere?

Biosphere is a Responsible Tourism System (RTS) certified by the Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI), an international accreditation body affiliated with the World Tourism Organization (WTO), and is a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

The system is aligned with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and the Paris COP21 Accord to fight Climate Change. It is also aligned with the requisites and recommendations for certification of the World Charter on Sustainable Tourism +20.

The system offers a holistic approach to sustainability in which all distinctions associated with different aspects of sustainability (corporate social responsibility, service quality, environmental management, etc.) are integrated.

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What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals

On 25 September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly approved the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and with it the Sustainable Development Goals, a framework comprising 17 goals and 169 targets, through which States, civil society, and private sector can guide and measure their contributions to sustainable development towards 2030.

The new development agenda is the most ambitious to date and the 17 goals are a universal call to action to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The goals are interconnected- often the key to success on one will involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another. The SDGs work in the spirit of partnership and pragmatism to make the appropriate and right choices to improve life, in a sustainable way, for future generations.

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The 17 SDGs offer the world a new direction, tourism can and must play a significant role in delivering sustainable solutions for people, the planet, prosperity and peace. Tourism as an economic powerhouse is the third highest world category in export earnings in 2015, representing 10% of world GDP, 30% of services exports and 1 out of every 10 jobs in the world. Tourism has the potential to contribute, directly or indirectly to all of the goals. In particular, it has been included as targets in Goals 8, 12 and 14 on inclusive and sustainable economic growth, sustainable consumption and production (SCP) and the sustainable use of oceans and marine resources, respectively.

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Interested in Getting Involved or Learning More

We encourage partners, organizations, local governments, Indigenous Nations and tourism businesses interested in collaborating or finding more about the Biosphere Certification to get in touch with our Biosphere Project Manager, Rehan Siddiqui: