Biosphere

DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT

Our Commitment

We are committed to building a tourism industry that promotes a sustainable use of natural assets and focuses on improving biodiversity.

What is Biosphere?

Biosphere is a Sustainable Tourism System certified by the Responsible Tourism Institute, an international certification body that maintains a Memorandum of Understanding with UNESCO, is affiliated to the World Tourism Organization, and is a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. The system is aligned with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris COP21 Accord to Fight Climate Change.

The Biosphere Commitment Program allows tourism industry stakeholders within Northern BC to be recognized and involved through the Biosphere Certification. The Commitment Program follows a simple process in order to be recognized as a Biosphere Committed Company.

Northern BC Region Officially a Biosphere Certified Destination

Northern BC has received this status, one of  35 globally and only 5 in Canada, demonstrating a commitment to growing and building the tourism sector in the region in alignment with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The certification allows a region to demonstrate how they take sustainability seriously, but also ensures they are accountable to make necessary and ongoing improvements.

The Responsible Tourism Institute Biosphere certification is based on established standards 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. 

As part of the Biosphere commitment, NBCTA will be sharing resources for stakeholders to support the Biosphere sustainability objectives.

Read the Full Release here



Why Join Biosphere?

Global Responsibility Recognition

Being a responsible and sustainable travel option has increasingly become a differentiator in the minds of today’s consumers. Make your Biosphere commitment your competitive advantage with recognition from the Responsible Tourism Institute, video opportunities, and social media promotion for increased visibility.

Responsible Resilience

The Biosphere Commitment is a dynamic program with the initiatives to support growing industries with value-added resources designed to help you build a resilient, responsible organizational framework for long-term success.

Become a Biosphere Committed Organization

Biosphere Sustainable Lifestyle - a revolutionary system that tells the real sustainability level of your company and connects with your customers.

Through the Biosphere Sustainable Lifestyle platform, available to stakeholders free for one year ($500 value), stakeholders can create personalized sustainability plans, become Biosphere committed and certified and share their progress with guests and partners.

                         LEARN MORE                      

NBCTA's Actions on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals

Through the Biosphere Certification process, NBCTA has committed to working on goals and actions related to each sustainable development goal.   Some of this work overlaps goals, and some of the work is going to take more time to complete.  Sustainability is a journey, not a destination, and through our efforts, large and small, we can make a difference in the longevity of this amazing region.

1 No Poverty

End poverty in all its forms everywhere. 

Goal: NBCTA has a fair trade purchase policy and promotes fair trade resources to stakeholders.

2 ZERO HUNGER

End hunger, archive food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

Goal: NBCTA shares with tourists, public and private entities, visitor centres and visitor counsellors of Northern BC a list of exotic and invasive species to the region that can be consulted so the extraction of invasive species can be facilitated and replaced with local species.

  • under development

3 Good Health and Well-Being

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Goal: NBCTA works with partners to provide mental health well-being resources to our staff and stakeholders across the region. 

  • Wellness Wednesdays - an ongoing LinkedIn campaign aimed at providing mental wellness tips to stakeholders.

4 Quality Education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Goal: NBCTA has a sustainability policy and promotion strategy developed, as a means of providing a sustainability toolkit for local companies to understand and integrate sustainability practices into their operations.

  • Short-term goal: under development

5 Gender Equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Goal: British Columbia has has developed programs and policies to promote gender equality in the workplace through Work BC, recognizing the challenges and discrimination women can suffer from in the workplace and give the tools and resources needed to empower women and facilitate their inclusion in the workplace.

6 Clean Water and Sanitation

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Goal: NBCTA has ecological taps installed in all facilities and promotes the use of ecological taps in tourism assets across the region.

  • Short-term goal: in progress

7 Affordable Clean Energy

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Goal: NBCTA is an active member of the Climate-Change Network for Northern BC, sharing the promoting energy conservation and transition programs and strategies for all stakeholders, visitors included.

  • Medium-term goal: under development

8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

Goal: An awareness, information, training and motivation plan for employees is approved by management, to guarantee their involvement and functions of responsible tourism system. In addition, it incorporates training and continuous training of personnel, in relations to the activities carried out in their jobs, with a priority placed on training related to environmental, socio-cultural, health, safety, and sustainability.

9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

Goal: In partnership with Emergency Management BC and go2HR, a tourism emergency management plan, called PREPARED BC - Emergency Planning Resources for Tourism Operators, is being developed to provide support resources to tourism operators in preparing for potential emergencies, like wildfires or floods, that could effect their staff and guests.

  • Long-term goal: under development

10 Reduced Inequalities

Reduce inequality within and among countries.

Goal: NBCTA has an accessibility strategy for the tourism assets and workplaces across the region.

  • Medium-Term Goal: Accessibility Strategy - under development
  • Short-Term Goal: Accessibility Improvement Program - launching soon

11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Goal: NBCTA promotes services and products of the region, highlighting the value of supporting local small and medium sized enterprises in the tourism supply chain.

  • Short-term goal: under development

Goal: Information on accessibility is included in the communication actions of NBCTA, in particular on tourist places, facilities and services, including those of natural and cultural importance, are accessible to everyone, including visitors with disabilities and other who have requirement so of specific access or other special needs.

  • Short-term goal: under development

12 Responsible Consumption and Production

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Goal: Purchasing from suppliers aware of the environment and who can demonstrate their commitment is prioritized, through the NBCTA Sustainable Purchasing Policy.

13 Climate Action

Take urgent action to combat climate changes and its impacts.

Goal: NBCTA support and promote the network of EV charging stations throughout the region, and promote special use vehicle incentive program (Clean BC) to stakeholders as well as supporting telecommuting solutions for our own staff.

  • NBCTA promotes PlugShare, highlighting the EV network throughout the region, with trip planning features.
  • NBCTA has a decentralized office structure, with many staff working remoting from the main office in Prince George.

14 Life Below Water

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Goal: With much of the waste in the world ending up in aquatic environments, NBCTA provides stakeholders suggestions on how to help reduce pollution in daily operations, such as eliminating plastic bottles by replacing them with reusable bottles and reducing food waste.

  • Medium-term goal: under development

15 Life On Land

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forest, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

Goal: NBCTA has a sustainability strategy for the Northern BC region, including supports for stakeholders.  This strategy will include listings of natural heritage sites and assets with assessments on their conservation status and vulnerabilities, programs aimed at supporting conservation of biodiversity and natural heritage, and proposed mechanisms to utilize tourism revenues to support conservation of natural assets.

  • Long-term goal - under development

16 Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effect, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Goal: NBCTA shares information about the management of the region as a sign of commitment and transparency to provide reliability to citizens and visitors who might be interested, while improving the image of the region.

  • A communications strategy has been development and deployed to share sustainability efforts, tools and strategies with the region's stakeholders, visitors included.  

17 Partnership for the Goals

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

Goal: NBCTA promotes Biosphere Sustainable Lifestyle platform to stakeholders as a means to development their own sustainability plans, engage their employees, track their progress, and share with their guests and vendors.

Northern BC Tourism

1274 5th Avenue

Prince George, BC V2L 3L2

T: 250.561.0432

F: 250.561.0450

E: info@nbctourism.com

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