What is a Biosphere Region?

Learn what makes a biosphere region special.

Biospheres Around the World

Biosphere reserves are areas recognized by the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme for their unique biodiversity, iconic landscapes, and engaged communities. They are part of a world network of over 700 sites in more than 120 countries, covering an overall area larger than China, and are home to around 170 million people.

You can think of the different biosphere regions as houses built with the same blueprint, but with differing interior decorations depending on their local needs, context, and opportunities.

Biospheres in Canada

In Canada, biosphere reserves are known as biosphere regions. There are 19 regions, each serving as a collaborative innovation hub that is balancing environment conservation and economic development, while considering social and cultural needs within the local context.

Canadian Commission for UNESCO is the UNESCO presence in Canada.

Striking Balance

Striking Balance, a TVO Original documentary series, explores some of Canada’s most breathtaking, UNESCO-designated biosphere regions.

Narrated by Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy, each 50-minute episode, one for 17 of the 19 biosphere regions, visits a different biosphere to investigate how residents are overcoming the challenges that are threatening the sustainability of these amazing places.

Learn More and Get Involved

Engaging with Canada’s biosphere region organizations, whether through visiting, partnering, or learning from their practices, means joining a larger movement toward a sustainable future.

Come explore, collaborate, and contribute to the journey to a better tomorrow!

Learn more about how to become a biosphere region.

Support the Work of our Biosphere Regions

Join us in building resilient communities, conserving nature, and creating a sustainable future for generations to come.

Donate Today
A photo of boats at Alma Warf in the Southwest Nova Biosphere Region.