Networking and Social Learning

Creating Networking and Social Learning Strategies in Canadian Biosphere Reserves

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

With Marc-André Guertin, Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association, Hélène Godmaire, Project Manager, 6 collaborators, and 17 partners and contributors

Social learning

The purpose of the partnership is to enhance scholarly understanding of the capacity of Canadian biosphere reserve (BR) practitioners to participate effectively in multi-level governance for sustainability by creating and implementing regional and national networking and social learning strategies. We seek to: 1. identify, implement, and assess best practices for governance and networking that will help BRs advance sustainability, learn from one another, and exchange knowledge across multiple scales; 2. enhance team-based research, information exchange, and effective networking among academic researchers, individual BRs, the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association (CBRA), national committees, and international organizations to enhance opportunities for social learning and action on sustainability; 3. enhance the capacity of local and national bodies to undertake periodic reviews required by the Man and Biosphere Reserve (MAB) program of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural  Organization (UNESCO); 4. assist the CBRA to identify and communicate a unified Canadian perspective on the evolving application of the BR concept to policy advisors associated with the Canada-MAB committee and the UNESCO-MAB program; and 5. collectively evaluate how the partnership enhances scholarly understanding and practical capabilities of participants to engage in governance and learning for sustainability. This partnership development grant is aimed at learning about and reflecting on Canadian experiences. Two investigators, six collaborators, 15 BRs, and two national organizations form the partnership.


What are Canadian biosphere reserves? This video was produced through the partnership:

Click here for a brochure about the partnership. (French version here).

This video, produced for the 2013 EuroMAB conference, commemorates the launch of the project and features interviews with members of the partnership who speak about the challenges for Canadian Biosphere Reserves and their hopes for the partnership:

This report is an important output of the project, compiling initiatives which have been undertaken by Canadian Biosphere Reserves in the areas of land management and ecosystem services, sustainable tourism and charters, and education. It offers lessons from the 35 years of experience and more than 430 projects conducted by Biosphere Reserves in Canada, by showcasing innovative projects and practices undertaken by the biosphere reserves and reflecting on their key factors of success:

Learning from each other: Proven good practices in Canadian Biosphere Reserves

Savoirs partagés: Pratiques exemplaires des Reserves de la Biosphère Canadiennes