The Beaver Hills Biosphere

The Beaver Hills was designated as a biosphere on March 19, 2016 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This is a global recognition of a collective commitment by the communities within the region to celebrate and advance knowledge, culture, nature and economy together.

The considerable efforts and support of these organizations contributed to the designation of the Beaver Hills as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2016.

  • Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (Parks Division)
  • Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (Public Lands Division)
  • Alberta Fish and Game Association
  • Alberta Sport Connection
  • Beaver County
  • Ducks Unlimited Canada
  • Edmonton & Area Land Trust
  • Elk Island National Park
  • Lamont County
  • Leduc County
  • Nature Conservancy of Canada
  • Sherwood Park Fish and Game Association
  • Strathcona County
  • Strathcona County – Strathcona Wilderness Centre

In Harmony With Nature

UNESCO-designated biospheres are regions in which people live and work in harmony with nature. These are places that provide local solutions to global challenges. 

Part of the Man and the Biosphere Programme, biospheres involve local communities and interested stakeholders in collaborative planning and management efforts that focus on:

  • Conservation of biodiversity and cultural diversity
  • Economic development that is culturally and environmentally sustainable
  • Logistic support, underpinning development through research, monitoring, education and training

These functions are pursued through the Biosphere's three main zones:

  1. Core areas
  2. Buffer zones
  3. Transition area

There are currently 714 biosphere reserves in 129  countries, including 21 trans-boundary sites, that belong to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

Learn more about biospheres

Man and the Biosphere Programme

World Network of Biosphere Reserves

The Beaver Hills Biosphere belongs to a network of 18 Canadian Biospheres that represent the country's geographic, climatic ecological, economic and cultural diversity.

Learn more