On 23 March 2022 Kootenay Rockies Tourism received Biosphere Certified Destination recognition for its sustainability efforts and good practices.
We are pleased to announce that Kootenay Rockies is now a Biosphere Certified Destination. This region of British Columbia joined three others in the territory (Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, Northern British Columbia and Tourism Vancouver Island) at the end of April 2021, along with the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, to begin their commitment to sustainability and the United Nations Agenda 2030 through the Responsible Tourism Institute. And we are pleased to see that in less than a year, it has managed to recognise the great work that has long been working in the destination to maintain a balance and responsible development of its economy, society, culture and environment. Kootenay Rockies becomes one of three regions in Canada to hold this internationally recognised seal of approval, along with Thompson Okanagan and Cariboo Chilcotin Coast.
The certification is based on the principles, goals and 169 targets of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, in which the region works towards continuous improvement in the three dimensions of sustainability: environment and climate change, society and culture, and governance and economy. This certification is a whole process of diagnosis, planning and global action in which the ultimate aim is to detect the state of the levels of the indicators of the territory and how the tourism industry contributes to and compensates for them. After a year of work, the actions, activities and initiatives proposed and implemented in Kootenay Rockies by the RTI have highlighted their commitment and involvement in guaranteeing a more responsible and sustainable tourism model.
The Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association, following the strategic directions set out in the 10-year Destination Development Strategy, began its sustainability journey in 2019, the first step being the development of a regional sustainability charter in alignment with international standards and metrics for destination sustainability.
"The team at KRT has been focused on moving this region forward on a sustainable tourism path for some time now and thanks to our collective efforts with regional partners and stakeholders, we have achieved this first step as an internationally recognized sustainability-aligned destination,” says KRT CEO, Kathy Cooper, “This distinction supports and validates our commitment to ensuring the growth of the tourism sector is done through a sustainability lens.”
In the words of Patricio Azcárate, Secretary General of the RTI, "this achievement signifies not only the firm commitment made by Kootenay Rockies Tourism to sustainability, but also represents a commitment to the continuous improvement of the destination's society, economy and environment and respect for the planet on which we live and in which we must all be involved."
Biosphere destinations are committed to continuous improvement guided by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations and include combating climate change, protecting the environment, supporting economic growth and respecting culture and social values.
As part of the Biosphere commitment, KRT will be sharing resources for stakeholders to support the Biosphere sustainability objectives. To find out more about the resources and programs related to destination stewardship and tourism sustainability you can visit their official website here.