Tourism Cowichan, the organization responsible for destination management and marketing for the Cowichan Region, is now a Biosphere Committed Destination with the goal of achieving full certification by fall 2024.
The Biosphere Certification Program is a globally recognized sustainability management and certification system that aligns with the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, making it a leading tool for fostering sustainable practices worldwide. By becoming Biosphere Committed, Tourism Cowichan confirms a commitment to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Becoming Biosphere Committed is an integral first step that will guide our vision towards long-term resiliency and sustainability for Cowichan’s businesses, communities, and natural ecosystems,” said Kenzie Knight, Tourism Development Specialist for Tourism Cowichan. “We are committed to ongoing learning while actioning destination stewardship projects that align with the SDGs, benefitting both our residents and visitors."
This commitment will allow Tourism Cowichan to tailor their sustainability efforts and focus on the areas most relevant to their businesses, stakeholders and rightsholders. This includes the environment and climate change, society and culture, and governance and economy. The sustainability action plan will encourage collaboration on regenerative projects, increase industry development opportunities, and gather improved data for evidence-based decision making.
4VI launched the Vancouver Island Biosphere Commitment Program in 2022 to support businesses and communities as they navigate changing tourism trends and creating a more sustainable tourism industry. Through 4VI, the Vancouver Island Region became a Biosphere Certified destination in April 2022.
“Market trends show that travellers are increasingly valuing sustainability when making travel choices,” said Kyla Egan, Director, Sustainability, 4VI. “Tourism Cowichan’s Biosphere Commitment will aim to enhance the destination's appeal to visitors and attract value-aligned visitors.”