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Caring for Nature

The Nex̱wlélex̱wm/Bowen Biodiversity Conservation Initiative

Bowen Island, Nex̱wlélex̱wm to the Squamish Nation, is nestled in the heart of the UNESCO Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound Biosphere. This island is not just a place we call home; it’s a living, breathing testament to the beauty, strength and fragility of nature. Our collective connection to the environment forms the very essence of our community. It’s this bond that urges us to protect the rich biodiversity that thrives here—a mission that’s become more crucial than ever.

In the face of increasing threats such as habitat loss, climate change, and invasive species, our island’s natural treasures stand at a crossroads. Are we, as a community, up to the challenge of seeking a way forward that can address these growing pressures? Will we be bystanders in the unfolding story of our island? Or instead, its guardians and its voice?

This is where the Caring for Nature: The Nex̱wlélex̱wm/Bowen Biodiversity Conservation Initiative sees opportunity. Spearheaded by the Bowen Island Conservancy, this inititiative is a long-term commitment to biodiversity conservation planning, actions and monitoring – in short, call to action for residents, businesses, organizations, and governments on the island.

The Conservancy has assembled an outstanding team including professionals with environmental, conservation biology, communications, research, nature interpretation, planning and geographic information systems backgrounds, as well as two Bowen Island municipal councilors. All our volunteers proudly call Bowen Island home.

Our initiative is unique—it marries rigorous scientific methods with the wealth of local knowledge and passion that Bowen Islanders possess. This comprehensive approach will allow us to not only identify key conservatio options and opportunities but also to understand the constraints we face and explore viable solutions.

The resulting biodiversity conservation plan can serve as a critical tool for residents, developers, the municipality, businesses, and community organizations, enabling informed decision-making that prioritizes our natural heritage. This can be biodiversity planning done right; driven by the community for the community.

Over the coming months, you’ll hear more about our efforts. From enlightening articles to engaging events and even a Biodiversity Photography Contest. We’re making sure everyone has a chance to be involved and informed.

This fall, the initiative will take a significant stride forward with an open house and the first in a series of public engagement workshops. These gatherings will be your opportunity to share your insights, learn about our scientific findings, and have a direct impact on the conservation decisions that can shape the future of Bowen Island.

Imagine a future where Bowen Island remains a beacon of environmental resilience, cultural richness, and sustainable living. By joining hands in this vital cause, we can work to ensure that our island not only survives but thrives for generations to come. This is our chance to stand together, to celebrate, and safeguard our natural heritage…and to Care for Nature.