NANAIMO – After a year-long process, 4VI (formerly Tourism Vancouver Island) has achieved the Responsible Tourism Institute’s Biosphere certification for Vancouver Island, which aligns with 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations in areas that include climate change, environment, social, economy and culture.
“4VI is committed to advancing the well-being and sustainability of Vancouver Island’s communities, businesses, culture and environment,” says Anthony Everett, President & CEO, 4VI. “Our team has been working collaboratively with local stakeholders to develop a sustainable action plan that incorporates matters of shared importance across Vancouver Island. Biosphere certification will secure Vancouver Island’s reputation as an internationally recognized sustainable destination.”
4VI joins a select group of close to 50 destinations worldwide to earn Biosphere certification, including only four organizations in Canada – all of which are located in British Columbia – Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association and Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association. Along with Northern BC Tourism Association, these five organizations operate under a partnership called the BC Regional Tourism Secretariat (BCRTS) and signed their commitment to pursue Biosphere certification together on Earth Day 2021.
Biosphere certification is the first program of global significance 4VI has achieved for Vancouver Island since its industry-leading transition from a destination management organization to a social enterprise.
“The decision to become a Biosphere-certified destination is rooted in 4VI’s organizational mandate to power the stewardship of our destination and our home,” explains Janet Docherty, Chair, 4VI Board of Directors. “We look forward to working with BCRTS as well as Destination Greater Victoria – who will sign a letter of commitment to pursue Biosphere certification at IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism being held in Victoria this week – to achieve our collective goals.”
“The world needs more destinations like Vancouver Island, that are committed to sustainability and respect for the environment,” concludes Patricio Azcárate, General Secretary of the Responsible Tourism Institute.