UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve
The UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve, the largest wilderness area in the Maritimes — second largest in Canada. Nestled in southern part of Nova Scotia, the biosphere encompasses almost a quarter of the province – 1.5 million hectares!
The area is teeming with natural and cultural diversity. Immerse yourself in the deep-rooted cultures: Mi’Kmaq, Acadian, Loyalists and Scottish. Referred to as “Kespukwitk” by the Mi’kmaw people, this is the place where the flowing waters meet the ocean. Immerse yourself in our many lakes and rivers, surrounded by the majestic Acadian forest or escape to the spectacular seacoast.
Our UNESCO Biosphere, consisting of Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site of Canada, the Tobeatic Wilderness Area and the surrounding five counties (Queens, Shelburne, Yarmouth, Digby & Annapolis) in southwest Nova Scotia, is home to highest diversity of reptiles and amphibians east of Ontario and more than 75 percent of Nova Scotia’s species at risk. The area also has the largest collection of petroglyphs in eastern North America.
The Biosphere seeks not to impede development, but rather create an atmosphere where development is undertaken responsibly with a respect of the surrounding environment. The UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere has as its core the only National Park in Canada that is also a National Historic Site, Kejimkujik, as well as the Tobeatic Wilderness Area, a combined total of 142,000 hectares (350,890 acres) of mixed woods, barrens and wetlands. Integrating cultural and biological diversity, the Biosphere is a shining example of sustainable development practices that will ensure that generations to come will be able to appreciate the rich ecological and cultural tapestry of Southwest Nova Scotia.