DOWNLOAD THE ARTICLE: “Is it time for Biocultural Diversity Zonation in British Columbia?” asked Michael Blackstock (BC Forest Professional, September – October 2014)
Note to Reader:
Michael Blackstock, RPF, is an independent scholar of European and Gitxsan descent. He holds a Master of Arts degree in First Nations studies and is a Chartered Mediator. Michael was a member of UNESCO’s Expert Advisory Panel on Water and Cultural Diversity for four years. Michael has conducted research with First Nations Elders on water and developed a new water-first ecological theory called Blue Ecology. In 2014, the BC Forest Professional published his article titled Is it time for Biocultural Diversity Zonation in BC?,
Michael Blackstock’s concept for portraying Biocultural Diversity (BCD) Zone Maps in British Columbia
“Curiously, British Columbia has an an amazing diversity of Indigenous languages, about 60% of Canada’s First Nations languages are found in BC. Language is an essential component of the cultural diversity of the planet,” wrote Michael Blackstock.
“Biocultural diversity emerged as a term this millennium that inextricably links cultural and biological diversity, focusing on correlations between biodiversity and linguistic diversity. Most importantly, the notion of ‘linked’ implies that biological and cultural diversity have co-evolved, are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.”
“So, the assumption made here is that there has been a close association and evolution of British Columbia’s biodiversity and cultural diversity, which can be portrayed by interweaving Biogeoclimatic (BEC) and linguistic zones and thus creating Biocultural Diversity (BCD) Zone maps.”
Story behind the Story
“Biocultural diversity refers to the diversity of life in all aspects — meaning not only the biological diversity (as we might normally think about it), but also cultural and linguistic diversity,” stated Michael Blackstock in 2023 when he shared his story behind the story.
“I first heard of the concept of biocultural diversity while a member of UNESCO’s Expert Advisory Panel on Water and Cultural Diversity in 2008.”
“I imagined what that might look like in British Columbia, as we are blessed with both high biodiversity and Indigenous cultural diversity.”
“The biocultural diversity map I designed and presented in my article lays out possible biocultural zones to pilot the implementation of Blue Ecology, for example. As the boundaries represent what is on the ground rather than arbitrary political or bureaucratic administrative planning boundaries.”
To Learn More:
To read the complete article by Michael Blackstock, download a copy of Is it time for Biocultural Diversity Zonation in BC?, published in 2014.