About Us

Nominated by the community as a UNESCO Biosphere in 2002, the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network has supported our communities for the past 20 years by supporting and sharing knowledge, funding and programs that provide practical solutions for sustainable living and well being for all living creatures, for this and future generations.

What is a Biosphere Region?

A biosphere Region is an international UNESCO designation, through the Man and the Biosphere Programme, that recognizes the efforts and involvement of communities to live and work in harmony with nature for positive economic, social, and environmental benefits.

Biosphere Regions integrate three main “functions”:

  • Conservation of biodiversity and cultural diversity
  • Economic development that is socio-culturally and environmentally sustainable
  • Logistic support, underpinning development through research, monitoring, education and training

These three functions are pursued through the Biosphere Reserves’ three main zones

Credit: UNESCO/MAB Secretariat.
what is a Biosphere

About the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Region

The Frontenac Arch Biosphere is a region of  global ecological significance acknowledging the contributions of the communities who’ve made this place what it is today. It spans 2700 square kilometres from from Gananoque to Brockville, and Sydenham to Westport and Rideau Lakes. It is not a protected area, as its name may suggest, but the result of extensive and continued efforts by leaders in our region.
Play Video
Learn more about the Frontenac Arch Biosphere in this TVO documentary series Striking Balance.

The Frontenac Arch Biosphere

The Frontenac Arch Biosphere Region is situated on the homelands of the Haudenosaunee (Kanienʼkehá꞉ka) and Anishinaabeg (Algonquin) people. We are grateful for and acknowledge the generations of Indigenous peoples who have taken care of this land, and who have ongoing and historic connection with this land. Today, the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Region is still home to many First Nations and Metis people, and we are grateful to have an opportunity to continue stewardship on this land.

About the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network

The Frontenac Arch Biosphere is administered by the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network – a not-for-profit organization consisting of a small team of dedicated staff and a broader network of organizations and local communities working together to promote the sustainable development of the region by sharing information, knowledge and best practices.
We promote solutions to live and work in harmony with nature with a commitment towards environmental sustainability.

Our Values

1. Celebrate Life
We celebrate people and nature

2. Empower People
We enable participation

3. Model Solutions
We explore new ways everyday

4. Belong Together
We are part of something bigger 

Our Vision

The Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network contributes to strengthening sustainable community development, celebrating the interconnectedness of nature, livelihood, well-being and culture, for this and future generations.

Our Mission

To implement the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere programme to improve relationships between people and their environments.

Our Staff

Shannon Lem
Executive Director

Shannon joined us after 12 years facilitating private land restoration and stewardship, and managing a Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan (SNAP) at the Credit Valley Conservation Authority. Shannon loves tending the veggie garden, planting native plants, fruit and nut trees, weaving baskets, hiking and paddling.

Leila Vaziri Zanjani
Conservation Specialist

Leila enjoys talking with people about Protected and Conserved Areas in the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Region, as well as across Canada. She feels responsible to engage the community in conservation efforts!

Christine Grossutti
Conservation Project Manager

Christine wrote her PhD thesis about the Biosphere regions in Canada. She enjoys helping out on her partner’s maple syrup farm in springtime and following her kid through the woods all year round.

Victoria Renner
Youth Climate Action Summit Program Manager

Victoria appreciates the small things in life… especially if they have 6 or more legs! Victoria loves hiking, camping and paddling in the Biosphere, and trying to identify what she sees.

A woman with long brown hair wearing a jean jacket standing in the middle of a gravel trail in a forest.

Deborah D'Amico
Senior Development Lead

Deborah has a life long connection to nature and the environment. Over the last two decades, she has worked in communications and fundraising. She has art and art history degrees from the University of Toronto and the University of St Andrews, Scotland.

A woman in a hat, sunglasses, and sandals crouches down on a large rock to hug a large dog. They are outside in the woods.

Kim Chamberlain
Nature Camp & Education Manager

Kim grew up on the shores of Georgian Bay, sparking her lifelong passion for nature. She has a diploma in Outdoor Adventure Education and has spent her career teaching and guiding in the backcountry of Northern Ontario and British Columbia. You can find her paddling, camping and hiking every chance she gets.

A person wearing an orange hat and green scarf is scrunching up their face with joy as they hold a yellow rumped warbler with its wings spread.

Becky Lamb
Communications & Outreach Coordinator

Becky is a nature nerd through and through that loves to create opportunities for people to get outside in their own neighbourhood. She/they have worked in community and destination development for 12+ years, including roles with Evergreen Canada, Toronto Botanical Gardens, and Prince Edward County.

Board Of Directors

Helen Anne Hudson Co-Chair

Dr. Helen Anne Hudson grew up in the FAB region on her family farm and has a great appreciation for the natural beauty of the area. Working in sustainability at Burnbrae Farms, she has a keen awareness of the importance of the natural environment and is proud to be a FABN board member.

Steve McGovern Co-Chair

Steve retired from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in 2014 after 30 years as a resource management professional with education and expertise in aquatic ecosystems, wildlife management and forest management. Steve has been a Director with the FABN Board since 2016 and volunteered as an Ambassador with the Brockville Aquatarium from its opening until 2021.

Katherine Macklem Treasurer

The FAB region has been Katherine’s go-to place for more than fifty years and she now proudly and delightfully resides here full time. Katherine loves getting out on the Biosphere’s waterways, hiking in its woods, and is known for going out of her way for its local produce, especially cheeses. She’s a retired communications professional and former journalist and, with her husband Bob, is a proud parent of three fine young adults and grandparent of two fantastic kids.

Rick Boychuk Director

Rick Boychuk worked at Montreal Gazette, where he was the paper’s environment reporter, and was the editor-in-chief of Canadian Geographic for 14 years. Boychuk is also the author of two books, Honour Thy Mother and River of Grit, and is the recipient of a gold National Magazine Award for Investigative Journalism for his story on the beluga whales of the St. Lawrence River.

Jim Delaney Director

Jim has spent most of his career working for non-profits in economic development and the environment. Jim lived overseas for over 15 years, supporting initiatives that engaged communities, business and other stakeholders to develop sustainable place-based livelihoods in areas of high ecological importance. Since returning to Canada, Jim has led program design and evaluation for WUSC, an Ottawa-based global development organization.

Lindsey Dickie Director

Lindsey was raised in Kemptville, Ontario. She has spent the past 20 years honing her skills as a marketing and business strategist for both not-for-profit organizations and commercial businesses in Toronto. Along with serving on the FABN board, Lindsey is on the board of the Canadian Biosphere Reserve Association and an advisor for All Earthlings. Lindsey has studied permaculture and sustainable building techniques in Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Katrina Furlanetto Director

Katrina Furlanetto is the Manager, Funding – Adaptation in Action which supports the development and implementation of the Local Leadership for Climate Adaptation program within the Green Municipal Fund at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. As the past General Manager for Cataraqui Conservation, she has worked within the environmental sector for over 10 years specializing in aquatic health, field work, strategic leadership, and climate change adaptation, and brings experience of working with non-profit governance.

Deb Lace-Kelly Director

Deb has a career in media & communications and has worked with Global Television News, and Ryerson University (now Toronto Metropolitan University). As a Communications Consultant Deb works with environmental and cultural organizations, Indigenous groups, sustainable travel companies and magazines. Deb earned the (GSTC) Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism, and holds a Masters of Art in Media Studies from York University.

Adrienne O’Neil Director

Alan Whyte Director

Alan is a retired lawyer living in Kingston. He is passionate about the environment and regeneration, and very concerned about climate breakdown. He contributes his strategic thinking, long term planning and leadership skills as a Board member. Alan also serves as a Board member of DoorNumberOne.org and the Kingston Yacht Club.

Do you have a passion for nature conservancy and sustainable development? Inquire about Board positions with the Frontenac Arch Biosphere by emailing us at info@fabn.ca

Our Global Network

The Frontenac Arch Biosphere is part of a broad global network of over 700 UNESCO sites in more than 130 countries. Within that global context, the Canadian Network of UNESCO Biosphere Regions, consists of 19 sites, situated within the traditional territories of over 50 Indigenous Nations.

Each UNESCO Biosphere Region contains inspiring, globally unique and biodiverse ecosystems, conserved by a locally-appropriate, inclusive approach to Sustainable Development.

The knowledge acquired from each endeavour across the network is shared among other UNESCO Biosphere Regions in Canada, and also among sites across the world network.

Altogether, Canadian Biospheres span over 235,000 km2 and conserve both the long-term health of the environment as well as the quality of life for 2.3 million Canadians.

Play Video
Authorizes the World Biosphere designations.
Biosphere Canadian
Supports and enhances the work of Canada’s Biospheres.
Supports all UNESCO sites in Canada, including Biosphere Regions, World Heritage Sites, and Geoparks.
Frontenac Arch Biosphere
Actions the mandate in our community.

View Our Conservation Strategy