The federal, provincial, and municipal governments are devoting $45 million over five years to ensure the continuity of the Biosphere complex, which fosters a dialogue between the scientific, cultural, and environmental communities and facilitates understanding of the major environmental issues.
By bringing the Biosphere’s operations into the fold of the Space for Life museum complex, the City of Montréal is increasing the scope of the key players in its ecological transition plan, which is a priority for the municipal government. Once the transition is complete, the Biosphere will become the fifth Space for Life museum and will continue to respond to the public’s concerns about environmental issues and engage citizens through its programming, activities, and exhibitions.
“The Biosphere is an important institution that educates Canadians about climate change and nature conservation. Its mission is directly related to the environmental issues of the day,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “That is why the Government of Canada is committed to supporting, with its partners, the Biosphere’s ongoing mission through the activities of Space for Life, the largest natural-science museum complex in Canada.”
The three partners—the governments of Canada and Quebec and the City of Montréal—intend to each invest $15 million over the next five years. With this financial support, the City of Montréal’s Space for Life museum complex—which already includes the Biodôme, Insectarium, Botanical Garden, and Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan—will become responsible for implementing the Biosphere’s mission, which is to make visitors aware of climate change, biodiversity conservation, and pollution, particularly plastic-waste pollution. This collaboration stems from the work done by the committee on the Biosphere’s future, launched in spring 2019.
For more than 25 years, the Government of Canada offered rich and updated programming at the Biosphere. Now, the three levels of government are combining their resources to ensure a promising future for the only environment museum in North America. This support will bolster environmental education and awareness and allow the Biosphere to share scientific information with the public to ensure the commitment of future generations in the fight to preserve our natural heritage.
The Biosphere will be able to resume its activities once its operations have been fully integrated into the City of Montréal and the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic make it safe for staff and visitors to return.
“This environment museum has a unique mission to educate and raise awareness of environmental issues. It makes perfect sense for the Biosphere to pursue its activities within the Space for Life family,” said Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal. “This investment also reflects our desire to position Montréal as a leader in biodiversity protection and increase the scope of its ecological transition plan. It will ensure this unique space for discovery has a promising future.”
A Montréal architectural icon designed for Expo 67 by architect Buckminster Fuller, the Biosphere fosters a dialogue between science, culture, and the environment to facilitate understanding of the major environmental issues of today and tomorrow.
Featured image: Aerial view of the Biosphere, the parc Jean Drapeau and the city of Montreal (Environment and Climate Change Canada).