A model of sustainable tourism
To give our ambitions a chance to avoid uncontrolled exploitation of the territory, the Vallée Bras-du-Nord coop adopted since its inception the principles of sustainable tourism development. Not only is it our philosophy, but also a duty and above all, a responsibility.
This means ensuring intelligent and responsible development that meets the needs of current generations, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The strength of such a model is to meet the economic, social and environmental concerns, having heart to keep the balance between these different spheres. Also, it creates a real dialogue and a strong sense of a shared decision-making type win/win.
The peculiarities of the territory, composed of private and public land, encourage cooperative preferred orientation development that integrates local communities and users. In addition, the preservation of the landscape is part of the principles of sustainable development. This concern fosters dialogue among stakeholders, thereby ensuring the development and long-term conservation of Vallée Bras-du-Nord, a natural jewel.
Our cooperative model and it’s flexible structure brings together partners, producers, residents and workers. It also includes, in another innovative project, troubled youth of our region.
Commitments to sustainable development
For over 10 years, as shown by the many awards garnered, the Vallée Bras-du-Nord coop has demonstrated its ability to innovate and successfully achieve the objectives it sets. This amazing success, including sustainable tourism, arouses curiosity. Leaders are regularly invited to share their experiences. (see Conferences).
Examples of eco-friendly actions and commitments put forward by our cooperative:
- Establishment of a sustainable development policy
calling our customers so that they can adopt environmentally responsible actions in the practice of their outdoor activities (Leave no trace Program).
- Development of an education campaign and renaturalization of Bras-du-Nord River's shoreline.
- Consultation of stakeholders to harmonize forest uses (right of access agreements on private lands, coexistence of different actors in the area of public land exchanges and sharing the vision of sustainable development around the territory of the Vallée Bras-du Nord, and related issues).
- Work characterization of sensitive landscapes and deployment of ongoing efforts to preserve them, including greater development.
- Education and interpretation of nature and ecosystems to our customers, as well as through the Option plein air program offered at Louis Jobin high school in St. Raymond.
- Work with the relevant authorities to address some issues related to land development (light pollution, visual integration of new buildings, electrification of Saguenay road, safety and risk management in remote regions, paving the road to Accueil Shannahan, as well as social acceptability of development activities of the cooperative).
- Construction of "green" buildings by promoting wood as a building material (the cooperative has signed up to the Coalition Bois, alternative energy).
- Presenting Vallée Bras-du-Nord's model of sustainable tourism through conferences and training.
" Sustainable tourism development meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future. It is seen as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems. Under the condition that all stakeholders are actively involved and committed to respecting the effective implementation of sustainable tourism. "
- (World Tourism Organization)
Our cooperative model is a tangible, living and inspiring sustainable development. It's a park where outdoor enthusiasts coexists, whether they're tourists, residents, farmers, cottagers, forest workers, tourism businesses and local organizations. This cohabitation promotes dialogue and real and continuous dialogue to reconcile economic, social and environmental requirements of the Vallée Bras-du-Nord. Read more
Vallée Bras-du-Nord is a solidarity cooperative based on an innovative model of cooperative management. Many awards over the years attest the success of our model, since the founding of the coop in 2002. This model combines the employees (workers), the producers of tourism services (producer members) and landowners providing rights of access (support members)..Read more
Vallée Bras-du-Nord is the recipient of numerous awards. We are cited as an example throughout Quebec and internationally as a model of sustainable tourism integrating both young, local people and local stakeholders. Read more
Every year since 2002, Vallée Bras-du-Nord coop hires a dozen youth from Portneuf region who went through various issues of life (dropping out of school, substance abuse, delinquency, etc.) We offer them a few months in a different kind of school, the forest. Here, they work to build and maintain our trail system. This unusual approach forces them to confront a hostile environment that teaches patience, tolerance, discipline, teamwork, determination and perseverance. Read more
Louis Jobin High School in St. Raymond has developed a school program with an outdoors concentration that leverages the wealth of St-Raymond’s territory and surrounding areas. It was built in collaboration with Vallée Bras-du-Nord’s coop, whose expertise in education through adventure and nature has been successfully used. The school offers this program to students of 4th and 5th secondary level.
Many successes in recent years and multiple benefits generated by Vallée Bras-du-Nord’s model of cooperative solidarity attract curiosity. This model shines throughout Quebec and beyond its borders.
Since the founding of Vallée Bras-du-Nord in the summer of 2002, much effort was devoted to start-up and implementation of the cooperative. More specifically, this first phase of development is defined by the creation of many trails, equipment, facilities and events (raids, competitions, etc.) Total investments of this first phase are estimated at more than $5 million.