Tribute to Dr. Fred Roots, O.C.

This website has been developed as a tribute to Dr. Fred Roots, O.C., who played a key role in the creation of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) program in Canada.

His many accomplishments are summarized in the excellent video prepared on the occasion of his receipt of the Explorer’s Medal in March 2016.  Fred passed away just months later in October 2016.

Link to video “Tribute to Dr. Fred Roots”

In October 2016, Dr Roots presented a paper titled “EuroMAB in 2013, A Perspective, Some Comments, and Suggestions.”  The paper was delivered to the 200 participants at EuroMAB 2013 in Brockville, Ontario, Canada.

Dr Roots observed :

One shortcoming of most Biosphere Reserves in the EuroMAB area is the distressing paucity of technical or scholarly information or references emanating from the Biosphere Reserves individually or from MAB itself, concerning the researches and monitoring and application of knowledge that is one of the major  expected goals or benefits from the whole concept.   There is a heavy volume of administrative reports, annual reports to sponsors or assessors, etc., but as far as I am aware there has been  little, in the science field, to show what has actually been learned from the studies or monitoring, or assessments of what the science in the Biosphere Reserve is leading us to speculate about the changes in the future.   Yet this aspect of MAB and Biosphere is central to the reasons for their existence: note the 1970 objective of MAB quoted above.   Each candidate Biosphere Reserve, in its application to UNESCO, includes a comprehensive list of scientific researches and monitoring activities carried out in the area up until the time of the application, and statements of planned future research, as part of the justification for being admitted to the World Network.   Surely it is logical and indeed an obligation, for established Biosphere Reserves to collate, record, and make accessible information about the on-going researches and monitoring within or related to their area; yet for most Biosphere Reserves this does not seem to happen.

We sincerely hope that the development of will address the concerns so aptly set out by Dr. Fred Roots, O.C.