Illustration: UNESCO, International Day (Some rights reserved)

A biosphere reserve is an area proposed by its residents, ratified by a national committee, and designated by UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere (MAB) program, which demonstrates innovative approaches to living and working in harmony with nature.

The idea was proposed by Mexican scientist Enrique Beltran at the First World Conference on National Parks held in Seattle in 1962.

Key Links

Just learning of the first, annual International Day for Biosphere Reserves: November 3. What would those in the know like us to understand about the World Network of Biosphere Reserves?

UNESCO: The Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, launched in 1971, is UNESCO’s oldest intergovernmental scientific programme and it is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021 and 2022. The MAB Programme and the biosphere reserve model have, over the past 50 years, become an international example of sustainable territorial development and highlight UNESCO’s and the MAB’s commitment to the global biodiversity agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Following the decision of the 41st session of the General Conference, November 3 is the International Day for Biosphere Reserves. The year 2022 will also see the end of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the MAB Programme.The purpose of the International Day for Biosphere Reserves is to provide, on an annual basis, a wake-up call on the sustainable development approach to modern life and the leading and exemplary role that the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) can play in this regard.

Encompassing all types of ecosystems and sometimes urban areas, the WNBR has a global presence, comprising 724 sites, 21 of which are transboundary sites, in 131 countries. More than 260 million people have their home in a biosphere reserve. Altogether, these sites protect about 5% of the earth’s surface, or more than 7 million km², an expanse roughly equal to the size of Australia. Every year, an increasing number of sites join the WNBR, and more and more countries will ultimately pursue the objectives and goals of the MAB Programme.

A New Roadmap for the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme and its World Network of Biosphere Reserves
MAB Strategy (2015-2025)
Lima Action Plan (2016-2025)
Lima Declaration


UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme

Key Links

Español = Spanish
2013_2014_map_of_the_world_network_of_biosphere_reserves (PDF)

Elsewhere on the Web
Wollumbin Biosphere Reserve

Embedded Tweets

Biosphere reserve
Man and the Biosphere Programme
World Network of Biosphere Reserves
World Network of Biosphere Reserves in Latin America and the Caribbean

Biosphere Reserves Features

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.