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Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) is an intergovernmental scientific program, launched in 1971 by
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
, that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments. MAB's work engages fully with the
international development International development or global development is a broad concept denoting the idea that societies and countries have differing levels of "development" on an international scale. It is the basis for international classifications such as develo ...
agenda—specially with the
Sustainable Development Goals The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or Global Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable Sustainability is the capacity to endure in a relatively ongoing wa ...

Sustainable Development Goals
and the Post 2015 Development Agenda—and addresses challenges linked to scientific, environmental, societal and development issues in diverse
ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Energy enters the syst ...

ecosystem
s; from mountain regions to marine, coastal and island areas; from tropical forests to dry lands and urban areas. MAB combines the
natural Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, material world or universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxies, and all other forms of matter and ...

natural
and
social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist o ...

social science
s,
economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a bran ...

economics
and
education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion ...

education
to improve human livelihoods and the equitable sharing of benefits, and to safeguard natural and managed ecosystems, thus promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate, and environmentally sustainable. The MAB program provides a unique platform for cooperation on research and development, capacity-building and networking to share information, knowledge and experience on three interlinked issues:
biodiversity loss Biodiversity loss includes the extinction Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells ...
,
climate change Contemporary climate change includes both the global warming caused by humans, and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are more rapid than any known even ...
and
sustainable development Sustainable development is the organizing principle for meeting human development goals while simultaneously sustaining the ability of natural systems to provide the natural resources and ecosystem services Social forestry in India, Social ...

sustainable development
. It contributes not only to better understanding of the environment, but also promotes greater involvement of science and scientists in policy development concerning the wise use of biological diversity. , 714 biosphere reserves in 129 countries, including 21 transboundary sites, have been included in the
World Network of Biosphere Reserves The UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialised ...
.


Biosphere reserves

Biosphere reserves are areas comprising terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems. Each reserve promotes solutions reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use. Biosphere reserves are nominated by national governments and remain under the sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are located. Their status is internationally recognized. Biosphere reserves are ‘Science for Sustainability support sites’ – special places for testing interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and managing changes and interactions between social and ecological systems, including conflict prevention and management of biodiversity. Biosphere reserves have three interrelated zones that aim to fulfill three complementary and mutually reinforcing functions: * The core area(s) comprises a strictly protected ecosystem that contributes to the conservation of landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic variation. * The buffer zone surrounds or adjoins the core areas, and is used for activities compatible with sound ecological practices that can reinforce scientific research, monitoring, training and education. * The transition area is the part of the reserve where the greatest activity is allowed, fostering economic and human development that is socioculturally and ecologically sustainable.


Biospheres and the IUCN classification

In 1996, the
IUCN The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN; officially International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) is an international organization ''International Organization'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journ ...
and MAB published a guideline for how to assess UNESCO biosphere reserves in the IUCN classification system. For that to work, the IUCN distinguish between the biosphere core, buffer, and transition zones, and also between each individual biosphere reserve. The most important feature for the assessment is the biosphere's management objective. Given that one of the main objectives of biospheres are scientific work, generally speaking, this would put biosphere core zones in the IUCN category I; either Ia (
strict nature reserve A strict nature reserve (IUCN category Ia) or wilderness area (IUCN category Ib) is the highest category of protected area Protected areas or conservation areas are locations which receive protection because of their recognized natu ...
) or Ib (
wilderness area A wilderness area is a region where the land is in a natural state; where impacts from human activities are minimal—that is, a wilderness Wilderness or wildlands (usually in the plural), are natural environments on Earth that have not been ...
). Biosphere buffer zones would fall in category IV, V or VI and transition zones would be categorized as either V or VI if at all possible.


Working of the programme

UNESCO’s intergovernmental structure provides MAB with a framework to help national governments support the planning and implementation of research and training programmes with technical assistance and scientific advice. Participating countries establish MAB National Committees that ensure maximum national participation in the international programme, defining and implementing each country’s activities. MAB currently operates through 158 National Committees established among the 195 Members States and nine Associate Members States of UNESCO. The agenda of the MAB Programme is defined by its main governing body, the International Coordinating Council. The MAB Council consists of 34 member states elected by UNESCO’s General Conference. The council elects a chair and five vice-chairpersons from each of UNESCO’s geopolitical regions, one of which functions as a rapporteur. These constitute the MAB Bureau. The MAB Secretariat is based at UNESCO’s Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences, at UNESCO's headquarter in Paris, and works closely with the different field offices around the world to coordinate the work of the MAB Programme at national and regional levels. Its staff members draw on expertise in many and varied disciplines. MAB is funded through the regular budget of UNESCO and mobilizes funds in-trust granted by Member States, bilateral and multilateral sources, and extra-budgetary funds provided by countries, the private sector and private institutions. MAB-related activities are nationally financed. The programme can grant seed funding to assist countries in developing projects and/or to secure appropriate partnership contributions. The latest World Congress of Biosphere Reserves took place in
Lima Lima ( ; ) is the capital and the largest city of Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_t ...

Lima
,
Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = National seal , national_motto ...

Peru
, from 14 to 17 March 2016. This will be the 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves and it shall develop a new vision for the decade 2016–2025.


Networks

The World Network of Biosphere Reserves is supported by different regional, sub-regional or thematic networks. These are as follows: * The African Biosphere Reserves Network (AfriMAB) was created in 1996 and comprises 33 African countries. * The ArabMAB Network was officially launched in 1997 and represents 18 Arab countries. * The
East Asian Biosphere Reserve Network East is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to eas ...
was launched in 1994. Today, it consists of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation. * EuroMAB is the network of biosphere reserves in Europe and North America. Created in 1987, it is the largest MAB Regional Network with 53 countries. * The
Ibero-American MAB Network Ibero-America ( es, Iberoamérica, pt, Ibero-América) or Iberian America is a region in the Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North and South America South America ...
(IberoMAB) was created in 1992. It comprises 22 countries from Latin American and the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal. * The
Pacific Man and the Biosphere Network The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continent A continent is ...
(PacMAB) was created in 2006 and comprises the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga. * The
South and Central Asia MAB Network South is one of the cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to east an ...
(SACAM) was created in 2002 and comprises Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. * The
Southeast Asian Biosphere Reserve Network The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydrostatic equilibrium, rounded by its own gravity ...
(SeaBRnet) was created in 1998. Today, it comprises Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. * The
East Atlantic Biosphere Reserve Network East is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to eas ...
(REDBIOS) was created in 1994. It comprises the Canary Islands (Spain), Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Madeira and Azores (Portugal), Mauritania, Morocco, Sao Tomé and Principe, and Senegal. * The
World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves The world is the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continent A continent is one of several large landmass ...
was established in 2012 and comprises 22 countries. It aims to study, implement and disseminate island, marine and coastal strategies to preserve biodiversity and heritage, promote sustainable development, and adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.


See also

*
Agenda 21 Agenda 21 is a non-binding action planAn action plan is a detailed plan A plan is typically any diagram or list of steps with details of timing and resources, used to achieve an Goal, objective to do something. It is commonly understood as a ...


References


External links


Searchable list of UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves
*
A-Z of Areas of Biodiverity Importance: Biosphere Reserves (MAB)
{{Biosphere Reserves 1971 in the environment ! Protected areas Biodiversity Biomes