Man and the Biosphere Programme
1 Biosphere reserves 2 Working of the programme 3 Networks 4 See also 5 References 6 External links
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.
Working of the programme
Further information: World Network of Biosphere Reserves
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
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
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 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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 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.
^ Official numbers announced by the MAB secretariat at the MAB ICC
meeting in Lima, Peru, on March 19, 2016
^ UNESCO: Biosphere Reserves, retrieved June 14, 2013
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