11 new biosphere reserves added globally

Image credit: © Julian Prealps Nature Park

UNESCO has expanded its World Network of Biosphere Reserves, adding eleven new sites. This brings the total to 759 reserves in 136 countries, covering an area nearly as large as Australia and home to about 275 million people.

The new sites are located in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Gambia, Italy, Mongolia, Philippines, South Korea, and Spain. For the first time, two cross-border reserves were added, one between Belgium and the Netherlands, and another between Italy and Slovenia.

UNESCO’s Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, stressed the importance of these additions given the current biodiversity crisis and climate challenges. She emphasized that these reserves play a vital role in protecting biodiversity, improving local communities’ lives, and supporting scientific research.

Biosphere reserves are areas proposed by national governments but remain under their control. UNESCO designates them through a special process under its Man and Biodiversity Program.

These reserves serve several key purposes:

  1. They provide important sites for scientific study and monitoring, offering valuable information for environmental management.
  2. They help achieve global environmental goals, such as protecting large areas of ecosystems by 2030.
  3. They encourage local sustainable development ideas.
  4. They protect a wide range of plant and animal species.
  5. They contribute to efforts against climate change.

The Network includes all major types of natural environments found on Earth. This wide coverage allows for extensive research and conservation work across different habitats.

By creating these new reserves, UNESCO aims to boost global efforts in protecting the environment, promoting sustainable development, and advancing scientific research. These additions show a growing understanding of the need to preserve nature while allowing for responsible human activities.

Re-reported from the article originally published in UN NEWS.

11 new biosphere reserves added globally

Image credit: © Julian Prealps Nature Park

UNESCO has expanded its World Network of Biosphere Reserves, adding eleven new sites. This brings the total to 759 reserves in 136 countries, covering an area nearly as large as Australia and home to about 275 million people.

The new sites are located in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Gambia, Italy, Mongolia, Philippines, South Korea, and Spain. For the first time, two cross-border reserves were added, one between Belgium and the Netherlands, and another between Italy and Slovenia.

UNESCO’s Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, stressed the importance of these additions given the current biodiversity crisis and climate challenges. She emphasized that these reserves play a vital role in protecting biodiversity, improving local communities’ lives, and supporting scientific research.

Biosphere reserves are areas proposed by national governments but remain under their control. UNESCO designates them through a special process under its Man and Biodiversity Program.

These reserves serve several key purposes:

  1. They provide important sites for scientific study and monitoring, offering valuable information for environmental management.
  2. They help achieve global environmental goals, such as protecting large areas of ecosystems by 2030.
  3. They encourage local sustainable development ideas.
  4. They protect a wide range of plant and animal species.
  5. They contribute to efforts against climate change.

The Network includes all major types of natural environments found on Earth. This wide coverage allows for extensive research and conservation work across different habitats.

By creating these new reserves, UNESCO aims to boost global efforts in protecting the environment, promoting sustainable development, and advancing scientific research. These additions show a growing understanding of the need to preserve nature while allowing for responsible human activities.

Re-reported from the article originally published in UN NEWS.