02.07.2011 - UNESCO Office in Amman

Mujib Nature Reserve added to World Network of Biosphere Reserves

The International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), which met in Dresden (Germany) from 28 June to 1 July, declared the Mujib Nature Reserve a biosphere reserve in recognition of its unique location as the world's lowest-altitude reserve and its programmes integrating nature conservation with community development.

Mujib is among 18 new biosphere reserves that were added on July 1 to UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves, which now amounts to 580 sites in 114 countries.

Mujib is part of the Dead Sea basin and Jordan Rift Valley landscape, extending along the eastern shores of the Dead Sea. The spectacular landscape of the area includes the lowest terrestrial point on earth (420m below sea level). Human activities have played a certain role in shaping many of the reserve’s habitats, including agriculture, fishing, hunting, grazing, quarrying in small areas at the reserve’s boundaries, small scale settlements, wood cutting for fuel and collection of herbal and medicinal plants.

UNESCO Office in Amman successfully revived the Jordan national MAB committee in 2008 and provided technical training and guidance to the committee in the process of preparing the nomination files.

Jordan is now home to two biosphere reserves: the Dana Biosphere Reserve and Mujib.   The MAB Programme has been pioneering a scientific basis for sustainable development for 40 years. Biosphere reserves are places recognized by MAB where local communities are actively involved in governance and management, research, education, training and monitoring at the service of both socio-economic development and biodiversity conservation. They are thus sites for experimenting with and learning about sustainable development.

For further information please visit: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/about-us/single-view/news/18_new_biosphere_reserves_added_to_unescos_man

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