Geology, Ecosystems and Biodiversity

UNESCO encourages the conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity for they provide basic goods and services that are crucial for reducing poverty and economic development; their sustainable management is at the interface of scientific, environmental, societal and development issues. The Earth sciences hold key answers to the challenges we must overcome to preserve our environment and develop sustainably.  On Going Projects

Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme

The MAB Programme develops the basis within the natural and social sciences for the rational and sustainable use and conservation of the resources of the biosphere and for the improvement of the overall relationship between people and their environment. It predicts the consequences of today’s actions on tomorrow’s world and thereby increases people’s ability to efficiently manage natural resources for the well-being of both human populations and the environment (UNESCO, 2016).By focusing on sites internationally recognized within the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, the MAB Programme strives to:identify and assess the changes in the biosphere resulting from human and natural activities and the effects of these changes on humans and the environment, in particular in the context of climate change;study and compare the dynamic interrelationships between natural/near-natural ecosystems and socio-economic processes, in particular in the context of accelerated loss of biological and cultural diversity with unexpected consequences that impact the ability of ecosystems to continue to provide services critical for human well-being;ensure basic human welfare and a liveable environment in the context of rapid urbanization and energy consumption as drivers of environmental change;promote the exchange and transfer of knowledge on environmental problems and solutions, and to foster environmental education for sustainable development (UNESCO,2016)


The AfriMAB network was created by the "Regional Conference for Forging Cooperation on Africa's Biosphere Reserves for Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development" which took place in Dakar (Senegal) in 1996.

The network aims at promoting regional co-operation in the fields of biodiversity, conservation and sustainable development through trans-border projects, which are primarily based in biosphere reserves.

To increase efficiency, four thematic sub-networks were created which correspond to:

  • zoning and improving biosphere reserve functioning;
  • biosphere reserves and local communities; stakeholders/social actors;
  • participation and income-sharing;
  • transboundary biosphere reserves;
  • Logistic support function of biosphere reserves.

Kogelberg biosphere reserve, South Africa

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