Main Characteristics of Biosphere reserves

© UNESCO/Favio Mayorga
Lagunas de Montebello Biosphere Reserve (Mexico)

The main characteristics of biosphere reserves are:

  • Achieving the three interconnected functions: conservation, development and logistic support;
  • Outpacing  traditional confined conservation zones, through appropriate zoning schemes combining core protected areas with zones where sustainable development is fostered by local dwellers and enterprises with often highly innovative and participative governance systems;
  • Focusing on a multi-stakeholder approach with particular emphasis on the involvement of local communities in management;
  • Fostering dialogue for conflict resolution of natural resource use;
  • Integrating cultural and biological diversity, especially the role of traditional knowledge in ecosystem management;
  • Demonstrating sound sustainable development practices and policies based on research and monitoring;
  • Acting as sites of excellence for education and training;
  • Participating in the World Network.


Back to top