Periodic Review Process
The periodic review is an important event in the life of a biosphere reserve. It enables a review, every ten years, of the functioning, zoning, scale of the biosphere reserve as well as the involvement of the populations living in the site. The Statutory Framework for the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) makes provision under Article 9 that “the status of each biosphere reserve should be subject to a periodic review every ten years, based on a report prepared by the concerned authority, on the basis of the criteria of Article 4, and forwarded to the secretariat by the State concerned. The report will be considered by the Advisory Committee for Biosphere Reserves for recommendation to International Co-ordinating Council.”
The periodic review represents an opportunity to carry out a qualitative survey of the actions implemented, their results. It’s a time to take stock of progress made by the biosphere reserve, especially as concerns the updating of knowledge, skills and expertise in resource and ecosystem management. It also provides an opportunity to discuss the updating of the zonation system and assess its relevance, question the objectives and means of management policies and examine the issues and problems tied to implementation. It is also a time to discuss weak points. Its objective is to improve the quality of the biosphere reserves and their functioning as sites for testing and demonstrating approaches to sustainable development. To date, 293 periodic review reports were received by the Secretariat and examined by the MAB International co-ordinating Council.
Biosphere reserves which are not able to meet the criteria of Article 4 have been withdrawn by the countries from the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) (see Article 9 of the Statutory Framework). As of August 2013, 13 sites have been withdrawn.