MAB is 40!

In 2011, the 40th anniversary of the creation of the MAB Programme provides the opportunity for a new stocktaking of experience gained and lessons learned. Among planned activities is a web-based forum, in which various dimensions and activities of MAB will be addressed. The idea is to encourage contributions on what has been learned over the last four decades – what has worked and what has not worked, and why.
The launch of the 'MAB is 40' website also provides an opportunity to pay tribute to Michel Batisse, who was centrally involved in the planning, launching and development of the MAB Programme and the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

The MAB Programme – the acronym MAB is short for "Man and the Biosphere" - was conceived, planned and launched some four decades ago. It is science-based, with multiple stakeholders and constituencies. It combines research, education and training, demonstration and the synthesis of information for different audiences. It involves cooperation at nested scales – local, sub-national, national, regional and global. It seeks to combine "philosophical visions" and innovative concepts with collaborative problem-solving work in selected parts of the biosphere where people live and work. It is firmly based on national priorities and efforts.

The overall objective is to reconcile the conservation of biological diversity with socio-economic needs and cultural integrity – in short, sustainable development. Today, the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) includes 563 biosphere reserves in 110 countries worldwide.

In 2011, the MAB International Coordinating Committee (MAB-ICC) meets for the 23rd time. On the occasion of its 40th anniversary, a conference "For life, for the future, biosphere reserves and climate change" will bring together experts from all over the world in Dresden, preceding the MAB-ICC meeting.

The notion of "biosphere"
In contrast to the term "atmosphere", "biosphere" for a long time was only known to specialists. It refers to the entire space on earth in as far as it is relevant to living beings…

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© Ivette Fabbri. Malcom Hadley

Special thanks to Malcolm Hadley, the main author of this first article.


Voices of the World Network

Every week, colleagues, stakeholders, partners from the World Network of Biosphere Reserves and of the MAB Programme will share their experience and words at the occasion of the MAB 40th Anniversary.

This week, listen to:
- Tom Gilbert
- Sergio Guevara Sada
- Natarajan Ishwaran 
- Maria Thorell 
- Mireille Jardin, and  
- Robert Barbault.

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