MAB, a programme on Man and the Biosphere…

An objective: to reconcile conservation of biological diversity with socio-economic demands and cultural integrity, in two words: sustainable development.

A history: since its creation in 1971, MAB has been anticipating the major concerns of sustainable management of resources, of global changes (including climate change) and of the erosion of biodiversity.

A worldwide network serving sustainable development: since 1976, when the first biosphere reserves were established, the World Network of Biosphere Reserves has been made up of territories which are learning sites to conserve biological diversity, fight against poverty and innovate regarding sustainable practices and solutions.

A chronology: since 1971, the MAB programme has been sharing its experts, its networks and its knowledge by contributing to important debates and conferences on biodiversity, development and climate change.

Networks:  580 biosphere reserves in 114 countries cooperate and share the fruit of research, education and training through thematic and regional networks.

Some statistics: Ten transboundary biosphere reserves in 18 countries; a global total area of more than 570.23 million hectares; 179 coastal/marine biosphere reserves, etc.

An outcome: a living library of knowledge accumulated through mankind’s interaction with nature in all types of ecosystems; thousands of young researchers trained; networks of actors working together; biosphere reserves which are a world-famous reference point as learning sites for sustainable development.

The future: biosphere reserves provide sustainable development solutions, which have been tested at the local level, to serve present and future generations, and serve as examples and sources of inspiration for the future of the planet, with transboundary reserves acting as platforms for cooperation and peace.

Forty years – an anniversary celebrated all over the world!  Activities are planned all over the world, with a key event, on 3 November, 2011, during UNESCO’s 36th General Conference: International Day for Biosphere Reserves.

MAB-UNESCO, Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences,
1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15
Email: mab40(a)

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