Chronology of the Man and the Biosphere programme (MAB)

Some key dates and events

Development of the biosphere reserve concept and the international network.

Mid 1960s: International Biological Programme (IBP) proposals to establish areas for the systematic in situ protection of genetic resources.

1968: Convening of the Intergovernmental Biosphere Conference (UNESCO-Paris, September).

1971: First session of the International Co-ordinating Council for the MAB programme, and adoption of 14 international projects.

1976: Designation of the 57 first biosphere reserves by MAB Bureau. USA-USRR symposium on biosphere reserves (Moscow).

1981: International Conference on Ecology in Practice (Paris, November), to evaluate first ten years of MAB.

1983: First International Congress on Biosphere Reserves (Minsk, October).

1984: Action Plan for Biosphere Reserves adopted by MAB Council (December) and subsequently endorsed by UNESCO’s General Conference and UNEP’s Governing Council.  

1985: First Meeting of the Scientific Advisory Panel for Biosphere Reserves (Cancun, September).

1992: First Meeting of formally convened Advisory Committee on Biosphere Reserves (April). First Meetings of two regional networks in Latin America (IberoMAB and CYTED Biological Diversity sub-programme).

1993: 12th session of MAB ICC and focus of the 14 international projects on research of five priorities of biosphere reserves.

1995: 2nd International Conference on biosphere reserves (Seville). Approval of the Seville Strategy for Biosphere Reserve and of Statutory Framework of the World Network by UNESCO General Conference (November).  

1996: AfriMAB Network launched through the conference in Dakar (October).

1997: Launching of ArabMAB through Amman meeting (June).

2000: Illustrated brochure on the ecosystem approach and biosphere reserves made available to fifth COP-CBD (Nairobi, May). Recognition of biosphere reserves as a major tool for implementing the ecosystem approach by IUCN World Congress (Amman, October). ‘Seville +5’ meeting (Pamplona, October), just prior to the sixteenth session of the MAB Council (November).

2008: 3rd International Congress of Biosphere Reserve (Madrid), new Action Plan (Madrid Action Plan).

2011: Celebration of the 40th anniversary of MAB programme from June, 27 to July, 1st (Dresden, Germany). EuroMAB meeting from July, 4 to 8 in Lake Vänern biosphere reserve (Sweden).

3 November 2011: International Biosphere Reserve Day

Back to top