World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves (WNICBR)

Participants of the 3rd Meeting of the World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves (Estonian Archipelago biosphere reserve, June 2013)

Island and coastal areas biosphere reserves around the world have different natural, cultural, socio-economic and political characteristics. However, they also have similar and specific problems that can be addressed in a common way.

These areas, especially small islands in the Caribbean and the Asia-Pacific region, are highly vulnerable to climate change, the impacts of which cause poverty, natural disasters, depopulation, loss of traditional culture and the detrimental effect of invasive species. These alter the balance of marine and terrestrial island ecosystems and cause irreversible loss of biodiversity.

Established in 2012, the World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves aims to study, implement and disseminate island and coastal strategies to preserve biodiversity and heritage, promote sustainable development, and adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. Its two technical headquarters coordinate the network and work together at the global level: the office in the island of Jeju (Republic of Korea) focuses on climate change issues while the other in Menorca (Spain) specializes in sustainable development. This network is formed by the representatives of twenty islands and coastal biosphere reserves around the world and is open to all islands and coastal biosphere reserves that want to join it.

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