UNESCO Beirut inaugurates Jabal Mousa in Lebanon a Biosphere Reserve
UNESCO Beirut inaugurated a new biosphere reserve in Lebanon (Jabal Mousa) to add to UNESCO's global list of biosphere reserves. The reserve has 6500 acres of wild life , 350 types of plants, 83 types of birds and many wild animals.
The ceremony to announce the launching of the site took place on Saturday 23 October 2010 and was attended by the Lebanese Tourism Minister, the ambassadors of the United Kingdom and Belgium ,and the UNESCO Beirut Officer-in Charge and many hikers who turned out to celebrate this day and participate in the hike and to enjoy the beauty of nature at Jabal Mousa the Lebanese biosphere reserve.
There are 564 worldwide located in 109 countries. Biosphere reserves are sites recognized under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme, which innovate and demonstrate approaches to conservation and sustainable development. They are of course under national sovereign jurisdiction, yet share their experience and ideas nationally, regionally and internationally within the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
UNESCO believes that utilization and conservation of land and water resources should go hand in hand, and that an interdisciplinary approach and long term vision are key. Biosphere reserves are much like laboratories where new and optimal practices to manage nature and human activities are tested and demonstrated. They outpace traditional confined conservation zones, combining core protected areas with zones where sustainable development is fostered by local dwellers and enterprises. Their governance systems are often highly innovative. In some cases, new legislation can be introduced. Biosphere reserves have three inter-connected function
- Conservation: landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic variation
- Development: economic and human and culturally adapted
- Logistic support: research, monitoring, environmental education and training
They generate knowledge and experience which can be used in the wider land and seascape. They are tools to help countries implement the results of the WSSD and in particular the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Ecosystem Approach. They are "learning sites" for the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development.