Marine, Coastal and Island Areas

© Atoll Ecosystem Project/Ministry of Housing & Environment
Baa Atoll biosphere reserve, Maldives.

Over 60 % of the world's people live within 60 kilometres of the sea. Coastal and marine environment is strongly influenced by human activities, via local pressure or climate change. Yet ecosystems of coastal areas, small islands and mangroves have a crucial value.

UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme activities span protection, scientific research and human use:

  • Coastal marine biosphere reserves: reference sites for monitoring and managing coastal and marine biodiversity by:
    • observing and measuring human impacts on the coastal/marine habitats
    • developing more rigorous and innovative guidelines for their conservation and sustainable management
  • World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves (WNICBR)

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