The Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme is an Intergovernmental Scientific Programme aiming to set a scientific basis for the improvement of the relationships between people and their environment globally. Biosphere Reserves are, therefore, sites established by countries and recognized under UNESCO's MAB Programme to promote sustainable development based on local community efforts and sound science.
Biosphere reserves are thus globally considered as:
- Sites of excellence where new and optimal practices to manage nature and human activities are tested and demonstrated;
- Tools to help countries implement the results of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and, in particular, the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Ecosystem Approach;
- Learning sites for the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development.