Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme - Biosphere Reserves

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. Biosphere Reserve. Photo: © Flickr/Cris Valencia

As of 2013, 651 geographical areas in 120 countries around the world have been named Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme. These sites are exemplary of the planet’s biodiversity and how man can inhabit the planet sustainably.

Biosphere Reserves are geographical areas that are representative of the planet’s diversity of habitats. Including both land and/or marine ecosystems, these areas are characterised as sites that are not exclusively protected (such as national parks) but which also house human communities, who live from sustainable activities that do not endanger the ecological value of the sites.

Therefore, the Biosphere Reserves have three functions: the conservation of ecosystems and genetic variation; the promotion of sustainable economic and human development, and they serve as examples of education and training on local, regional, national and international issues of sustainable development.

More information How are Biosphere Reserves named? | Reserves around the world  | Biosphere reserves in Chile

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