Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) - More information

Macizo del Cajas Biosphere Reserve, Ecuador

Launched in the early 1970s – within the framework of the sixteenth session of the UNESCO General Conference (PDF)– the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) is a scientific, interdisciplinary and intergovernmental initiative aimed at establishing scientific foundations for improving long-term human-environment relations.

The MAB Programme has its origins in the recommendation made in 1968 at the Intergovernmental Conference of Experts on scientific foundations for rational use and the conservation of biosphere resources. Two years later, the Programme entered into operation with the constitution of its governing body, the International Coordinating Council, made up of 34 Member States elected every two years.

Among the MAB’s activities include research, training, supervision and education on biodiversity, as well as the execution of pilot projects aimed at achieving compensation and balance between the responsibility to preserve nature and biodiversity and the human need to use natural resources to improve the social and economic wellbeing of society.

Currently, the MAB is responsible for naming the Biosphere Reserves. This concept was instated in 1974, and according to the Legal Framework of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (PDF), approved by the UNESCO General Conference in 1995, these reserves are those “areas of land or coastal/marine ecosystems, or a combination of both, recognised internationally as such within the framework of the MAB Programme”.

This Legal Framework, along with the so-called Seville Strategy (PDF), was the result of the Conference of Experts on the protection and dissemination of these reserves, held in Spain in 1995. The Legal Framework establishes the conditions for the proper operation of the World Network of Reserves.

Each Reserve forms part of international networks of awareness-raising and the exchange of experiences, which in the case of our region is IberoMAB. Within the framework of the 15th Meeting of the IberoMAB Network on Biosphere Reserves, held in Peru, Chile was elected president for the 2012-2014 period. This representation is exercised via the National Forestry Corporation of Chile (CONAF), a focal point within Chile for UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme.

For more information
CONAF, Av. Bulnes 259, Office 704, Santiago.
Telephone: (56-2) 2390 02 97

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