Noosa Biosphere Reserve - A celebration of community and environment.

UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme (MaB)

UNESCO biosphere reserves

Biosphere reserves are places where people share a way of living with nature that builds a future we’re proud of. They are places that have been declared by UNESCO as having achieved a notable balance between environment and sustainable human development.

Inspiring a positive future

UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB)

More than 700 biosphere reserves around the world are working to inspire a positive future under the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB). The MAB is UNESCO’s leading initiative in biodiversity conservation and sustainable development by enhancing the relationship between people and their environments. Its objectives are to:

Conserve biodiversity, restore and enhance ecosystem services, and foster the sustainable use of natural resources.

Contribute to building sustainable, healthy and equitable societies, and thriving economies in harmony with the biosphere reserve.

Facilitate biodiversity and sustainability science, education for sustainable development (ESD) and capacity building.

Support mitigation and adaptation to climate change and other aspects of global environmental change.

Living and learning

What happens in a biosphere reserve?

Biosphere reserves are living, learning places. They act as a regional centre for excellence, where thriving communities and sustainable development sit alongside active conservation, science and innovation. Generally, biosphere reserves work to fulfil three objectives:


of biodiversity, species and ecosystems.

Sustainable development

for economy, environment, human and culture.


to support research, monitoring, environmental education and sharing knowledge across networks.

Global network

World network of biosphere reserves

There are 738 biosphere reserve sites across 134 countries connected under the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. Noosa is also part of the World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves. This dynamic and interactive network fosters a culture of continued excellence through participatory dialogue and knowledge sharing.

The Noosa Shire is one of five UNESCO biosphere reserve sites in Australia, along with:

Global goals

Sustainable development goals (SDGs)

The World Network of Biosphere Reserves is a platform for these sites of excellence to share knowledge and develop approaches to achieving the global goals of the Lima Action Plan 2015-2025 and the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – an urgent call for action by all countries for peace and prosperity for people and planet.

Do Good

There’s lots of ways to get involved in supporting your community through conservation initiatives! See how you can take part.