A biosphere reserve is an area declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as having achieved a notable balance between environment and sustainable human development.
Biosphere reserves consist of terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems and showcase various approaches to sustainable development that are culturally relevant to local communities.
Generally, biosphere reserves will have at least three objectives:
- conservation – in terms of genetic resources, species and ecosystems;
- sustainable development – economic, environmental, human and cultural; and
- learning – research, monitoring, environmental education and training.
What is a biosphere reserve?
- Biosphere reserves are sites that demonstrate innovative approaches to conservation and sustainable development. They share their experience and ideas regionally, nationally and internationally within a world network of biosphere reserves.
- Biosphere reserves go beyond confined protected areas to where sustainable economic development is made possible through partnerships with local people.
- Biosphere reserves are about developing quality economies based on local community action and entrepreneurship, sound science, public-private sector partnerships and networking.
- Biosphere reserves also provide living laboratories to experiment with and showcase various approaches to sustainable development that are culturally relevant to local communities.