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Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme

Good practices

Good practices, experiences, and lessons learned in the implementation of the MAB Strategy and the Lima Action Plan

The Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme’s vision is a world where people are conscious of their common future and interaction with our planet, and act collectively and responsibly to build thriving societies in harmony within the biosphere. People across the globe have utilized biosphere reserves to explore local solutions to global challenges for more than four decades, thereby generating a wealth of experience and innovative potential for a sustainable future that emphasizes the conservation of biodiversity.
MAB contributes to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development both within biosphere reserves and through global dissemination of sustainable development models developed in biosphere reserves. These contributions are guided by the MAB Strategy (2015-2025) and Lima Action Plan (2016-2025) for the MAB programme and its World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

Success stories, good practices, experiences and lessons learned were shared by biosphere reserves, MAB Committees, MAB regional and thematic networks and other key stakeholders. Each entry is accompanied with references to relevant strategic objectives and action areas in the MAB Strategy and the Lima Action Plan, as well as to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

Feature stories

Guidelines on the sustainable production of renewable energies in Austrian biosphere reserves

This initiative gives biosphere reserves an opportunity to guide and support Austria’s ‘energy transition’ in a way that is largely free from conflict and will enable them to become model regions for the socially and ecologically sustainable production of renewable energy. The position paper, published by the Austrian MAB Committee, provides recommendations and guidelines on sustainable production of renewable energies, to support people involved in the administration of a biosphere reserve as well as lawmakers, in strict accordance with UNESCO’s international criteria and Austrian relevant national guidelines.

Contributes to:

  • Lima Action Plan: A1.1, A1.5, A3.1, A4.1, B1.2, B2.1, B4.1, B5.1, B7.1, C2.1, C3.1, C6.1, C7.1, D2.3, D2.4, D3.1, E1.2
  • Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 9 Industry Innovation and Infrastructure, SDG 13 Climate Action

Last updated: September 2019

See moreDownload the Position Paper | World Network of Biosphere Reserves

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Green spring in the Commander Islands Biosphere Reserve

The Green Commander Islands project aims to educate people about the dangers of many types of waste and the benefits of recycling. The main topics discussed to raise awareness are plastic pollution, batteries, mercury lamps and fishing gear. The visit-centre is going to host a Waste Museum, with exhibits representing different kinds of waste collected from the Islands. The initiative was inspired by the Zero Plastic working group in the framework of MAB’s World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves through which island biosphere reserves chare ideas and collaborate.

Contributes to:

Last updated: September 2019

See moreCommander Islands Biosphere Reserve

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The Eco-comedores Escolares Programme: Promoting organic food production in schools

The Eco-comedores Escolares Programme is part of the "Action Plan for the development of organic production in the Canary Islands", which aims to:

  • promote the development of organic agricultural production;
  • improve the quality of the population's diet;
  • encourage the incorporation of organic, fresh, local and seasonal products in school menus and social-health center canteens;
  • establish institutional collaborations that reinforce these objectives.

It began as a pilot project developed in a school in each of the 7 Canary Islands, and it is currently expanding its scope.

 

Contributes to:

  • Lima Action Plan: A1.1, A1.5, A3.1, A3.2, A4.2, A5.3, A7.1, A7.2, A7.3, B1.2, B2.1, B5.1, B7.1, C2.1, C2.2, C3.1, C3.2, C4.2, C5.1, C6.2, C7.2, C8.1
  • Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 1 No Poverty, SDG 2 Zero Hunger, SDG 3 Good Health and Well-Being, SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals

Last updated: September 2019

See moreGran Canaria Biosphere Reserve

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Uniting biosphere reserves for a large-scale database on Eurasian biodiversity

The research project "Chronicle of Nature (ECN) - Large Scale Analysis of Changing Eurasia Ecosystems", unites biosphere reserves from Finland, Russia, Ukraine. It focuses on environmental change that has taken place in the past 50-100 years, as well as population dynamics and phenological responses of species of mammals, birds, insects and vascular plants. The data is compiled on the ECN database, in order to provide a resource to address a number of basic and applied scientific research questions of fundamental relevance for the fields of ecology, conservation biology, and climate change research.

Contributes to:

  • Lima Action Plan: A1.1, A1.2, A1.3, A1.4, A1.6, A3.1, A4.1, A4.2, A4.3, A4.4, A4.5, A7.1, A7.3, B1.1, B1.2, B2.1, B4.1, B5.1, B6.1, B6.2, B7.1, B7.2, C2.1, C2.2, C3.2, C5.1, D2.3
  • Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 13 Climate Action, SDG 15 Life on Land

Last updated: September 2019

See more | World Network of Biosphere Reserves

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Full list of success stories, good practices, experiences and lessons learned

Success stories, good practices, experiences and lessons learned are shared below by country, listed in alphabetical order. These were submitted by biosphere reserves, MAB Committees, MAB regional and thematic networks and other key stakeholders. Each entry is accompanied with references to relevant strategic objectives and action areas in the MAB Strategy and the Lima Action Plan, as well as to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

If you like to submit a story, please contact: mab@unesco.org

Biodiversity analysis through acoustic monitoring in the environments of the Laguna Oca y Herraduras del Río Paraguay Biosphere Reserve

Using soundscapes from representative ecosystems, the research aims to better understand and characterize the biodiversity of the biosphere reserves in order to contribute to improving the knowledge, education and conservation in these areas. The study has two components:

  • Scientific component, developing new technologies to capture sound, as a way to complement the field work
  • Social / educational component: organizing the data and presenting it accessibly to the public, so that local communities can easily access the results of the research and better understand their biodiversity.

The Laguna Oca del Río Paraguay Biosphere Reserve

Contributes to:

  • Lima Action Plan: A 1.1, A 1.4, A 1.6, A 2.1, A 2.4, A 3.2, A 4.1, A 4.2, A 4.3, A 4.4, A 4.5, A 7.1, A 7.3, B 1.2, B 4.1, B 5.1, D 3.1
  • Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 4 Quality education, SDG 13 Climate action, SDG 14 Life bellow water, SDG 15 Life on land

Last updated: October 2019

Guidelines on sustainable production of renewable energies in Austrian biosphere reserves

This initiative gives biosphere reserves an opportunity to guide and support Austria’s ‘energy transition’ in a way that is largely free from conflict and will enable them to become model regions for the socially and ecologically sustainable production of renewable energy. The position paper, published by the Austrian MAB Committee, provides recommendations and guidelines on sustainable production of renewable energies, to support people involved in the administration of a biosphere reserve as well as lawmakers, in strict accordance with UNESCO’s international criteria and Austrian relevant national guidelines.

See more | Download the paper | The Austrian MAB National Committee

Contributes to:

  • Lima Action Plan: A1.1, A1.5, A3.1, A4.1, B1.2, B2.1, B4.1, B5.1, B7.1, C2.1, C3.1, C6.1, C7.1, D2.3, D2.4, D3.1, E1.2
  • Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 9 Industry Innovation and Infrastructure, SDG 13 Climate Action

Last updated: September 2019

Convention for the sustainable management of forest plant species and domestication programme

Edible forest fruits are becoming increasingly rare in the Taï Biosphere Reserve. Institutional actors and local population have agreed on a convention for the sustainable management of useful fruit trees and developed a domestication programme to authorize the harvesting of seeds. To date, more than 40,000 fruit tree seedlings have been produced and they are available to more than 1,000 farm managers for the enrichment of their agricultural parcels. This initiative offers the advantage of developing a value chain around these products in the coming years to increase local incomes, especially for women.

See more | Taï Biosphere Reserve | More practices

Contributes to:

  • Lima Action Plan: A1.1, A1.2, A1.3, A1.5, A2.3, A3.1, A3.2, A4.2, A4.4, A4.5, A5.1, A5.2, A6.2, A7.1, A7.2, A7.3, B1.2, B4.1, B5.1, C2.1, C3.1, C4.1, C4.2, C5.1, C6.1, C6.2, C7.2, C8.1, D3.1
  • Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 1 No Poverty, SDG 2 Zero Hunger, SDG 3 Good Health and Well-Being, SDG 5 Gender Equality, SDG 13 Climate Action, SDG 15 Life on Land

Last updated: September 2019

Uniting biosphere reserves for a large-scale database on Eurasian biodiversity

The research project "Chronicle of Nature (ECN) - Large Scale Analysis of Changing Eurasia Ecosystems", unites biosphere reserves from Finland, Russia, Ukraine. It focuses on environmental change that has taken place in the past 50-100 years, as well as population dynamics and phenological responses of species of mammals, birds, insects and vascular plants. The data is compiled on the ECN database, in order to provide a resource to address a number of basic and applied scientific research questions of fundamental relevance for the fields of ecology, conservation biology, and climate change research.

See more | World Network of Biosphere Reserves

Contributes to:

  • Lima Action Plan: A1.1, A1.2, A1.3, A1.4, A1.6, A3.1, A4.1, A4.2, A4.3, A4.4, A4.5, A7.1, A7.3, B1.1, B1.2, B2.1, B4.1, B5.1, B6.1, B6.2, B7.1, B7.2, C2.1, C2.2, C3.2, C5.1, D2.3
  • Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 13 Climate Action, SDG 15 Life on Land

Last updated: September 2019

Guidelines on Education for Sustainable Development in German Biosphere Reserves

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is an evolving concept that provides an orientation for developmental and learning processes. As model regions for sustainable development, biosphere reserves are called upon to share their experience and knowledge on sustainable development and are encouraged to develop ESD activities. Programmes should be designed in such a way as to contribute to a responsible relationship between humans and nature and more global and intergenerational justice; preserving the natural foundations of life; and maintaining, cultivating and sustainably developing cultural landscapes.

See more | Biosphere Reserves in Germany

Contributes to:

Last updated: October 2019

 

 

Guidelines on the use of wind power and biomass energy in German biosphere reserves

As part of a reflection on transforming Germany’s energy system, the German National Committee's position paper presents recommendations for the sustainable use of wind energy and biomass, as well as suggestions for the creation of appropriate framework conditions in the areas, to show how biosphere reserves can benefit from the opportunities of the energy transformation. The legitimate interests of the population in the biosphere reserves are also taken into account, in order to allow them to participate in the opportunities of the energy transition.

See more | Biosphere Reserves in Germany

Contributes to:

Last updated: October 2019

Strengthening the involvement of local communities in the management of the Boucle du Baoulé Biosphere Reserve (RBBB)

The local engagement activities in the biosphere reserve include:

  • Establishment of an environmental partnership with the Association of Young Volunteers for the Environment in Mali (JVE-MALI) on the theme of "biosphere reserve and climate change: addressing the causes, consequences and effects of climate change on local communities";
  • Launch of the “Empowerment of Women through the Promotion of Income-Generating Activities in the Boucle du Baoulé Biosphere Reserve” project with the financial and technical support of the National Committee of Mali to UNESCO. 20 women were trained and equipped on the implementation of income-generating activities (poultry farming, goat fattening, shea butter production) in the biosphere reserve.

 

See more | the Boucle du Baoulé Biosphere Reserve (RBBB)

Contributes to:

Last updated: October 2019

Self funded trust to protect endangered species and increase local income resources

The Hustai National Park Trust (HNPT) is dedicated to protecting and reintroducing Przewalski's Horse (Equus ferus) to the wild. It is the last wild horse species and is endangered. The fund also aims to protect the many other endangered fauna and flora species in the park. HNPT also provides soft loans to local people to help them generate new incomes, and trainings for herders and the local community. Several ongoing research projects aim to understand the effects of climate change on the ecosystem. This Fund, which was established through sustainable tourism activities, is slowly increasing by interest fee and reached 700,000,000 MNT.

See more | Hustai Nuruu Biosphere Reserve

Contributes to:

  • Lima Action Plan: A1.1, A1.2, A1.3, A1.5, A1.6, A2.3, A4.1, A5.1, A5.2, A5.3, A7.3, B1.2, B4.1, B7.2, C3.1, C8.1
  • Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 1 No Poverty, SDG 2 Zero Hunger, SDG 13 Climate Action, SDG 15 Life on Land

Last updated: September 2019

Green spring in the Commander Islands Biosphere Reserve

The Green Commander Islands project aims to educate people about the dangers of many types of waste and the benefits of recycling. The main topics discussed to raise awareness are plastic pollution, batteries, mercury lamps and fishing gear. The visit-centre is going to host a Waste Museum, with exhibits representing different kinds of waste collected from the Islands. The initiative was inspired by the Zero Plastic working group in the framework of MAB’s World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves through which island biosphere reserves share ideas and collaborate.

See more | Commander Islands Biosphere Reserve

 

Contributes to:

Last updated: September 2019

 

 

Uniting biosphere reserves for a large-scale database on Eurasian biodiversity

The research project "Chronicle of Nature (ECN) - Large Scale Analysis of Changing Eurasia Ecosystems", unites biosphere reserves from Finland, Russia, Ukraine. It focuses on environmental change that has taken place in the past 50-100 years, as well as population dynamics and phenological responses of species of mammals, birds, insects and vascular plants. The data is compiled on the ECN database, in order to provide a resource to address a number of basic and applied scientific research questions of fundamental relevance for the fields of ecology, conservation biology, and climate change research.

See more | World Network of Biosphere Reserves

Contributes to:

  • Lima Action Plan: A1.1, A1.2, A1.3, A1.4, A1.6, A3.1, A4.1, A4.2, A4.3, A4.4, A4.5, A7.1, A7.3, B1.1, B1.2, B2.1, B4.1, B5.1, B6.1, B6.2, B7.1, B7.2, C2.1, C2.2, C3.2, C5.1, D2.3
  • Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 13 Climate Action, SDG 15 Life on Land

Last updated: September 2019

Promoting organic food production in schools

The Eco-comedores Escolares Programme is part of the "Action Plan for the development of organic production in the Canary Islands", which aims to:

promote the development of organic agricultural production;

improve the quality of the population's diet;

encourage the incorporation of organic, fresh, local and seasonal products in school menus and social-health center canteens;

                                              establish institutional collaborations that reinforce these objectives.

It began as a pilot project developed in a school in each of the 7 Canary Islands, and it is currently expanding its scope.

See more | Spanish Network of Biosphere Reserves

Contributes to:

  • Lima Action Plan: A1.1, A1.5, A3.1, A3.2, A4.2, A5.3, A7.1, A7.2, A7.3, B1.2, B2.1, B5.1, B7.1, C2.1, C2.2, C3.1, C3.2, C4.2, C5.1, C6.2, C7.2, C8.1
  • Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 1 No Poverty, SDG 2 Zero Hunger, SDG 3 Good Health and Well-Being, SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals

Last updated: September 2019

 

 

Marine Litter Watch Month to assess waste pollution on beaches

The Marine Litter Watch Month takes place on two selected beaches (Torregarcía and Playa de Embarcadero). The litter is collected, classified and weighed following a methodology developed by the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE) in cooperation with other project partners. This data is analyzed, and used to better understand the state of the sea and current issues at the level of each protected areas. This enables administrators and experts to join forces, identify waste-related issues and design solutions.

See more | Download the practice | Cabo de Gata-Níjar Biosphere Reserve

Contributes to:

  • Lima Action Plan: A1.1, A1.2, A1.3, A1.4, A1.6, A3.1, A3.2, A4.1, A4.3, A4.5, A5.3, A7.1, B1.2, B2.1, B4.1, B5.1, C2.1, C4.1, C4.2, C5.1, C6.2, D2.3, D3.1
  • Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 3 Good Health and Well-Being, SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG 13 Climate Action, SDG 14 Life Below Water, SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals

Last updated: September 2019

 

 

Publication: Mozafir, the emotional landscape of two shores

Combining games and narration in Arabic and Spanish, this publication is an invitation to explore the Intercontinental Biosphere Reserve of the Mediterranean by following the circular journey made by a baby stork, called Mozafir (which means journey). The publication uses oral narrative techniques that manage to capture attention and transmit, in a close and effective way, information and perceptions about the most representative places of the biosphere reserve, as well as the values of equality, solidarity, environmental awareness. It includes information on flora, fauna, cultural heritage, history, geography and natural values, making it an effective teaching tool for Education for Sustainable Development through the children’s active participation.

See more | Download the practice | Intercontinental Biosphere Reserve of the Mediterranean

Contributes to:

Last updated: September 2019

 

 

Contracts for the use of public pastures

Extensive livestock farming has been one of the pillars of the economy in the Las Sierras de Cazorla y Segura Biosphere Reserve for centuries. Contracts were established between the Ministry of Environment and Land Management and the livestock associations of the Biosphere Reserve to allow a dignified and sustainable continuity of this activity on public pastures. It allows farmers to participate in the management of the reserve, since they are the ones who understand and make the improvements needed to develop their activities in the framework of sustainable development. The costs are deducted from the price established in their contracts.

See more | Download the practice | Las Sierras de Cazorla y Segura

Contributes to:

Last updated: September 2019

Reduction of poaching: Change in the behaviour of local populations towards hippopotamuses

The sustainable conservation of hippopotamus in the area is now guaranteed by the following activities:

  • Raising awareness among the local populations and gaining their support for the project to protect hippos;
  • Keeping the hippo populations away from poaching activities;
  • Ecotourism to improve local incomes and invest in community infrastructure ;
  • Developing the natural environment to promote reproduction, and monitoring ;
  • Reinforcing the technical and material capacities locally.

See more | Biosphere Reserves in Togo

Contributes to:

  • Lima Action Plan: A 1.1, A 1.2, A 1.3, A 1.5, A 3.1, A 4.2, A 5.1, A 5.2, A 7.1, A 7.2, A 7.3, B 1.1, B 1.2, C2.2, C 3.1, C 3.2, C 4.2, C 5.1
  • Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 1 No Poverty, SDG 2 Zero Hunger, SDG 3 Good Health and Well-Being, SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 15 Life on Land

Last updated: October 2019

Uniting biosphere reserves for a large-scale database on Eurasian biodiversity

The research project "Chronicle of Nature (ECN) - Large Scale Analysis of Changing Eurasia Ecosystems", unites biosphere reserves from Finland, Russia, Ukraine. It focuses on environmental change that has taken place in the past 50-100 years, as well as population dynamics and phenological responses of species of mammals, birds, insects and vascular plants. The data is compiled on the ECN database, in order to provide a resource to address a number of basic and applied scientific research questions of fundamental relevance for the fields of ecology, conservation biology, and climate change research..

See more | World Network of Biosphere Reserves

Contributes to:

  • Lima Action Plan: A1.1, A1.2, A1.3, A1.4, A1.6, A3.1, A4.1, A4.2, A4.3, A4.4, A4.5, A7.1, A7.3, B1.1, B1.2, B2.1, B4.1, B5.1, B6.1, B6.2, B7.1, B7.2, C2.1, C2.2, C3.2, C5.1, D2.3
  • Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 13 Climate Action, SDG 15 Life on Land

Last updated: September 2019

 

 

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