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New biosphere reserves to be designated at MAB meeting in Sweden

The International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme is scheduled to designate new Biosphere Reserves when it meets in the city of Jönköping and the nearby East Vättern Scarp Landscape Biosphere Reserve (Sweden), from 10 to 13 June.

Biosphere Reserves are site where innovative practices aiming to reconcile human activity and environmental preservation are carried out with local communities. They have been established in different ecological environments, including mountains, tropical forests, cities, wetlands as well as coastal and marine areas.

The MAB World Network today numbers 621 sites in 117. It connects sites as diverse as Cambodia’s Tonle Sap lake, the Mare aux Hippopotames in Burkina Faso, the Pantanal wetlands in Brazil and the island of Fuerteventura in the Canary Archipelago (Spain).

During the session the International Coordinating Council will decide on the designation of new Biosphere Reserves and extensions to existing Reserves in a total of 17 countries: Albania, Argentina, Ecuador, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom, and Uruguay.

The International Coordinating Council will also examine applications for the $6,000 Michel Batisse Award for excellence in the management of a biosphere reserve. It will also select the MAB Awards for young scientists. Every year, ten young researchers receive awards of up to US$ 5,000 to support their research into ecosystems, natural resources and biodiversity.

Lauched by UNESCO in 1971, the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), is an Intergovernmental Scientific Programme that aims to improve relationships between people and their environments worldwide. Biosphere Reserves are experimental sites which aim to reconcile biodiversity and sustainable resource utilisation. New Reserves are designated yearly by the International Coordinating Council of the Programme, which brings together representatives of 34 UNESCO Member States.


Media contact: Agnès Bardon, UNESCO Press Service, +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 64, a.bardon(at)