Twenty-five new Biosphere Reserves were welcomed to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves during the 32nd session of the International Co-ordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme held online on 27 and 28 October 2020. Of the new Biosphere Reserves, nine are located in Asia and the Pacific that will make a significant contribution to the region’s engagement with the MAB programme and to the sustainable future of the region’s people and nature.
The newly designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (BR) in Asia and the Pacific are:
1. Panna Biosphere Reserve (India)
2. Bunaken Tangkoko Minahasa Biosphere Reserve (Indonesia)
3. Karimunjawa-Jepara-Muria Biosphere Reserve (Indonesia)
4. Merapi Merbabu Menoreh Biosphere Reserve (Indonesia)
5. Almaty Biosphere Reserve (Kazakhstan)
6. West Altai Biosphere Reserve (Kazakhstan)
7. Addu Atoll Biosphere Reserve (Maldives)
8. Fuvahmulah Biosphere Reserve (Maldives)
9. Toson-Khulstai Biosphere Reserve (Mongolia)
The World Network of Biosphere Reserves also welcomed five new countries to the UNESCO MAB family when Andorra, Cabo Verde, Comoros, Luxemburg and Trinidad and Tobago received approval for their first biosphere reserve. The network now counts 714 biosphere reserves in 129 nations in the world.
Prior to the session, Dr Adepoju Adeshola of Nigeria was elected as the new Chair of the Council, charged with guiding the deliberations of the ICC over the coming two years, replacing Dr Enny Sudarmonowati of Indonesia.