A “Biosphere Reserve” is an international designation of recognition from UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) for an area in the world which is deemed to demonstrate a “balanced relationship between humans and the biosphere.” This means that Biospshere reserves are places around the world that have special natural features and where people are committed to their stewardship through sustainable development practices. They are places where collaborative efforts among people in the designated area serve to promote the sustainability of local economies and communities, as well as the conservation of the terrestrial or coastal ecosystems they are in. Each biosphere reserve conserves examples of characteristic ecosystems of one of the world’s natural regions, managed for their protection and study.
- It is a land and/or coastal/marine area in which people are an integral component, and which is managed for objectives ranging from complete protection to intensive yet sustainable development.
- It is a regional centre for monitoring, research, education and training on natural and managed ecosystems.
- It is a place where government decision makers, scientists, managers and local people cooperate in developing a model programme for managing land and water to meet human needs while conserving natural processes and biological resources.
- Finally, each biosphere reserve is a symbol of voluntary cooperation to conserve and use resources for the well being of people everywhere.