UNESCO Biosphere Reserves


The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme in 1970. UNESCO’s MAB Strategy 2015-2025 ensures that all 686 biosphere reserves within the world network are working collectively on four common strategic objectives:

  • Conserve biodiversity, restore and enhance ecosystem services and foster sustainable use of natural resources;
  • Contribute to building sustainable, healthy, and equitable societies, economies, and thriving human settlements;
  • Facilitate sustainability science and education for sustainable development, and;
  • Support mitigation and adaptation to climate change and other aspects of global environmental change.


Biosphere Reserves

UNESCO biosphere reserves are places where people share a way of living with nature that builds a future we’re proud of. We model solutions for a sustainable future, celebrate cultural and biological diversity, and empower people to engage with one another and with nature in healthier ways. Biosphere reserves foster and share scientific, Indigenous, and local knowledge in order to explore new ways of living that solve global challenges and address the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The world network of UNESCO designated biosphere reserves covers 686 regions in 122 countries. 170 Million people live in biosphere reserves and the overall area that the network covers is larger than China. Our world network connects communities and regions around the globe who are pioneering a positive future for people and nature. Our collective impact is unparalleled.