Biosphere Reserves represent a new approach to landscape management. They are model areas for sustainable relationships between people and nature.


Each Biosphere Reserve promotes solutions reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with sustainable use towards improved human livelihoods.


Countries make use of Biosphere Reserves to assist in meeting international obligations, such as achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Aichi Biodiversity Targets.


The National Department of Environmental Affairs is the Nodal point for the Man and Biosphere Programme in South Africa. It also acts as the secretariat for the National Man and Biosphere Committee. As such, the MaB Programme is one of the Departments Programmes.


The South African Strategy for the Biosphere Reserve Programme (2016 – 2020) guides implementation of the MaB programme.


The national strategy is aligned to the UNESCO Lima Action Plan (2016 – 2025) and is structured according to the following three strategic action areas:



The Lima Action Plan for UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MaB Programme and its world network of Biosphere Rese3rves (2016 -2025) contains a comprehensive but concise set of action aimed at ensuring the effective implementation of the MaB strategy (2015 – 2025)