Composed of 686 biosphere reserves in 122 countries, including 20 transboundary sites, the WNBR of the MAB Programme promotes North-South and South-South collaboration and represents a unique tool for international co-operation through sharing knowledge, exchanging experiences, building capacity and promoting best practices.
The World Network of Biosphere Reserves of the MAB Programme consists of a dynamic and interactive network of sites of excellence. It fosters the harmonious integration of people and nature for sustainable development through participatory dialogue; knowledge sharing; poverty reduction and human well-being improvements; respect for cultural values and society’s ability to cope with change - thus contributing to the Millenium Development Goals. Accordingly, the WNBR is one of the main international tools to develop and implement sustainable development approaches in a wide array of contexts.
The Mission of the WNBR is to ensure environmental, economic and social (including cultural and spiritual) sustainability through:
- the development and coordination of a worldwide network of places acting as demonstration areas and learning sites with the aim of maintaining and developing ecological and cultural diversity, and securing ecosystem services for human well-being;
- the development and integration of knowledge, including science, to advance our understanding of interactions between people and the rest of nature;
- building global capacity for the management of complex socio-ecological systems, particularly through encouraging greater dialogue at the science-policy interface; environmental education; and multi-media outreach to the wider community.