Conservation in Action

Spotlight: Biosphere Reserves

Man and the Biosphere Program: What are biosphere reserves all about?

A biosphere reserve is a unique, place-based designation that expands on the mission of most protected areas in having three functions: landscape and seascape-level conservation of genetic resources, species, and ecosystems; promotion of sustainable development and livelihoods in communities of the surrounding region; and logistical support for broad-based collaborations to meet these goals. All three of these aims are supported by the best available science, open dialogue, and active community involvement.

Each of the 701 biosphere reserves recognized by the international Man and the Biosphere Program has its own system of governance to ensure that it meets its functions and objectives. Biosphere reserves always remain under the sovereign jurisdiction of their home country. National governments nominate the areas and local people and organizations oversee them.


More information on U.S. biosphere reserves

Map of US biosphere reserves

US Biosphere Network News, Autumn 2019 issue

US Biosphere Network News, Spring 2020 issue

© 2020 George Wright Society


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