3 November 2022 will be the first International Day for Biosphere Reserves. An event showcasing the contribution of the biosphere reserves to sustainable development will be organised at UNESCO Headquarters in collaboration with all the regions of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. This will also mark the end of the two years celebration of the 50th anniversary of Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme.
The Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, launched in 1971, is UNESCO’s oldest intergovernmental scientific programme and it is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021 and 2022. The MAB Programme and the biosphere reserve model have, over the past 50 years, become an international example of sustainable territorial development and highlight UNESCO’s and the MAB’s commitment to the global biodiversity agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Following the decision of the 41st session of the General Conference, November 3 is the International Day for Biosphere Reserves. The year 2022 will also see the end of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the MAB Programme.The purpose of the International Day for Biosphere Reserves is to provide, on an annual basis, a wake-up call on the sustainable development approach to modern life and the leading and exemplary role that the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) can play in this regard.
Encompassing all types of ecosystems and sometimes urban areas, the WNBR has a global presence, comprising 724 sites, 21 of which are transboundary sites, in 131 countries. More than 260 million people have their home in a biosphere reserve. Altogether, these sites protect about 5% of the earth’s surface, or more than 7 million km², an expanse roughly equal to the size of Australia. Every year, an increasing number of sites join the WNBR, and more and more countries will ultimately pursue the objectives and goals of the MAB Programme.