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7, Place de Fontenoy
75352 PARIS 07 SP, France


Nurturing the democratic debate.  
05-11-2002 11:00 pm Paris - A list of new biosphere reserves from around the world will be released on November 8th, following the deliberations of the Bureau of the International Co-ordinating Council of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB).
These new biosphere reserves will join a global network that now includes 408 sites in 94 countries.

Biosphere reserves are chosen on the strength of their ability to reconcile the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of biological resources. This far-sighed concept was initiated by MAB in the 1970s. Today, it is more relevant than ever as countries seek to meet their international obligations to multilateral environmental agreements stemming from the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and political engagements made at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which recently took place in Johannesburg (South Africa).

Biosphere reserves are nominated by Member States after a process of consultation and co-ordination with government agencies, local communities, non-governmental organizations and private interests with a stake in the areas concerned. They remain fully under the sovereign jurisdiction of their countries.

The advantages enjoyed by sites designated as biosphere reserves include: official United Nations recognition of local and national efforts to promote conservation and sustainable development; a "label of excellence" which is helpful in securing additional funding; membership in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves which facilitates exchanges of experience and research results.

Contact: Amy Otchet
Bureau of Public Information, Editorial Service
Telephone: (33) 1 45 68 17 04
E-mail: a.otchet@unesco.org

Source Media Advisory No.2002-51


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