UNESCO: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization



Man & the Biosphere (MAB)

About the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme

Man & the Biosphere (MAB)

    The concept of biosphere reserves was derived from the first intergovernmental conference organized by UNESCO in 1968. Two years later, UNESCO officially launched a Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, which is one of its cornerstone programmes. The MAB Programme is adapted to respond to the result of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro in 1992) and, in particular, the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

    MAB has accumulated more than 30 years of experience and is operating in approximately 100 countries with the objective of promoting interdisciplinary research, training, and communication in the field of ecosystem conservation and the rational use of natural resources. Enhanced relationships between people and their environment globally is one of the key objectives of the MAB Programme. As of March 2008, 531 sites in 105 countries have been designated as Biosphere Reserves representing a wide range of the world`s major ecosystems, i.e.: tropical humid forests, sub-tropical and temperate rainforests, deciduous forests, sub-polar forests and woodlands, warm deserts and semi-deserts, cold winter, tundra communities, savannas, wetlands and coastal areas, including mangroves and coral reefs.

    Out of the current world total of 531, Asia and the Pacific region has 95 Biosphere Reserves in 27 countries. Indonesia, for example, has six: Siberut Island (including Siberut National Park), Cibodas (including Gunung Gede-Pangrango National Park), Tanjung Puting National Park, Lore Lindu National Park, Gunung Leuser National Park and Komodo National Park; the latter two are also inscribed as Natural World Heritage sites.

    More info on UNESCO's MAB programme



    • 22-11-2012
    Request for Proposal - Establishing Mount Isarog Natural Park (Philippines) as a Biosphere Reserve
    • 21-05-2012
    BREES Youth Awards for Sustainable Development: 30 children from Cibodas Biosphere Reserve receive their prizes and visit environmental and livelihood initiatives in Bali
    BREES AWARDS 2011_credit_Glaudy_Perdanahardja.jpg
    • 10-11-2011
    UNESCO-BREES Awards - The children of Cibodas Biosphere Reserve are ready to make positive changes for the environment
    • 27-05-2011
    Request for Proposal Organizing Workshop: “Biosphere Reserve in Timor-Leste? National Framework and Potential Benefits
    PHoto 1 - meeting.jpg
    • 03-03-2011
    6th SeaBRnet (Southeast Asia Biosphere Reserve Network) MEETING

    See also:

    Europe and North America Latin America and the Caribbean Africa Arab States Asia Pacific