Initiated in 1994, EABRN originally encompassed five countries: China, Japan, People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, and Mongolia. An official request to join EABRN was submitted to UNESCO Jakarta Office in 1998 by MAB-Russian Federation and was welcomed by the EABRN members. EABRN thus has six members and its activities span over 30 biosphere reserves across the region.
EABRN facilitates exchange and transfer of information between reserves and governing bodies, and conducts regular regional meetings on issues of common concern. Two themes have been identified as priorities for cooperation: ecotourism development in biosphere reserves and other similar protected areas and transborder conservation cooperation. In addition, through the use of EABRN meetings the Member States work together to undertake biosphere reserve field evaluations, one of the crucial tasks required by the Statutory Framework of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves and the Seville Strategy.
Since 1 January 2003, the Secretariat of EABRN was officially transferred to UNESCO Beijing after consultation and endorsement of all EABRN member countries as a result of UNESCO restructuring (contact: UNESCO Beijing office).