These pages provide an overview of strategies and projects undertaken by UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme in some significant ecosystems. These systems are all crucial for life: affecting sizeable populations worldwide, they may be degraded, and be in dire need of improved scientific understanding and management.
Loss of biodiversity is accelerating. The MAB Programme is an intergovernmental initiative originally created to set up the scientific basis for improving people's relationships with nature, linking the natural and social sciences. In particular, MAB aims at increasing our understanding of the structure, functioning and dynamics of ecosystems and people's roles therein. Assessing the impact of global change on ecosystems and promoting appropriate management of freshwater resources in these systems have become key issues in recent years for the MAB Programme.