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Sustainable development and biosphere conservation

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Mediterranean Intercontinental Biosphere Reserve (Morocco and Spain), La Sal
© UNESCO/ Anne-Lise Hering

It is essential to foster the harmonious integration of people and nature to achieve sustainable development. The Man and the Biosphere programme plays an important role in follow-up to Rio+20 by promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate and environmentally sustainable.

By joining forces with UNESCO partners can help:

  • expand the establishment of biosphere reserves;
  • strengthen the capacities of stakeholders through the sharing of information and best practices among the MAB network;
  • promote peace and dialogue through the management of transboudary of biosphere reserves;
  • ensure water-food security and protection of biodiversity
  • reconcile conservation of biological and cultural diversity and economic and social development.

Through the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, UNESCO is promoting the harmonious integration of people and nature for sustainable development through participatory dialogue; knowledge sharing; poverty reduction and human well-being improvements; respect for cultural values and society’s ability to cope with change. UNESCO has developed a dynamic and interactive network of sites, composed of 631 biosphere reserves in 119 countries, including 14 transboundary sites, where people and nature are set in a living laboratory for managing natural resources while fostering economic and sustainable development.