Biosphere reserves are intended to be model regions for researching and demonstrating successful approaches to protection and sustainable development at a regional level. The concept of biosphere reserves relates to one of the most important questions facing the world today: how can we strike a balance between protecting biological diversity, striving for economic and social development and preserving cultural values?
In the early 1970s, UNESCO initiated the Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme, the aim of which is to develop models for a more scrupulous management of the environment. This concept is put into practice in the UNESCO biosphere reserves. The programme is based on the principle of sustainable and ecological development.
Biosphere reserves are only rarely “original” biotopes – much more frequently, they are cultural landscapes which have been formed and reshaped over centuries of human usage
The world network of biosphere reserves currently includes 738 biosphere reserves in 134 countries worldwide (November 2022). Two of these are located in Switzerland.
More information: www.unesco.ch