Biosphere Reserves, which have been internationally recognized by UNESCO in the Man and the Biosphere (MaB) Programme, are areas of terrestrial or coastal ecosystems. The Programme promotes and demonstrates a balanced relationship between people and nature. MaB develops the foundation, within both the natural and social sciences, for the sustainable use and conservation of biological diversity, and to improve the relationship between people and their environment globally.
The programme encourages interdisciplinary research, demonstration and training in natural resource management. It therefore contributes towards a better understanding of the environment, and in particular offers the opportunity for science and scientists to be involved in policy development for the wise use of biological diversity.
The Biosphere Reserve concept originated as a result of trying to meet the requirements of the 21st Century: conservation of biodiversity across the planet; and meet the material needs and aspirations of an increasing human population. (www.unesco.org/mab).