Biosphere Reserves

Biosphere reserves are areas comprising terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems. Each reserve promotes solutions reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use. UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MaB) provides a framework for exploring local solutions to challenges by mainstreaming biodiversity conservation and sustainable development whilst integrating economic, social and environmental aspects. All this while recognizing their vital linkages within specific learning landscapes adjacent to Protected Areas (core areas). These areas focus on connecting biodiversity conservation with the development of people, as the custodians of their land and resources through collaborative partnerships.

Biosphere reserves are nominated by national governments and remain under the sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are located. Their status is internationally recognized.There are 701 biosphere reserves in 124 countries, including 21 transboundary sites.

In 2001, under the supervision of the then Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region (K2C BR) was officially ratified by UNESCO as part of the Man and the Biosphere (MaB) Programme. UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme recognises landscapes, where reconciliation of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the face of climate change are pursued.

The K2C is one of 10 recognised Biosphere Reserves in South Africa.