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UNESCO Biosphere Reserves

On 23rd October 1970, the 16th UNESCO General Conference launched the environmental programme known as ‘Man and the Biosphere’ (‘MaB’). Under the auspices of this programme studies are conducted in selected, representative parts of the globe – the biosphere reserves – to establish how man can live in and with nature and use its resources in a sustainable manner. A central aspect of this concerns the preservation and development of cultural landscapes for their inhabitants and with their inhabitants, taking account of all their cultural and natural characteristics.

The worldwide network of such model regions has grown steadily since the establishment of the first biosphere reserves in 1974. Today there are 669 biosphere reserves in 120 countries, including 16 transboundary sites. Their purpose is to make a contribution towards solving environmental problems. The sustainability of global society depends upon our ability to achieve fair conditions for development throughout the world, whilst preserving the viability of ecological systems.

The Federal Republic of Germany has given this process staunch support, resulting in the establishment of 15 biosphere reserves throughout the country.

cultural landscape

A central aspect of the MaB programme concerns the preservation of cultural landscapes

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